Premier Stud stands for one of the most exclusive breeding colonies in the world … with the crème de la crème from world lofts Koopman, Van Dyck, Reynaert and Bosua as exceptional basis. A breeding stable with which owner Graham Sparkes and his secondary’s Derek Nicholls and Brian Bolton have performed very strongly in the English programme for years … but Premier Stud – and then in particular ‘all-time super champion’ Brian Bolton – wanted more … a new challenge … after winning everything there was to win in the UK, he also wanted a chance to convince the ‘origin of the pigeons sport’ Belgium what they are capable of. In 2009 the ideal opportunity arose, in the rural Antwerp village Merksplas; a chance that he grabbed with both hands.
It was namely Ed Sittner, the ‘Las Vegas kid’, who, years ago bought the house and lofts from icon Louis van Hove, who couldn’t stay away any longer from ‘the States’ and saw a combination with Premier Stud as a gift from heaven. With the intention of later self actively taking part in the combination … but who for now handed things over to Brian Bolton; partly with pigeons from the old basis, partly with pigeons from Premier Stud.
That was 2009, in the meantime Brian has proved that he can hold his own between the established orders in the traditional mecca of Antwerp. What is hold, both in 2010 and 2011 they regularly dominated Antwerp. With, up to the 2011 season a.o.:
1st-2nd-3rd Union Antwerp Melun 2.265 pigeons 1st Union Antwerp Melun 2.037 pigeons 1st prov. Argenton 3.176 pigeons 1st Antwerp Union Dourdan 1st prov. Bourges 2.745 pigeons Union Antwerp, 5 May 2010, 3.008 pigeons, Melun (338 km) Yearlings: 3rd-12th-57th-71st-73rd-93rd-119th-233rd-237th-239th-267th-268th-271st-273rd-276th- etc. (26/52) Union Antwerp, 14 May 2010, 2.974 pigeons, Dourdan (395 km) Yearlings: 2nd-6th-15th-31st-32nd-33rd-51st-56th-62nd-64th-68th-69th-70th-104th-120th-125th-141st-146th-194th- 210th-228th-279th-284th-309th-430th-etc. (31/50) Union Antwerp, 14 May 2010, 2.231 pigeons, Dourdan (395 km) Old birds: 9th-26th-28th-36th-40th-42nd-52nd-68th-82nd-94th-115th-130th-147th-149th-151st-192nd-200th-234th- 236th-238th-278th-280th-293rd-332nd-347th-363rd-366th-398th-407th-408th-422nd-etc. (37/40)
In 2011 the fat really seemed to be in the fire … week after week the ‘UK army’ became stronger, with, from Bourges, 7 pigeons in the top 100 National being the current highlight. Amazing? Certainly. Surprising? Hardly. Because whoever asks about Brian Bolton in the UK is usually answered with ‘oehs’ and ‘aahs’ … in Belgium it also more the ‘amai’ and ‘allez’ of amazement which is getting the upper hand … the figures there in Merksplas don’t lie:
21 May 2011 Vierzon (503 km) Old birds, long distance Beerse 118 pigeons 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th-6th-7th-8th-9th-10th-11st-12th-13th-14th-15th-16th-17th-18th-20th-22nd-23rd-27th-28th-31st-37th- 38th (26/36) Old birds, Kempische fondclub 479 pigeons 7th-8th-9th-10th-11st-12th-13th-16th-17th-20th-25th-26th-29th-31st-32nd-33rd-36th-38th-41st-45th-49th-60th-61st-77th- 90th-91st-122nd-124th-128th-153rd-155th-160th (32/36) Old birds, provincial Antwerp 3.409 pigeons 56th-61st-67th-68th-73rd-78th-79th-88th-97th-113th-152nd-153rd-191st-205th-206th-207th-215th-251st-270th-288th- etc. (33/36) Yearlings, long distance Beerse 116 pigeons 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th-6th-7th-10th-11st-12th-13th-14th-15th-16th-20th-22nd-25th-26th-32nd-34th-36th-39th (22/43) Yearlings, Kempische fondclub 262 pigeons 3rd-4th-5th-6th-9th-10th-11st-17th-18th-19th-20th-21st-22nd-24th-31st-36th-40th-52nd-54th-59th-66th-70th-71st-72nd- 73rd-76th-80th-86th (28/43) Yearlings, provincial Antwerp, 2.564 pigeons 55th-70th-80th-82nd-115th-143rd-146th-207th-208th-226th-231st-234th-235th-258th-etc. (28/43)
28 May 2011 Bourges (506 km) Old birds, long distance Beerse 142 pigeons 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th-7th-8th-9th-10th-12th-14th-16th-17th-18th-20th-22nd-23rd-24th-31st-32nd-33rd-35th-38th-40th- 50th (25/38) Old birds, Kempische fondclub 619 pigeons 2nd-5th-6th-7th-9th-13th-14th-15th-16th-19th-24th-26th-28th-29th-33rd-35th-37th-38th-66th-67th-68th-70th-78th- 82nd-119th-123rd-134th-151st-153rd-164th-182nd (31/38) Old birds, provincial Antwerp 3.761 pigeons 4th-11st-15th-18th-29th-51st-54th-76th-83rd-100th-136th-141st-153rd-204th-227th-250th-253rd-258th-etc. (31/38) Old birds National 24.651 pigeons 6th-15th-24th-27th-44th-86th-91st- etc. Yearlings, Beerse fondclub 185 pigeons 1st-3rd-4th-5th-6th-7th-8th-9th-14th-19th-26th-27th-29th-31st-38th-48th-50th-58th (18/29) Yearlings, Kempische fondclub 669 pigeons 1st-3rd-4th-6th-7th-9th-10th-15th-25th-30th-54th-59th-63rd-69th-90th-123rd-134th-159th-198th-204th-205th- 213th (22/29) Yearlings, provincial Antwerp 4.216 pigeons 10th-33rd-34th-53rd-58th-61st-62nd-132nd-207th-250th-etc. (18/29) Yearlings, National 20.646 pigeons 15th-49th-50th-76th-82nd-85th-86th-etc.
