ジェラード・コープマン&チーム - エルメルフェーン(オランダ)、愛鳩家の哲学 - パート1

We can honestly say that 2012 was again a season dominated by the Koopman pigeons, from start to finish. They are so powerful that it is almost frightening. It is time for a round up of their achievements this year.

This summer we received a lot of questions about the Koopman pigeons again, not only from fans but from critics as well:

  • How is it possible to win so many top prizes over such a long period of time?
  • How does Gerard breed his champions?
  • Which are the bloodlines that breed the big champions of today in Ermerveen and what are their origins?
  • How and where does the grandmaster find reinforcements for his breed?
  • What are his secrets when it comes to feeding his pigeons and taking care of them?
  • How and how often does he train his pigeons?
  • Does he have any other secrets? He must have...
  • What criteria does he use when purchasing new birds?
  • An important question: how do the Koopman pigeons perform in other lofts?
  • Another frequent question: why does Gerard basket quite a high number of pigeons for the races?
  • Why does such a successful fancier start the season with 200 birds? To compete with the other champions?

This will be our first topic! The other questions will be discussed in the second part of our report about Gerard and his team. First things first: Gerard, why do you have so many pigeons in competition?

Gerard Koopman: "The simplest explanation is that we like to see pigeons arrive at the loft, especially in the long distance races. It gives a great sensation and that is what it’s all about in pigeon racing: to see your pigeons come home. That’s why we send in so many pigeons. This is an integral part of our sport. Did you know that my mother is still there when the pigeons are expected to arrive? I am aware of the fact that many people think we race with so many pigeons to make sure we always have a few pigeons in the front of the race. That is not correct! Keep in mind that we basket a lot of our pigeons for the National races (multiple day races) as well. These pigeons do not have a chance of winning a top prize in the one day long distance races (which we think is something special) and of course the middle distance competitions. From a commercial point of view this is in fact counterproductive. However, if we would send them in as training pigeons there would be a lot of criticism!

A second reason and probably the most relevant, is that we always have a lot of late breds and summer breds, which need to be integrated into our racing team as well. Many of our early breds take part in the One Million Dollar Race in Sun City (South Africa), some early Koopman breds are sent in for other one loft races as well. Many of our clients and fans ask for early youngsters. This means we do not have enough early youngsters left for our own team. That is why we keep quite a lot of late and summer breeds. As they cannot get enough training in their year of birth they have to gain additional experience as yearlings. This is, of course, not the best option from a commercial point of view: a relatively young and inexperienced group of birds can never achieve the same prize percentage as a more experienced and select team of old birds.

We want to be sure that we only have pigeons in our breeding lofts that have showed their class in important races. That is why we insist on offering pigeons that were bred from proven breeding pairs to our clients anywhere in the world. So we are always very demanding of the descendants that were bred from newly added birds in our own loft. We want our friends to be confident that they are buying brothers and sisters of proven racing birds.

What do you think would happen if we would only basket the descendants of our proven breeders, which would likely result in a prize percentage of 80 to 90%?

A lot of people believe that we are ruining our sport by sending so many pigeons. Well we would like to hear their opinion. At club level only the first twenty pigeons are counted. This makes it easier for our fellow club members to win good prizes as well. This makes it a fair competition!

Breeding pigeons in Ermerveen

Gerard: I will briefly discuss our breeding methods by showing you how we breed our biggest champions, based on the most important races of the season. Special attention goes to the NPO races of course. In fact you can learn a lot from the pedigrees of our pigeons. Meanwhile we have published the pedigrees of nearly all of our breeding pigeons on our website (www.gerardkoopman.com). This should give you a clear idea of our breeding approach. As you can see our best racing pigeons are generally the result of crossing. We always try to have one of the two partners come from one of our proven bloodlines. Newcomers that cannot breed ace pigeons when coupled with one of our proven partners are removed from the loft. We do not use them as breeders for ourselves or for our clients.

