"Sometimes reconsidering a decision can be a good thing." Robert Leemhuis and Harm Vredeveld sat down together last summer, and they agreed that their decision to move to a new location in 2015 had not been a major success. They went back to their trusted approach, which meant relocating their young birds to their old lofts in the Veenschapsweg, where they had everything they needed to race pigeons at the highest level. Robert's dedicated approach combined with Harm's intuition and experience are again the cornerstones of this team's success story. They had to wait until 21st of July for their first race of 2018 but it was worth the wait:
1st-3rd-15th-40th-41st-42nd-43rd-44th-45th-47th-63rd-74th Gennep 10,536 p. (58/91)
You could not tell from the results but their fresh start did not begin very well. "Gennep was a very unsettling race", Robert explains. "There was quite a lot of time in between the different arrivals, and we heard from other fanciers that big losses were likely. We were rather fortunate with 83 of our 91 pigeons returning home." That does not mean the team of Vredeveld-Leemhuis did not have their share of bad luck: "Many of our birds were attacked by a pird of prey, and a while later our young birds got sick. Things have been going a lot better for the past 10 weeks, and Robert had invested a lot of time in training and making them used to basketing - this takes away a lot of stress. This might explain why Gennep went fairly well for us."
Winner of 1st Gennep 10,536 p.
A change in location does not mean a change in breeding strategies for Vredeveld-Leemhuis; they still focus solely on top quality bloodlines. You can tell from the most successful racing birds in Gennep. The winner of this race was NL18-4716663, bred from super class hen Proxima Blue, winner of a 1st NPO Quievrain 7,722 p. and a 19th NPO Niergnies 5,778 p. This hen is closely related to Heremans, and was raced by B. Hoekstra. She was paired to a son of none other than De Zoon of Albert Derwa, 1st Int. Europa Cup Pigeon and Olympiad Pigeon.
Click here for the pedigree of the 1st Gennep 10,563 p.
The third prize in Gennep was won by NL18-5188227. Two of his brothers have won a 40th and 41st prize, and this makes the NL10-1100811 Zoon Lucky Boy x NL15-1222607 Dochter Bulck pairing the most successful combination in the opening weekend of the young birds' competition in Province 10.
Sire: De 811, from the renowned Lucky Boy, a great racing bird and now a stock breeder from the Love Pair Boy x Queen. The dam of the 811 is Zeeuws Juffertje (Leideman), the dam of highly successful racing bird and top breeder X-Factor.
Dam: The 607, a daughter of the new top breeder Bulck. Harm obtained her from fellow fancier Dirk Van Den Bulck, from the renowned pair Broer Goede Rode x Golden Leo 40000. Bulck developed into a world class breeder in Coevorden, breeding generations of first prize winners in major races.
Click here for the pedigree of the 3rd Gennep 10,536 p.
The 811, a son of Lucky Boy and the sire of a 3rd-40th-41st Gennep
Robert's personal favourite, the NL4716661, finished in the top 10, as first nominated. He claims a 42nd Gennep of 10,536 p. The sire of this pigeon is Don Diego, obtained from pigeon fancier Mooiweer from Emmen, and winner of the title of 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon middle distance WHZB/TBOTB in 2017. Harm and Robert agree: "This pigeon has what it takes to become a new stock breeder, along with Zorro. These are two very strong pigeons with great appeal and an excellent palmares. We are convinced that their respective descendants will have plenty of potential." In 2018 Don Diego was paired to a granddaughter of that same Lucky Boy, again mixed in with some Van Den Bulck bloodlines.
Click here for the pedigree of the 42nd Gennep 10,536 p.
They have their first win of the season, and Robert and Harm are eager to see what their talented young birds are capable of this season. Their goal is to excel in the NPO races, although nothing beats the feeling of claiming a prestigious win at the very start of the season.