Evert Antonides (Sappemeer, NL) competes in the ZLU overnight competition in North Holland covering a great distance

Evert Antonides competes in all ZLU races from his loft in Sappemeer, which means his pigeons need to have excellent endurance. No less than 1352km have to be covered in the classic from Barcelona, for which he won the Barcelona ZLU prize for longest distance in 2011.

Evert Antonides

Evert comes from the city of Groningen, where his father and grandfather used to keep pigeons. Evert was involved in the sport from an early age, and he would eventually become the third generation of pigeon fanciers in the Antonies family. His grandfather had a few health problems and so Evert looked after his pigeons for the first time at the age of ten. He would clean the lofts for one guilder per week. Evert's father followed in his grandfather’s footsteps after his passing. Evert joined the P.V. De Eendracht pigeon club in Groningen in 1975 and he started racing pigeons from the pigeon garden in Damsterdiep a few years later, along with twenty colleagues. He moved to the town of Sappermeer in 1987, where he successfully competed in the program races of up to 700km until 1999. He was the tenth best fancier in the national Wie Heeft Ze Beter competition in 1992. He made the transition to the marathon competition in 2000.

Evert Antonides

The breed

Immediately upon his transition to the overnight long distance he started looking for pigeons from the best fanciers in this discipline, and he obtained pigeons from the Barcelona pair of Jan Ernest, the golden Barcelona bloodline of Henk Wegh (Lochem, NL), as well as the bloodlines of R. Gyselbrecht (Knesselare, BE) via Jan van Engelen (Hedel, NL). The pigeons from Hein Brassé (Nuth, NL) play a key role in this pigeon loft as well, with the descendants of his Brede grijs, Jonge grijs, Zwarte zander, Supersjek and Smale Barcelona being omnipresent in Evert’s breed. He also obtained Wanroy pigeons of Jan Lijnders (Reuver, NL) via Sije Pijl. It goes without saying that Evert made well informed decisions to create his new pigeon breed. His pigeons’ eyes are checked by Myron Kulik (Florida, USA) to determine their breeding value. His results are taken into account when pigeons are being paired.

ZLU competition in the north

Evert joined the ZLU competition in 2014, which he thinks is the sport at its finest for everyone who fancies a morning release. Fanciers from the northern part of The Netherlands compete in ZLU Drachten in addition to the national competition. From 2012, efforts have been made to increase the level of the ZLU competition over the longest distance, which has led to a doubling of the number of competing pigeons and pigeons basketed. It seems the organisers are on the right track. Evert Antonides has to drive 120km to basket his pigeons, which illustrates how enthusiastic he is about the sport.


Evert achieved his best ZLU result in the race from Pau in 2014. Evert had brought seven pigeons to the basketing club, and they took a double victory in ZLU Drachten. They achieved an impressive overall result, winning a 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th (35 pigeons in the race) and four prizes at national level as well. Dochter Levi NL11-4703140 won a 209th prize against 3020 pigeons. She is a daughter of Levi NL03-1353651 Levi, a grandson of Laureaat Barcelona BE92-4428350 of Remi Gijselbrecht, winner of a first international Barcelona against 20,925 pigeons in 1995. Click here for the pedigree of Dochter Levi. The 270th national prize was won by Zoon Sem NL10-1011509, a son of Sem NL00-1020982, grandfather of the first national Cahors 2010. Click here for the pedigree of Zoon Sem. The pigeons of Evert had to cover 1215km from Pau, which is an additional 200km compared to the eventual national winner! It was partly thanks to his result from Pau that Evert finished in third in the category not nominated in 2014, while finishing in sixth in the Keizer Generaal competition of ZLU Drachten.

Evert and Dochter Levi, 1st Pau ZLU Drachten (1215 km)

Other achievements

Evert received a special prize at the ZLU award ceremony in 2012, after winning the Barcelona award for longest distance (1352km) with his Contador NL07-1113465 in 2011. Contador won a 415th prize at national level against 7046 pigeons, and it was the only pigeon that Evert had basketed for this classic. Besides the ZLU competition Evert has also joined the afternoon releases of district 10 in North-East Holland, where he has been achieving great results as well, including a teletext notiation from Limoges and Albi in 2012. In 2006, Evert won a fifth prize in the ace pigeon championship extreme long distance in the national TBOTB competition with his pigeon NL02-1329736. Click here for an overview of national top results.

A special awards ceremony ZLU in Kerkrade

Across the border

Evert takes part in one loft races from time to time as well. In 2007, he competed in the FCI race in Thailand, while also joining the final race in Portugal (Algarve) in 2012. You can find an interesting picture gallery of his adventures in Thailand on his website. In fact, he would really like to join another edition of this race in the future. Another of Evert’s hobbies is collecting American vehicle plates, and he recently completed his collection thanks to the American fancier Norman Allaan from California. The American received a number of young birds from Sappemeer in return.

Fellow fancier Norman Allaan helped him complete his collection

To conclude

It appears Evert Antonides enjoys every aspect of the sport, and he particularly fancies the ZLU competition in the north, which is becoming increasingly popular. ZLU Drachten now has its own Hall of Fame, and it takes a top 100 result in the national ZLU result to join this list. This is an interesting challenge for Evert and it would make him a true long distance champion.