The fanciers in brief
Cornelis and Gerard Koopman from Ermerveen need no introduction. Over the last ten years they have composed a pigeon breed of unmatched quality. The number of NPO winners, ace pigeons and winners of international one loft races that originate from this breed is staggering. It is almost impossible to keep up. Think for instance of Kleine Dirk, Miss Dynamite, Ermerveen's Hope, Dream Lady, Marijke, Zeno, etc.
We asked Gerard about the points to consider when pairing up breeding pigeons and this was his answer: “It is important to breed with your strongest racing pigeons, pigeons that are capable of winning prizes for three and sometimes up to five seasons. There are plenty of pigeons that excel for only one season but that is not the kind I am looking for. I always look for good families. A pair that can breed ten youngsters, including nine good quality pigeons and two or three first class pigeons, belongs to a family with which you can strengthen your existing breed or create a new family. I have learned this from my master Louis Van Loon. He told me not to sell your best pigeons but to breed several youngsters for your own loft first. You can always sell some of the youngsters if you want, but you have to keep the basis.”
As a reporter I did some research before getting in touch with Gerard. I made a list of all results per 100 that were won in 2013 with the pigeons that have won these prizes. It was a very long list. I present to you the four pigeons with the most prizes 1:100.
Sire: 1st NPO Blois 2006 and co-winner of the Golden Pigeon One Day Long Distance. Purchased from Leo Janzen
Dam: Miss Dynamite, a full sister of Kleine Dirk
1st Pithiviers against 4,494 pigeons (604km) 2nd Châteauroux against 3,112 pigeons (754km) 34th Peronne against 4,647 pigeons (414km) 39th Boxtel against 10,270 pigeons (163km)
Sire: Silvanus, a son of Olympiad Pigeon and 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Ermerveen's Hope, one of the stock pigoens of the Koopman breed. He was paired to Marijke, a direct Marijke Vink and the dam of, for instance, Doran (1st NPO Orléans 9,670 p.) and Varella (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon One Day Long Distance Fondspiegel).
Dam: Nidra, from a joint breeding with Norbert De Schrijver and a 100% Aelbrecht-De Rauw-Sablon. The sire is Bjarne, a great son of Den Dromer and breeder of the third prize winner in the closing race of the Million Dollar Race. The dam is a top class breeding daughter of Perpignan (Marcel Aelbrecht).
1st Breuil-le-Vert against 4,564 pigeons (485km) 16th Pithiviers against 4,494 pigeons (604km) 74th Boxtel against 1,270 pigeons (163km)
Sire: Fridus. This blue coloured cock was bred from Bjarne De Rauw-Sablon x Monique of Marcel Aelbrecht. Bjarne has won a 7th Châteauroux against 5,349 pigeons and he is a great breeder, just like Monique.
Dam: Henna. This hen Blue Energy (a son Lorris and a half brother of Magic Man) paired to top breeder Choni. She is the dam of Mr Allennig, winner of the NPO race from Blois against 7,541 pigeons.
2nd Sens against 6,386 pigeons (563km) 3rd Pommeroeul against 7,848 pigeons (333km) 9th Pithiviers against 4,494 pigeons (604km) 21st Peronne against 4,647 pigeons (414km) 30th Breuil-le-Vert against 4,564 pigeons (485km)
Sire: Engels 789 from the Belgian champions J. & J. Engels. Engels 789 is also the sire of Mirza, winner of a 3rd, 6th, 7th and 7th NPO against an average of 7,131 pigeons.
Dam: Miss Mukdahan, winner of a 1st Laon against 1,479 pigeons. She was bred from the pair Blue Energy x Choni.
4th Sens against 6,386 pigeons (563km) 8th Breuil-le-Vert against 4,564 pigeons (485km) 26th Hapert against 11,146 pigeons (187km)
Fondspiegel long distance ranking 2011-2013
In the last twenty years the National Fondspiegel Long Distance Competition has become a household name in the Netherlands and abroad, especially because of the championship over multiple seasons, which gives us a good idea of how a pigeon has performed over multiple seasons (three seasons in this case). Gerard Koopman had the first, third and fourth best pigeon in The Netherlands in the ranking for 2011-2012-2013, which is a great achievement! The fifth in this ranking over three seasons is a 100% Koopman pigeon as well and belongs to Tj & J Elzinga from Harkema. The 410 from 2010 from that same family is also the winner of a second international Pigeon Champion Title in the Northern Union, as well as a 4th national from Châteauroux and a 6th national Sens. This cock is called Dylan and he comes from a brother of Doran x Miss Beautiful. The dam of this 410 of Elzinga is Lady Gaga, an outstanding breeder and winner of the title of pigeon champion one day long distance in the region. Lady Gaga was bred from Gallego (a son of Mister Emmerveen) paired to Unlimited (a daughter of Marijke).
Some of the best results of 2013
Breuil-le-Vert (485 km) 4,564 p: 78 pigeons, 56 prizes (71.8%): 1-2-3-4-6-8-14-17-18-22-28-29-30- 36-37-38-etc. Sens (563 km) 6,386 p: 104 pigeons, 43 prizes (41.3%): 2-3-4-9-13-19-30-46-43-70-71-74- 82-86-etc. Chateauroux (754 km) 3,112 p: 63 pigeons, 29 prizes (46%): 2-4-7-13-18-19-20-34-39-46-55- 64-etc. Pithiviers (604 km) 4,494 p: 42 pigeons, 25 prizes (59.5%): 1-5-8-9-14-16-19-27-29-40-61- 63-etc. Pommeroeul (333 km) 7,848 p: 176 pigeons, 79 prizes (42.5%): 3-5-6-16-36-37-43-44-45-74-76-77- 78-etc. Tessenderlo (217 km) 6,553 p: 112 pigeons, 61 prizes (54.5%): 6-7-8-17-18-19-22-29-30-31-53- 54-etc. Boxtel (163 km) 9,251 p: 111 pigeons, 62 prizes (55.9%): 8-9-12-15-39-42-60-62-etc.
Jewels of the Sky
The Koopman Jewels of the Sky auction will take place soon. Gerard has selected a few of his finest pigeons for this auction this season. In last year’s Jewels of the Sky PIPA auction Gerard had sold a few excellent breeders that had proved their worth in the last few years. The pigeons Martine and Baccarat (see earlier) are grandchildren of Choni, which was sold in last year’s Jewels of the Sky auction, just like Silvanus, the sire of Jenjira. The dam of Baccarat, Miss Mukdahan, as well as the grandfather of the 410 of Elzinga (a brother of Doran) were sold in this auction as well. This proves that Gerard is always trying to find some of his best breeding pigeons for the Jewels of the Sky auctions on PIPA.
Gerard and André, thank you for your sharing this with us and we hope to see you again in a short while!