Henri van Venrooij (Deurne, NL) has had another great season with 20 first prizes in CC Deurne

Henri van Venrooij has been a highly successful fancier in the province of Brabant, and 2014 is perhaps his most successful season so far, winning 20 clear first prizes in CC Deurne.

Henri and his son Mark

The now 50 year old Henri developed a fascination with pigeons at an early age. He was playing in a combination with his father Henk whilst still at school. Other fanciers would call him "Van Venrooij Junior" but his colleagues from around Deurne quickly realised that he was a name to be reckoned with. The combination started winning championship prizes already in the 1980s and they were quite successful in every discipline in the following years. However, they had greater ambitions, they wanted to make it to the very top. Father Henk did not want to get in the way of his son's ambitions and decided to leave the combination. He obviously continued to support his son, who was on his way to a brilliant career. Henri was eager to learn and he closely watched the results of the other lofts, especially those with Janssen origins. Eventually, he paid a visit to the brothers from Arendonk, and he obtained his first Janssen pigeons in 1988. Many more Janssen birds would find their way to his loft in Deurne in the years to come.
In the meantime, Henri noticed that Corneel and Gerard Koopman were running a particularly successful loft as well. Henri was increasingly drawn to the one day long distance competition, and he knew that the Koopman breed was perfectly suited for this discipline. A first group of six Koopman pigeons was purchased in 2001, and a total of 35 direct Koopman pigeons would eventually move to Deurne. As it turned out, the pairing of Janssen x Koopman proved a brilliant combination.
Henri is always looking for top quality pigeons that could bring his own breed to another level, and we were not surprised that he visited the loft of Gerard and Bas Verkerk as well. Descendants of their best pigeons were obtained in 2009 and were paired to the bloodlines of Janssen and Koopman. As you might have guessed, these three top quality breeds proved a great match. In fact, much of his current generation of pigeons is based on Verkerk x Koopman, reinforced with Janssen. 

The 2014 season

Henri has been very successful for quite some time now but 2014 was possibly his best season ever, winning 20 first prizes and claiming almost every championship title in his club CC Deurne. He was also 1st champion nominated and 1st champion not nominated in the province of Eastern Brabant, as well as 1st pigeon champion old birds. We take a look at some of his best results of 2014 (including only his prizes 1:20):

Chimay  187 km   882  p.: 1-2-3-4-6-12-13-14-16-17-23-25-31-38-41-42-etc. (37/56)
Vervins 225 km   882  p.: 2-4-5-6-7-8-9-11-18-22-24-27-28-38-etc. (33/54)
Laon    253 km   959  p.: 4-8-9-10-11-18-20-21-24-25-39-40-41-etc. (29/52)
Sezanne 338 km   801  p.: 1-2-3-4-6-7-9-10-11-13-16-19-etc. (36/46)
               2,290  p.: 8-9-10-13-15-19-21-23-24-29-etc.
Sezanne 338 km   792  p.: 2-3-4-6-7-8-9-10-13-14-15-16-17-20-22-26-28-29-30-etc. (33/45)
               2,786  p.: 3-4-5-7-8-13-15-16-23-24-27-etc.
Laon    253 km   954  p.: 2-6-8-9-10-11-13-15-16-17-18-19-20-25-37-38-39-40-etc. (35/44)
Sens    404 km   757  p.: 1-2-3-5-6-7-8-9-13-14-15-17-20-23-24-26-29-etc. (38/43)
               2,366  p.: 1-2-3-5-8-13-17-19-32-34-35-37-etc.
Laon    253 km   680  p.: 2-3-4-5-7-8-10-11-13-15-16-17-22-24-25-26-etc. (36/41)
Sens    404 km   515  p.: 1-3-6-9-11-12-13-17-19-26-etc. (30/36)
               1,809  p.: 2-9-13-17-24-25-26-etc.
Sezanne 338 km   255  p.: 1-2-3-4-5-etc. (10/17) 
               8,552  p.: 1-2-3-4-etc.
Laon    253 km   438  p.: 1-2-3--4-5-6-8-9-10-11-13-14-15-16-17-etc. (34/41)
Hannut  100 km   437  p.: 1-2-34--5-6-7-8-9-11-12-16-17-etc. (31/43)
Hannut  100 km   897 YL.: 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-18-19-21-23-etc. (41/60)
Chimay  187 km 1,169 YL.: 1-2-34-45-6-7-8-11-12-14-18-19-21-22-23-24-etc. (44/73)
Laon    253 km   788 YL.: 1-2-3-5-6-7-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-etc. (42/62)

The champions of today

As we said, the pairing of Koopman x Verkerk proved a great success. The three Verkerk pigeons NL09-1186056 Baske, NL09-1186054 Houdini Junior and NL09-1186063 combined with pigeons of Koopman can be found in the pedigrees of most of today's racing birds. Click here for the pedigrees of the three Verkerk pigeons.

