R. A. Bakker & Zoon (Veenendaal, NL) have a bright future ahead

R.A. Bakker & Son fly exclusively with 100% Gerard Koopman pigeons, so we could consider them the most successful Koopman branch. We introduce you to (Ru)Dolf and Ruud Bakker, who have had some great results on the SCMDR, and who are owners of ‘Panamera’, one of the best yearlings of The Netherlands.

This is turning into a success story. Father Dolf (53) and son Ruud (24) managed to become one of the big names in pigeon racing: this year, they were able to beat the best fanciers of province 7 regularly. We could say that they now belong to the small group of top-class fanciers. The two also run a confectionery business. Their lofts are located behind the company building, and are housed by an amazing colony of 100% Gerard Koopman pigeons. They made a trip to Ermerveen, home base of Gerard Koopman, and it was the beginning of a wonderful career.  

 Before we discuss these wonderful pigeons with their great origins and with a long list of achievements, we would like to say a few words about the system that Bakker & Son use. They are ahead of their time for sure, as they have developed a system based on their available time, to manage their colony, and which focuses on National NPO flights only.

The flying team (in 2011 mostly yearlings) is coupled around the time of the first speed race (in which they do not race), and after sitting on their eggs for four days, they are released for the first time that year. After that, the loft is open for two weeks, to allow them to slowly get in a good shape (their muscles should not be over trained after being locked up in winter). After these two weeks, they are separated and they get trained by the De Bakkers (on the racing line), about 4 to 5 times a week. After doing this for one or two weeks, there is further training from Pommeroeul, which is about 212km away. This is done in Oosterhout (Brabant), in order to learn the pigeons to fly independently: there, they have to fly the last kilometres on their own.

For the final speed race, the pigeons are released in a large pack for the first time. This system has already proved itself in the first middle distance race (national release), in which the two Bakkers made some excellent results: 4°, 21° and 24° National against about 20,979 pigeons, and in which no less than 32 of the 44 pigeons won a prize.
Further on, the pigeons are raced once a week as soon as the extreme middle distance races start. The cocks get a full rest, but the hens receive a mid week training. This training mainly focuses on learning to ‘come home’, rather than on endurance.

When it comes to medical guidance, De Bakker & son are open and honest. When the pigeons are brooding, they get treated for trichol. Over the season, this treatment is repeated every four weeks, using a pill. After the season, the pigeons are given a Para-stop treatment (against Paratyfus), and they are also treated against ‘heads’ (airway problems) regularly. This is their way to keep their racing team healthy. When the pigeons arrive home from a race, Belga Sol is added to the water (electrolytes with vitamins and amino acid), and they are given a mixture rich in protein. In the week that they stay at home, they are kept in a good shape with much rest, and/or they are fed with a purifying mixture. As of the Sunday before basketing, they are given a nutritious protein-rich mixture, but this mixture is not available all day: over the entire week, they get the mixture for half an hour, and as much as they want, after which the feed is taken away. Then the feed is given to them for another half an hour, and so on. This is repeated until they do not eat anything anymore, and until the day of basketing. But remember, this method is used instinctively.

The youngsters:

Youngsters are raced with the sliding door, and only on National (NPO) flights, so the last 3 to 4 races for youngsters. As preparation, the pigeons are taken away a few times, about 105km away (to St. Job). All pigeons are shown prior to the basketing. The lofts are scratched every day or every other day, and the training flights are not obligatory. The reason for this is that in the past, the pigeons were obliged to train, which resulted in fewer results from the same pigeons. Ruud Bakker also believes that this method creates a stronger connection between pigeon and loft.

Good results for 2011 National/NPO:

Breteuil (350km)     against 20,797 pigeons : 4-21-24-136-137-138  etc.
Bourges  (591km)NPO  against  7,356 pigeons : 2-26-63-86-143-189   etc.
Blois    (589km)NPO  against  8,482 pigeons : 2-31-76-153-253      etc.
Tours    (623km)NPO  against  5,812 pigeons : 7-10-23-46-87-93-136 etc.

These are some great results by De Bakker & Son, who live in the furthest east of Province 7. Their top-class pigeon ‘Panamera’ did not only win 2° NPO Blois, it also won 1° in the Northern Union, Zone I against 13,898 pigeons!

One of their pigeons did not only dominate Province 7, it was also impressive at the most renowned One Loft Race in the world, the Sun City Million Dollar Race. No less than seven times did their ‘Lord Ballina’ manage to reach top-32 in the 16th edition of the SCMDR! This is very unique in one loft racing.

(TF = Trainings Flight, HS = Hot Spot Car Race)

TF15   7° against 4.080 pigeons
TF19   9° against 3.521 pigeons
HS03  23° against 4.229 pigeons
TF03  24° against 5.190 pigeons
TF20  24° against 3.521 pigeons
HS01  28° against 4.462 pigeons
HS05  32° against 3.856 pigeons

Even though this was not a ‘One Loft Race’, it was already clear that this is an amazing bird. These great performances give an indication of the sheer quality of R.A. Bakker, and of Koopman of course!