28 May 2011 Dourdan (395 km) Old birds, Union Antwerp 847 pigeons. 3rd-242nd (2/2)
4 June 2011 Chateauroux (554 km) Yearlings, Beerse long distance 215 pigeons 1st-2nd-8th-11st-15th-21st-25th (7/16) Yearlings, Kempische fondclub 594 pigeons 2nd-3rd-27th-38th-44th-51st-64th (7/16) Yearlings, provincial Antwerp 3.042 pigeons 24th-26th-205th-245th-272nd-317th-381st (7/16) Old birds, Beerse long distance 131 pigeons 3rd-5th-6th-9th-10th-11st-12th-13th-14th-18th-19th-26th-27th-36th-37th-38th-44th (17/22) Old birds, Kempische fondclub 394 pigeons 10th-16th-21st-35th-38th-41st-42nd-43rd-44th-52nd-53rd-68th-69th-84th-91st-92nd-114th (17/22) Old birds, provincial Antwerp 2.055 pigeons 93rd-128th-142nd-229th-257th-260th-261st-262nd-300th-302nd-380th-389th-etc. (17/22)
11 June 2011 Chateauroux (554 km) Old birds, Beerse long distance 62 pigeons 1st-2nd-3rd-4th-7th-8th-9th-10th-12th-15th-19th-etc Old birds, Kempische fondclub 375 pigeons 1st-2nd-3rd-6th-13th-15th-16th-17th-26th-34th-45th-57th-73rd-93rd-117th (15/17) Old birds, provincial Antwerp 1.936 pigeons 8th-16th-17th-41st-104th-121st-122nd-124th-190th-249th-301st-356th-471st-560th (14/17) Yearlings, Beerse long distance 115 pigeons 2nd-4th-7th-19th-21st-28th-etc. Yearlings, Kempische fondclub 431 pigeons 4th-10th-17th-51st-56th-103rd-127th (7/13) Yearlings, provincial Antwerp 2.806 pigeons 57th-138th-205th-494th-531st-792nd-883rd (7/13)
It is clear that a few cracks have developed there in the Kempen after such an impressive performance up to now in 2011. The most eye-catching are:
- BELG08-6217214 ‘Kleine Bos’ 48th Nat. Gueret 14.784 pigeons 68th Nat. Argenton 6.410 pigeons 279th Nat. Gueret 2.955 pigeons 6th Nat. Bourges 24.651 pigeons
- BELG09-6333784 ‘Figo Son’ 1st Union Antwerp Melun 2.265 pigeons 27th Nat. Bourges 24.651 pigeons
- BELG08-6217396 ‘Tosca Girl’ 1st Union Antwerp Melun 2.037 pigeons 86th Nat. Bourges 24.651 pigeons
- BELG08-6217104 ‘Verkerk Lad’ 4th provincial Argenton 35th Nat. La Souterraine 36th Nat. Chateauroux 107th Nat. Argenton 91st Nat. Bourges 24.651 pigeons
- BELG10-6221219 ‘Koop’ 2nd Union Antwerp Dourdan 2.974 pigeons 65th Union Antwerp Dourdan 2.216 pigeons 15th Nat. Bourges 20.646 pigeons
Back to the basis, to the British port Hull … to holiday park Patrington Haven Leisure Park to be more precise, where Graham Sparkes is in control. And where , after Brian left for England – when the active racing merged into the background – the game with the youngsters was careful started in 2010 … the class dripped off and the highlights at the ‘river town’ were a.o.:
1st-2nd-3rd-4th-5th against 2.901 pigeons 1st-2nd-3rd against 1.719 pigeons 1st-2nd-3rd-4th against 2.791 pigeons 1st-2nd-4th-5th-8th-9th-10th-12th against 3.118 pigeons
With titles such as ‘Best youngster of the year’, a top season of force emerged and presently the team of (now) yearlings have once again made their presence felt with 6x 1st prize in the club, wherefrom 4x 1st-2nd prize and even the first six places. But, ambitious as Graham Sparkes is, a new paradise could soon arise for the Premier Stud elite … Graham is in fact in the early stages of realising a new holiday park … cost 1,6 million pounds … containing a new pigeon club and undoubtedly lofts for a champion team.
To test their pigeons from various locations they have also entered into a combination in South-England … in fact all over the United Kingdom descendants from Premier Stud are responsible for enormous successes … as in America, China and South Africa. Enormous investments in children from legendary icons out the pigeon sport lay the basis for this success … and Premier Stud remains in the market for obtaining even more exclusive breeding material … which will firstly be tested to the full and where only the real breeding toppers will be certain of a place. Breeding toppers which will also provide the Belgian colony in Merksplas with a new impetus … and will fight like British bulldogs between the Flemish lions for the fame of king and country!