NL12-4139171 Kaja

Kaja is a direct daughter of that same NL09-1186063 of Verkerk x Koopman. Click here for the full pedigree of Kaja. She has won quite a few prizes:

Sens      515 p.:  1st (and 2nd rayon against 2,366 p.; 14th against 11,428 p. in the province)
Sens      757 p.:  2nd (and 2nd rayon against 1,809 p.)
Chimay    882 p.:  3rd
Laon      680 p.:  4th
Laon      224 p.:  4th
Hannut    194 p.:  5th
Gien      139 p.:  6th
Chimay  1,070 p.:  9th
Isnes     129 p.: 10th
Sezanne   792 p.: 16th
Hannut    356 p.: 17th
Sezanne 1,147 p.: 19th
Isnes     265 p.: 20th
Isnes     875 p.: 24th

NL12-4139163 Flitz

Flitz is a direct son of Baske of Gerard and Bas Verkerk. You can find the pedigree of Flitz here; he has won the following prizes:

Sens      757 p.:  1st (and 1st rayon 2,366 p; 13th 11,428 p. in the province)
Isnes     436 p.:  2nd
Hannut    437 p.:  2nd
Hannut    356 p.:  4th
Hannut    437 p.:  4th
Sezanne   313 p.:  6th (and 17th rayon 2,165 p.)
Laon      680 p.:  7th
Vervins   882 p.:  9th
Laon      438 p.: 10th
Epernay   221 p.: 10th
Isnes     745 p.: 14th
Sezanne   792 p.: 15th (and 27th rayon 2,786 p.)
Laon      959 p.: 20th
Sezanne 1,147 p.: 28th
Sezanne 1,053 p.: 30th

NL12-4139092 Beauty

Beauty is a direct hen bred from Houdini Junior of Gerard & Bas Verkerk. You can find the full pedigree of Beauty here. Let's take a look at her list of achievements:

Laon          839 p.:  1st
Sezanne       801 p.:  1st (and 8th rayon 2,990 p.)
Orleans       144 p.:  3rd (and 19th NPO 4,555 p.)
Sens          644 p.:  4th (and 6th rayon 1,972 p.)
Isnes         745 p.:  5th
Hannut        437 p.:  6th
Vervins       882 p.:  8th
Chateauroux   331 p.: 11th
Isnes         384 p.: 11th
Sezanne       313 p.: 12th
Isnes       1,329 p.: 17th

NL11-4102793 Ylva

Ylva is another descendant (a granddaughter) of super class breeder Baske of Gerard and Bas Verkerk x Koopman. Click here for the full pedigree of Yiva. This hen has won quite a few prizes, including:

Sezanne        728 p.:  1st (and 1st rayon 2,803 p.; 14th 14,951 p. in the province)
La Souterainne 252 p.:  2nd (and 55th NPO 5,281 p.)
Chimay         282 p.:  2nd
Epernay        311 p.:  2nd
Sens           757 p.:  3rd (and 3rd rayon 2,366 p.; 15th 11,428 p. in the province)
Sens           515 p.:  3rd (and 9th rayon 1,809 p.)
Sens           432 p.:  5th (and 14th rayon 3,678 p.)
Chateauroux    328 p.:  5th
Isnes          728 p.:  9th
Laon           438 p.:  9th
Laon           954 p.: 11th
Chimay         370 p.: 11th
Sezanne        792 p.: 20th

NL12-4139156 Bojana

Bojana perfectly illustrates the origins of Henri's current collection of pigeons, as all three key bloodlines (Janssen brothers, Koopman and Verkerk) can be found in her pedigree. Click here to learn more about the origins of Bojana. She finished in 11th place in the sprint category for the Budapest olympiad, and she has won the following prizes:

Epernay   351 p.:  1st
Chimay    370 p.:  1st
Chimay  1,070 p.:  2nd
Isnes   1,329 p.:  2nd
Laon      680 p.:  2nd
Laon      438 p.:  2nd
Sezanne 1,147 p.:  3rd (and 3rd rayon 3,540 p.; 23rd 17,085 p. in the province)
Reims   1,009 p.:  3rd
Sezanne   801 p.:  3rd (and 10th rayon 2,990 p.)
Laon      818 p.:  7th
Laon      959 p.:  8th
Sens      757 p.:  9th
Vervins 1,422 p.: 11th
Vervins   882 p.: 11th
Chimay    882 p.: 12th
Isnes     745 p.: 21st
Laon      600 p.: 26th

NL10-4186069 Ilonka

We conclude with Ilonka, another hen from the successful pairing of Koopman x Verkerk. Click here for the full pedigree. Ilonka is a half sister of super class breeders Areza and Sandro of Pieter van de Merwe (Dordrecht, NL). She has won the following prizes:

Montlucon     299 p.:  1st (and 2nd NPO 6908 p.)
Strombeek   1,016 p.:  2nd
Sezanne     1,059 p.:  2nd (rayon 6th 6,028 p.)
Nanteuil      426 p.:  2nd (and 8th rayon 2,720 p.)
Epehy         731 p.:  3rd
Sezanne     1,147 p.:  4th (and 4th rayon 3,540 p.)
Pommeroeul  1,096 p.:  4th
Sens          432 p.:  6th (and 19th rayon 3,678 p.)
Orleans       328 p.:  6th
Nanteuil      263 p.:  6th
Strombeek     454 p.:  8th
Peronne       974 p.: 12th
Sens          644 p.: 15th
Chateauroux   328 p.: 15th
Sens          784 p.: 22nd


Henri works for the Waal Staal steel works in Deurne. He works from 8 am to 4:45 pm every day, and his pigeons have been looked after before going to work.His wife Anita used to take care of the young birds, until she was diagnosed with bird-fancier's long one and a half years ago. She is no longer allowed to enter the lofts and Henri has to wash his clothes and shoes after having been with the pigeons. His oldest son Mark offers a helping hand whenever he can. It takes a top class pigeon fancier with excellent pigeons to be able to combine a demanding job with a highly successful career in pigeon racing.