Wim and Bertrik Murk (IJsselstein, NL) have a great 2016 season with a strong long distance team

Descendants of Legend Jantje, Rosy's Son, and other renowned breeders of Wim & Bertrik Murk, have repeatedly shown their strength in the marathon races. They have claimed national first prizes not only in their own loft but also for many other fanciers.

Wim (79) and his son Bertrik (40) can look back on another memorable season; they continue to be the team to beat in the marathon races of central Holland. They have numerous top prizes at national and international level on their palmares, including most notably an international victory from St. Vincent and Bergerac, and an NPO win from Orange and Perigueux. They have won quite a few championship titles as well, both this season and in previous years. In 2016 they claimed the following championship titles:

2016 championships:

 2nd Western European Super Marathon
 5th Europa Marathon
 3rd Fondunie 2000 Emperor General
 2nd Fondunie 2000 Champions League
 3rd Fondunie 2000 Nominated
 6th Fondunie 2000 Not nominated
 1st Fondclub Utrecht ZLU Not nominated
 1st Fondclub Utrecht ZLU Nominated
 9th National Marathon
10th Olympiad Pigeon Marathon The Netherlands
 8th Marathon North ZLU races
 7th Best pigeon from Pau International (2015-2016) PIPA ranking
11th Best European Hen International Races 2016 (2 prizes) PIPA rankings
15th Best Extreme Long Distance Race in The Netherlands 2016 PIPA rankings

It takes a strong team of pigeons to win so many championship titles, and there are plenty of strong pigeons in this loft. One of the prominent bloodlines in this pigeon family is that of K. & G. Kiekebelt (Drijber, NL); their pigeons were introduced here for the first time in 1998, and they continue to play a major role. Rosy's Son, which we will talk about in a moment, is a perfect example. And then there is Legend, an exceptional breeder of Jan van Straten (Utrecht, NL) that proved invaluable in the breeding lofts of Wim & Bertrik: she has bred numerous talented racing birds for them, and for other fanciers. Another important pigeon for this combination is a hen of Wim and Sven van Houten (Ijsselstein, NL). By combining each of these bloodlines Wim and Bertrik have been able to create their own pigeon breed over the years, soon turning into one of the strongest long distance lofts in The Netherlands. These are the team's results of 2016, just to give you an idea:

Nat. Pau         1,049 km 3,788 p.: 22-396-etc. (4/8)
Nat. Agen          931 km 6,890 p.: 130-205-324-563-708-851-etc. (7/14)
Nat. Barcelona   1,200 km 5,239 p.: 444 (1/1)
Nat. St.-Vincent 1,042 km 3,387 p.: 79-191-etc. (4/8)
Nat. Marseille     994 km 3,320 p.: 36-76-222-443-etc. (5/8)
Nat. Narbonne    1,001 km 5,042 p.: 427-820-etc. (4/8)
Nat. Perpignan   1,058 km 4,027 p.: 65-389-426 (3/4)

The season was started with 24 pairs (including yearlings), and both the racing cocks and hens are raced in widowhood. There is also a team of 7 breeding pairs and about 40 youngsters. As you can see, this successful pigeon loft focuses on quality, not quantity. We would like to take a closer look at some of the racing and breeding birds that have played a crucial role in many of the team's major successes in recent years.

NL05-1946642 Rosy's Son

Rosy's Son is without doubt a top class breeder. He is the sire of an impressive number of prize winners, including a 1st National St. Vincent 2016. Here is a look at the results of some of the best direct youngsters of Rosy's Son in other lofts:

Le Bernard (raced by Frank Zwiers)
     1st Nat.     St. Vincent 2016   990 km 13,472 p.
    12th NPO      St. Vincent 2015   990 km  2,128 p.
Constance (raced by Frank Zwiers)
     5th NPO      St. Vincent 2015   990 km  2,128 p.
    81st Nat. S 1 St. Vincent 2016   990 km  2,706 p.
Villa (raced by Comb. Verweij-de Haan)
     9th Nat. Bergerac        2012   880 km  5,105 p.
    33rd NPO Albi             2012   948 km  1,296 p.
    64th Nat. Cahors          2010   930 km 10,325 p.
    84th Nat. Tarbes          2013 1,063 km  3,015 p.
    98th NPO St.-Vincent      2014 1,054 km  1,014 p.
Algoz (raced by Mark van den Berg)
     8th NPO Orange           2011   942 km  2,716 p.
    54th NPO Orange           2012   826 km  4,762 p.
Karma (raced by Frank Zwiers)
    18th NPO Dax              2013   981 km  1,678 p.
    20th NPO Bordeaux         2015   844 km  3,371 p.
Dione (raced by Frank Zwiers)
    32nd NPO Bordeaux         2015   844 km  3,371 p.
    80th NPO Bordeaux         2016   844 km  2,772 p.

The sire of Rosy's Son, Blue Champion, is a son of The Eagle x Blue Fairy. The Eagle won a 1st International Brive (2003) of 3,520 pigeons, and Blue Fairy won a 1st National Bergerac (2003) of 2,903 pigeons. The dam is Rosy, winner of a 2nd NPO Brive (2,129 p.) and a 13th National Bergerac (3,903 p.). Click here for the pedigree of Rosy's Son.