The pigeons.
 When we talk about the success of the De Bakkers, we also talk about the most successful branch of Koopman and his team (according to Koopman). Dolf and Ruud are very pleased about these pigeons, and they now own 19 breeding couples from Ermerveen, think of (descendants of) ‘Mighty Man’ , ‘Deng Lin’s Favorite’ , ‘ Rafaella’ , ‘Judy’ , ‘Ermerveen’s Hope’ and ‘Mr. Allennig’. With the recent purchase of children of ‘Golden Dirk’ and ‘Zina’, it appears that they are very ambitious, nationally and internationally. 

These are a few of the favourites in the Veenendaal lofts, with origins in Ermerveen:

'Paradise Girl' is a very exclusive hen. Together with her full brother ‘Daydream’, she represents their successful parents 'Cassius' X 'Miss Mookhoek'. 'Cassius' is especially known as a good breeder, as he is the father of: 

'Daydream' : 1° NPO Ablis against 8,519 pigeons
'Vakir' :         3° NPO Blois against 6,279 pigeons

'Miss Mookhoek' is a daughter of 'Tips' X 'Geschelpt Kannibaaltje', one of the top-class couples of this century. Her full brothers and sister are performing very well, for example:

'Farah Diba'
1° National ace pigeon one-day middle distance W.H.Z.B. '03
1° W.E.N.C. one-day middle distance '03
1° Chateauroux against 3,894 pigeons
1° Tours against       1,846 pigeons

Best middle didstance pigeon in the world.
1° Peronne against   28,332 pigeons
1° Chantilly against 21,892 pigeons
1° Chtanilly against 10,589 pigeons
5° Niergies against   5,607 pigeons

1° ace pigeon NPO '03
1° Troyes against      2,047 pigeons
2° Niergies against    3,254 pigeons
4° Chateauroux against 1,037 pigeons
5° NPO Troyes against 12,056 pigeons
7° Peronne against     2,290 pigeons
9° Ablis against       2,283 pigeons
10° Niergies against   5,927 pigeons

‘Miss Mookhoek’ herself is of course mother of 'Daydream' (=1° NPO Ablis) and 'Paradise Girl', which has become the top breeder for Dolf and Ruud Bakker in the meantime. Her daughter ‘Erika’ won 1° place Ablis against 1,884 pigeons, which resulted in a 9° NPO against 15,600 pigeons. This makes her one of the best grandchildren of ‘Miss Mookhoek’ and ‘Cassius’. This exceptional pigeon will be auctioned in PIPA’s April Auction.

Mr. Xenos represents the Koopman loft, ans has some outstanding lines. A great addition! He is a half brother of ‘Magic Man’ and ‘Gerard’s favorite’ (with the same father, ‘De Lorris’). These magical pigeons have already proved themselves many times, take a look at ‘Magic Man’s results:

Le Mans North      1/15,252 pigeons
Le Mans National   3/99,104 pigeons
Car winner of Le Mans.

And these are the results of top-class pigeon 'Gerard's Favorite':

Ablis NPO          4/10,609 pigeons
St.Gishlain        5/13,574 pigeons
Sourdun NPO        9/13,426 pigeons

The outstanding breeding qualities of the Koopman family can also be found in the other (half) brothers and sisters of ‘Magic Man'/'Gerard's Favorite', which are very good breeders themselves:

'Miss Mukdahan'  : 1/1,479 Laon = mother of 'Royal Revenge' 5° Final Race SCMPDR 2010
'Miss Wonderfull': 1° National ace pigeon one-day middle distance (spiegel) 2006
           Creil   6/12,341
         Orleans   5/ 8,626
           Blois   5/ 5,737
           Ablis  22/10,811
           Ablis  25/10,171
'EUS'            : 1° ace pigeon Belgian Masters '09
                   1° prize Belgian Masters final race '09
                   Won 33.000 euro prize money
                   Sold for 20.000 euro.
'Daydream'       : 1° NPO Ablis against 8.519 pigeons
'Vakir'          : 3° NPO Blois against 6.279 pigeons

The mother of ‘Mr Xenos’ is ‘Rafaella’, one of the most famous daughters of ‘Kleine Dirk’, coupled with ‘Golden Lady’. It is needless to say that these pigeons have made history in international pigeon racing. When these two birds are coupled, any fancier knows that the descendants will be outstandingly good pigeons. ‘Mr. Xenos’, purchased at Koopman, together with about 40 other top breeders, became part of the colony of Dolf and Ruud Bakker. ‘Mr. Xenos’ made dreams come true in Veenendaal, by breeding ‘Mamoon’, an amazing pigeon which won amongst others 7° NPO Tours against 5,812 pigeons (623km).

The 'Panamera' NL-10-1461551 can be considered one of the best yearlings in The Netherlands, with an impressive list of achievements, and very ‘noble’ lines within our sport. It is a pigeon they can count on. The first youngsters seem promising as well, and they are attentive and very soft, just like ‘Panamera’. Thanks to their excellent muscles, they have already made the following results:

Blois NU zone I             1/13,898 pigeons
and also 3° National against  25,597 pigeons
Breteuil Prov. 7            4/20,979 pigeons
Nanteuil NPO                2/ 1,172 pigeons
Ablis                       2/   911 pigeons

All in all, we could say that they have managed to realise their ambitions: to have top quality pigeons with outstanding performances. We hope that they have a bright future ahead. We also hope that everything works out for them, and that they can benefit their quality pigeons for years to come. As Ruud is planning to play on his own, with a loft built behind his house, there is a now a new opponent. He will start in 2012, with youngsters. These are two fanciers to watch in the future. Good luck in 2012!