Robert Leemhuis, Harm Vredeveld and daughter Chantal
The Vredeveld-Leemhuis combination is a familiar name in pigeon racing in The Netherlands. The combination consists of Harm (65) and Robert (40) but we should not forget the rest of the family either. Harm and Robert are responsible for looking after the pigeons; Harm's daughter Angelique takes care of administrative tasks and his daughter Chantal maintains international contacts. Harm's wife Lenie is the silent force behind this team, which is clearly a family business determined to stay at the very top in The Netherlands.
The 2014 season
Due to private circumstances it was decided to keep only a team of young birds this season. They were raced from the old breeders' loft, which was adapted so that it could be used as a racing loft. Harm does not really care about the type of loft: "There are so many different types of lofts these days but I have been a fancier for quite a while now so this is not much of a big deal anymore. The loft should provide a good home for your pigeons, which is something a fancier should sense. What matters the most is the pigeons." It is obvious that the quality of the pigeon breed is the number one priority for these fanciers. The combination is always looking for ways to further improve their existing breed, which is why they currently have the best national middle distance and one day long distance pigeon in their breeding loft.
The loft only competed in 8 young birds' races this season and they were able to win two first prizes in district 10 of province 10 in North East Holland, including the particularly difficult race from Morlincourt. These are the best young birds' results of 2014 (1/4):
Asse Zelik distr. 10 260 km 2,297 p.: 22-28-29-52-55-56-57-58-59-61-62-etc. (35/50) Morlincourt distr. 10 430 km 833 p.: 1-9-18-22-23-29-30-40-41-42-74-etc. (20/48) Prov.10 5,967 p.: 3-13-31-44-45-58-59-89-95-97-etc. (29/48) Sector 4 12,676 p.: 5-22-65-100-etc. Quievrain Rayon 10 326 km 2,068 p.: 3-19-24-26-27-31-37-103-112-119-etc. (29/50) NPO Zuid 7,927 p.: 7-36-57-59-60-78-100-etc. (29/50) Boxtel distr. 10 151 km 2,676 p.: 11-12-20-21-23-111-123-145-etc. (28/44) Duiven distr. 10 91 km 2,627 p.: 1-4-90-92-105-124-125-144-145-147-etc. (33/53)
It takes a number of very talented breeders in order to achieve such excellent results in the young birds' races. They do have a group of breeders that have bred several great descendants season after season, and we will take a closer look at some of them:
NL01-5165603 Game Boy
This talented pigeon became 2nd national ace pigeon young birds in 2001. Game Boy is a direct son of the legendary Love Pair (Boy x Queen), which is at the basis of this combination's success story. The pair found its way to Harm's pigeon loft via Hans Eijerkamp, and it quickly started breeding countless first prize winners and ace pigeons. Many of their youngsters are tough to beat in races of up to 500km, and have proved to be equally talented breeders. Game Boy is a perfect example: he had an excellent career as a racing bird before breeding a new generation of top class pigeons himself.
BE-05-6451095 Kleine Ivo
Kleine Ivo is a son from a pairing of son x daughter Kannibaal of D & L van Dyck (Zonhoven, BE), 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon KBDB.
Lucky Boy NL00-4727014
Lucky Boy is another direct son of the renowned Love Pair (Boy x Queen). This means Lucky Boy is a full brother of Game Boy, which we talked about. He also had a great career as a racing bird before breeding great youngsters and grandchildren later on.
Spindoctor was best national Ace Pigeon one day long distance WHZB in 2010.
Silverboy is a direct son of Silverman x Moeder superkoppel of Martin van Zon. He won a tough race from Orleans (630km) in temperatures of up to 33 degrees against 15,855 pigeons in 2006. Meanwhile his descendants have won four top ten prizes NPO.
Zorro is a 100% Gaby Vandenabeele, and he won the title of 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon middle distance 2012 both in the NPO and the WHZB competition.
These are just some of the excellent breeding pigeons in the loft of Harm and Robert. Their team is based on the invaluable Love Pair bloodline combined with excellent pigeons that were obtained to further strengthen their breed. This is a breed that enables them to compete at the highest level in The Netherlands.