NL13-1017493 Helen

Helen is arguably one of the very best hens in the national marathon races in The Netherlands over the past three years, in which she managed to win 6 top results in 6 races:

 23rd Nat.     Pau       1,049 km 3,788 p. (at 01:22 am after 17 hours of racing)
 36th Nat.     Marseille   994 km 3,320 p.
 61st Nat.     Narbonne  1,000 km 5,338 p.
 90th Nat.     Pau       1,049 km 3,433 p.
 58th NPO      Bergerac    866 km 1,673 p.
469th NPO      Périgueux   826 km 1,970 p.

These results allowed her to win the following titles:

10th Dutch Olympiad Pigeon Olympiad Pigeon Marathon Brussels 2017
 7th Best pigeon from Pau International (2015-2016) PIPA rankings
11th Best European Hen International Races 2016 (2 prizes) PIPA rankings
15th Best Extreme Long Distance Pigeon in The Netherlands 2016 PIPA rankings
43rd Best Extreme Long Distance Pigeon in The Netherlands 2015 PIPA rankings

Helen comes straight from the top loft of fellow club members Wim and Sven Van Houten (IJsselstein, NL). Click here for the full pedigree of Helen.

NL04-1780335 Legend Jantje

This breeding hen proved exceptionally talented, and she proved particularly important to the team; nearly every pigeon in this loft is related to her. Her own pedigree features the noble bloodlines of Jan van Straten. Legend Jantje is a granddaughter of The 022, winner of 3 teletext races (5th Nat. Bergerac 18,053 p., 5th NPO Brive 6,327 p. and 6th Nat. Dax 6,473 p.).  Click here to learn more about the pedigree of Legend Jantje. She bred numerous top class racing birds with different partners. This is an overview of the national top 10 prizes won by her descendants:

1st Int. Bergerac             2009 865 km 6,919 p. (W.H. Murk and son)
1st Nat. Agen                 2015 860 km 1,177 p. (Freialdenhofen)
2nd NPO  Bordeaux             2010 895 km 2,465 p. (W.H. Murk and son)
3rd Nat. Ruffec               2013 872 km 3,982 p. (A. Mulderij)
7th Nat. Ace Pigeon Marathon WHZB 2010             (W.H. Murk and son)
8th Nat. Ace Pigeon Marathon      2010             (W.H. Murk and son)

Clkick here for an extensive overview of her descendants (with their top 100 prizes national and NPO).

NL12-1387457 Johan

Johan showed to have great potential as a yearling - click here for the pedigree of Johan. He did remarkably well in two marathon races with a morning release, his first objective being the race from Orange in 2013 over 878 km. It was a difficult race (947 metres per minute), and he arrived home late in the evening after 15.5 hours of racing, at 22:30pm:

1st NPO Orange 878 km   879 p. (and the fastest yearlings across all the sectors)
7th NU Orange         5,895 p.

His second objective of 2013 as a yearling was the race from Périgueux. In this race he also managed to arrive home on the day of the release, at 7:30 in the evening:

31st NU Périgueux  826 km 4,773 p.
24th NPO Périgueux        2,803 p.

NL10-1120987 Blue 9-8-7

Blue 9-8-7 developed into a highly talented breeder as well. He is now the sire and grandfather of quite a number of youngsters and grandchildren that have been winning quite a few national top prizes. Wim and Bertrik won for instance an 8th NPO Orange of 879 pigeons with a son of Blue 9-8-7. Pigeon fancier P. Ruijten (IJsselstein, NL) did great with a direct daughter, winning a 9th National Barcelona of 1,742 hens over 1200km. The sire of Blue 9-8-7 is Gert-Jan, which also appears in the pedigree of Rosy's Son (see earlier). Click here for the full pedigree of Blue 9-8-7. This pigeon appears to originate from several talented pigeons: his brothers and half brothers have won nine top 10 prizes in the national races, including a 1st National Brive.

NL12-1388363 Dark 63

Dark 63 is a grandson of the outstanding breeding hen Legend Jantje. Click here for the pedigree of Dark 63. He won a 65th National in the last race from Perpignan. He finished in first place for the team as second nominated, which was the result that Wim and Bertrik needed for the 2016 championships. This pigeon won 7 prizes in 8 marathon races:

 65th Nat. Perpignan     2016 1,058 km 4,027 p.
127th NPO Bergerac       2014   866 km 2,673 p.
176th Fondunie 2000 Agen 2014   936 km 2,221 p.
238th Nat. Narbonne      2015 1,000 km 5,338 p.
640th Nat. Marseille     2014   994 km 4,899 p.
689th Int. Périgueux     2015   826 km 4,773 p.
861st Nat. Pau           2016 1,049 km 3,788 p.

NL10-1438254 Missing Girl

The last pigeon in our overview has an interesting history to it. Missing Girl stayed away for more than a year when she was a two year old. She eventually managed to find her way back home and she was raced again right away. And with great success:

12th NPO Orange     878 km   879 p.
35th Int. Périgueux 826 km 4,762 p.
69th NPO Bergerac   865 km 3,297 p.

Given her pedigree (a granddaughter of Legend Jantje and many other prize winners) and the three top results that she won, she was no longer raced after Bergerac. She is now a valued member of the breeding team. Click here to find out more about Missing Girl.

A well-oiled machine

The combination of Wim and his son Bertrik works like a well-oiled machine indeed. They are two highly motivated fanciers that leave nothing to chance. They are responsible for the caretaking of the breed, which seems to be working out really well, given their excellent results this season. And their pigeons' achievements in other lofts clearly show the potential of their breed; it has resulted in quite an impressive list of references. Their references in 2013-2106 can be found here. We are confident that their list of achievements and the number of references will continue to grow in future seasons, given the many highly talented pigeons in their collection.