Like many other fanciers, Arie Dijkstra has had a short but sweat racing season, with quite a different build-up compared to previous years due to Covid-19. For instance, since his pigeons had been in widowhood since mid-March, they were allowed to see each other every Sunday. He also opted to darken his old birds until late May, which is not something he would usually do. The reason was that Arie was expecting the old birds' season to be extended until early October. In the end, they put together a racing calendar that was scheduled to end in mid-September, which means darkening had not really been necessary in the end.
What was also different this year was that the pigeons of Arie's father were raced in Arie's lofts in Oudwoude for the first time. These pigeons are mostly raced in the one day and multi day long distance. Unfortunately, his father has been struggling with his health, making it increasingly difficult for him to look after a group of pigeons at home. Still, he always come over to await the pigeons after a race. It is thanks to Arie that his father can remain involved in pigeon racing, which is heart-warming.
The pigeons in Oudwoude are basketed for almost every race, going from sprint to one day long distance, while the pigeons of his father are basketed for the multi-day long distance. Almost the entire race schedule had to be organised over just a few months, resulting in a 2020 season that was quite packed, with at least two races almost every weekend. Arie was racing just over 50 old birds (cocks and hens) and around 75 young birds for the program races. He is mostly interested in the one day long distance; Arie is not quite as ambitious when it comes to the young birds' races. Unsurprisingly, his 2020 season was yet another great success, with many great results and championship titles, both in the Rayon and the Entente. Let's have a look:
Many of the team's current successes can be linked to the pigeons of Arie's father, which date back from the early 1970s. These were mostly pigeons from the bloodlines of Jacques Tournier, through Willem & Piter Beerda. These pigeons have been crossbred to other strains over the years, and they eventually developed into a breed of their town. One of the characteristic features of the 1970s and '80s are the recessive red and grey colours, as well as the distinctive breast feathers. These features can still be seen in their pigeon family today. The legendary breeding pair Leonardo x Tinkelbel originates from the old Tournier strain and its crossbreedings. This fantastic pair, as well as their respective brothers and sisters, continue to be one of the cornerstones of this pigeon breed.
In late 2014 they obtained three hens from Gaston Van de Wouwer, and these were to be crossbred to their own pigeon collection, which consists of youngsters and grandchildren of Leonardo, Tinkelbel, Okidoki, Boogie, De Big Boom, Evita, De Late v.d. Strik, and many others. They invested in Van de Wouwer hens to add some speed to their existing racing team, and Arie did really well with each of the three hens, which were called Gastorina, Gaston's Aske and Inteeltje Kaasboer. We will discuss the three hens and their descendants.
Gastorina is the first of three talented hens that were obtained from Gaston van de Wouwer. She comes from a grandson Kaasboer x daughter Kaasboer.
Gastorina was paired to Vince (son Okidoki x Het Strikje 729, sister Leonardo), among others, and this pair bred Fausto and Kashmir, two world class racing birds.
Fausto and Kashmir were highly successful racing birds and they gained a strong reputation in the breeding loft as well. For instance, Fausto is the sire of New Fausto (see below). But first, we take a look at Fausto's achievements as a racing bird:
We also take a look at Kashmir's most important achievements:
Breeding pair Gastorina x Rocking Blue (son Leonardo x Tinkelbel) was an instant success as well. They are the parents of several talented racing birds, including Cosmic (NL16-1004303). This is Cosmic's palmares:
Gastorina is not only the dam but also the grandmother of several great racing birds, such as New Fausto (son Fausto), Lolita (daughter Cosmic) and The 431 (son of Sister Cosmic). New Fausto had a great 20920 racing season, after he had already demonstrated his potential as a young bird.
We take a look at the impressive list of achievements of this one year old:
We take a look at some of Lolita's best results:
And there is another grandson that deserves a mention besides Gastorina, New Fausto and Lolita: NL17-1372431. This 431 is a son of De 356 (sister Cosmic), and wins the following prizes for Rink Wijnstra (Drachten, NL):
BE14-6306553 Gaston's Aske
Racing hen Gaston's Aske comes from grandson Kaasboer x granddaughter Kaasboer. She was paired to Renoir (son De Big Boom x daughter Leonardo x Tinkelbel), and together they bred some very talented pigeons: Fuzzy Blue, Mirror Ball and De 254.
Fuzzy Blue was particularly successful in the one day long distance, with most notably a 1st NPO Noord Fay aux Loges (660km) of 2,647 pigeons. And he is not only a successful racing bird: he is also the sire of NL19-1183395 of Ype Hemstra (Buitenpost, NL), which had some promising results as a young bird. We take a look at Fuzzy Blue's best results:
And Fuzzy Blue was not the only successful youngster; how about Mirror Ball and De 254? This is their palmares:
BE14-6306534 Inteeltje Kaasboer
The third direct hen obtained from Gaston Van de Wouwer that deserves an introduction is Inteeltje Kaasboer, which was bred from grandson Kaasboer x daughter Kaasboer.
She bred several successful youngsters with different partners. One of them was Lemmy (son Leonardo x Tinkelbel), and together they bred Muze. She was also paired to Powderfinger (son De Big Boom x his own granddaughter), and this combination bred Boom's Gaston and De 116. We take a look at the achievements of the different youngsters:
BE12-4310453 Pancho 453
Like we said, the pigeons of Van de Wouwer were introduced to try and add some additional speed to the existing team. But Arie also invested in breeding cock Pancho 453 of Chris Hebberecht to try and make his pigeon family even stronger and more determined. This investment was another great success. This pigeon is the sire of many great racing birds, including Ravi, Gregor and Envy. And he is grandfather of Majesty and Remedy.
Let's have a look at the most important results of his youngsters and grandchildren:
Achievements in other lofts
Many achievements in recent years are related to some extent to Leonardo and Tinkelbel and their descendants; we still see an overwhelming presence of these bloodlines in competitions both at home and abroad. The aforementioned pigeons of Gaston Van de Wouwer and Chris Hebberecht that have been introduced in this loft proved an invaluable addition. And the youngsters of these bloodlines crossbred with Arie's own pigeons are likely to excel in pigeon races for years to come. And many other fanciers have been very successful with pigeons that come from the lofts in Oudwoude. We conclude this article with some remarkable references from 2019/2020.