‘The threshold is low but the aims are high’
The weather was in their favour, so much so that there were pigeons expected home the same day. And indeed; a widow hen dived down from the skies above Poortugaal that same evening. She landed at the lofts of the combination Bakker and Son. Dick and John Bakker win the first National Perpignan with their hen 07-1759478.
The 07-1759478 is a blue hen which was bred by the combination W. Seton and Son. Father and son Seton, both called Willem, live just above Poortugaal, in Rotterdam. The combinations have a close pigeon friendship with each other. The 07-1759478 moved to Poortugaal just after the summer of 2007. She was trained in 2008.
Her honours list is short, but improving:
1st Perpignan ZLU National 2010 against 3987 pigeons
392nd Bordeaux ZLU National 2010 against 3987 pigeons
2057th Bordeaux sector 2 2009 against 11187 pigeons
Her name is Fatima, after Fatima Moreira de Melo.
The 07-1759478 also comes from Rotterdam, is blue (read blond ), nice and has the potential to win everything.
The combination had entered 22 pigeons for the race from Perpignan. Of these, 14 were to achieve a prize nationally. On Saturday evening they clocked three pigeons and by ten thirty the next morning they had eighteen pigeons home. Perpignan is then a successful closing to the season for them.
Dick and John prefer, just like anybody else, to race early prizes. And preferably earlier than number two. After all these years the combination can be reassured of early pigeons. Even though the achievement of a first national is something very special, early pigeons in the long distance races is not strange to them. When the pigeons were basketted they didn’t expect them to be extremely early, but they thought they would be by the first hundred. This was frankly told to everyone; not to brag, but to illustrate the setbacks and the perception of the sport.
In 1987 ten couples were bought as eggs from Anton and Lucie van der Wegen. They also bought more pigeons from them over the following years. These pigeons were coupled with a pigeon originating from Dick’s father, grandfather Bakker. This cock, named ‘De Rooie’, originates from own sort against a pigeon from friend Peet Verlinden. ‘De Rooie’ was an extraordinary pigeon. He is the absolute stock father of the combination, with the following descendants;
1st nat Perpignan 1994
1st St. Vincent sector 2 Comb. Burg-Luijken
1st Nat. St.Vincent Fastest of the race Cor Bakker
1st International Barcelona Comb Gardien RBB
1st national hens Pau
1st national Bourges in England ( 1000 km )
1st national Tarbes Sector 2 A. v/d Berg
Inthe winter period there are about 175 pigeons in the loft. This includes the old birds of yesteryear, including their Perpignan winner from sixteen years ago, an old hen out the stock father. These pigeons are allowed to stay out of love and respect. Yearlings and two-year olds are given the benefit of the doubt by Dick and John. Patience is a virtue according to Dick and John. There are several pigeons in the loft which have improved over the years. The patience with and the trust in the pigeons has served them well. Dick and John have won a first National Perpignan twice, a second Bergerac against more than 40000 pigeons, the second Grand Prix, several championships and numerous notations of pigeons by the first hundred national.
In addition, they have performance pigeons so as:
· The ‘16 won 9/ 9, including 29th National Perpignan and a 54th National Marseille
• The ‘747 won 2x top from Barcelona in ‘08 and ‘09. He was 8th best Barcelona pigeons over these years.
• The ‘86 won 8/8, including 13th National St.Vincent Sector 2 ( He is a son of the Red Bull. In 2001 this pigeon won the 6th nat St. Vincent S2 and 5th nat Perpignan )
The youngsters are entered for the races as training. As a yearling a pigeon is given a number of extreme middle distance races with an overnight race for closure. As two-year olds it is time for Bordeaux ZLU, Marseille and the last afternoon liberation. The pigeons are deliberately not entered for more than 1000km. Once they are three years old they are entered for the very long distance races, including Barcelona and Perpignan. The pigeons are given Mariman Mixture in addition to plenty of peanuts and nibbling seeds.
The combination friends Bakker & Son and Seton & Son have a special joint couple; their Saya-Wijnands couple. This couple produces good children, including the ‘ 53 from Seton & Son. This pigeon won 6 prizes in 6 races with a 2nd Bordeaux Sector 2, 2nd Cahors Sector 2 and 27th Montauban Sector 2.
In addition to the drive to win, the love that this combination has for the pigeons is evident.
The aims are high, but the threshold is low.