Some of the best results in 2012:

Opener of the season Ravenstein (133 km) on 31 March 2012 against 5,247 pigeons: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, etc....
These are the parents of the first ten pigeons:


NL-10-4790059, from DUTCHMAN NL-07-1207843 X PERFECT DREAM NL-09-1674493
NL-10-5011929, from HEBBERECHT 799", B-05-4403799 X AMASTAR, NL-07-5724619 NL-11-5012641 MARJANI, from GOLDEN CAPRI, B-09-6040496 X RAZINDA, NL-08-2049135
NL-10-1109729, from VRIEND, B-03-6254818 X HEBBERECHT 941, B-05-4391941
NL-11-5012534. from BRANDON, NL-01-1135568 X PERFECT DREAM, NL-09-1674493
NL-11-1185671, from FRIDUS, NL-10-1109626 X HENNA, NL-10-1109802
NL-11-5012607, from BEAUTY VALUE, NL-10-5012013 X ALTIMA, NL-08-2048716
NL-09-1674435 CONRADO, from MAIGOM, NL-07-1207575 X HEBBERECHT 941. B-05-4391941

Breuil Le Vert/Clermont (486 km) on 12  May (NPO One Day Long Distance) against 10,037 pigeons: 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 34th, 35th, 37th, 42nd, 46th, 47th, 49th, 50th , 57th, 58th, etc....
These are the parents of the first ten pigeons:

NL-10-4790131, from GOLDEN CAPRI B-09-6040496 X XAMIRA NL-09-1674632
NL-11-5012529, from SUPERCRACK RIK B-05-6394218 X ISABEL NL-01-1135547
NL-11-5012642, from DAVID´S SON NL-07-1207620 X ZINA NL-06-1597157
NL-09-1674435, CONRADO, from MAIGOM NL-07-1207575 X HEBBERECHT 941 B-05-4391841
NL-11-1185666, from MAIGOM NL-07-1207575 X AMABEL NL-07-1207853
NL-11-5012516, from FU Nl-06-1796065 X MISS MUKDAHAN NL-07-1207577
(Koopman from BLUE ENERGY X CHONI)
NL-10-4790062, from ENGELS 789 B-06-6154789 X MISS MUKDAHAN NL-07-1207577
NL-11-5012592, from GOLDEN DIRK NL-04-1389690 X HEBBERECHT 144 B-07-4373144
NL-11-5012528, from JONGE SPRINT B-03-6383527 X RAZINDA NL-08-2049135
NL-10-4790132, from STEVENINCK 897 B-09-4189897 X ZINA NL-06-1597157

Troyes (534 km) on 26 May (NPO One Day Long Distance) against 8079 pigeons: 4th, 6th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 21th, 41st, 51st, 74th, 84th, 85th, etc....
The parents of the first ten pigeons:

NL-11-5012642, from DAVID´S SON NL-07-1207620 X ZINA NL-06-1597157
NL-11-5012560, from DORAN NL-05-5533117 X DAGALIA NL-08-2049369
NL-10-1109584, from HYPERION DV-7237-03-1575 (Werner Stellermann from
Eurostar 2098-99-802 (Prange) X NL-02-2373107 (Koopman)) X LAURA NL-05-1936623
NL-10-4790062, from ENGELS 789 B-06-6154789 X MISS MUKDAHAN NL-07-1207577
NL-11-5012600, MISTER ALLENNIG NL-08-5821643 X BASSIRA NL-00-1211002
NL-10-5011919, from DENG LIN´S FAVOURIT NL-03-5343024 X YOUNG DREAM NL-00-5063909
NL-10-5011833, JERSON from VRIEND B-03-6254818 X DAYDREAM NL-07-5724626
NL-10-1109733, PARIDON, from DE  LORRIS NL-02-5241328 X ALTINA NL-08-2048716
NL-10-5011929, from HEBBERECHT 799 B-05-4403799 X AMASTAR NL-07-5724619
NL-11-1185646, from BEAUTY VALUE NL-10-5012013 X ALTIMA NL-08-2048716

Quievrain (346 km) on 2 June (NPO Middle Distance) against 6223 pigeons: 1st, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 37th, 38th, 42nd, 47th, 51st, 52nd, 53rd, 74th, 77th, etc...
Here are the parents of the first ten pigeons:

NL-10-1109733, PARIDON, from DE  LORRIS NL-02-5241328 X ALTINA NL-08-2048716
NL-11-5011836, from DAVID´S SON NL-07-1207620 X COUNTRY GIRL Nl-02-5251656
NL-10-5011833 JERSON from VRIEND B-03-6254818 X DAYDREAM NL-07-5724626
NL-11-4708566, from GLORY DAY NL-07-1207830 X STEVENINCK896 B-09-4189896
NL-10-5011919, from DENG LIN´S FAVOURIT NL-03-5343024 X YOUNG DREAM NL-00-5063909
NL-11-1185627, from SUPERCRACK RIK B-06-6394218 X HIGH SIGN NL-08-2049093
NL-11-1185790, from HEBBERECHT 533 B-10-4323533 X CANTHAREL NL-10-1109814
NL-09-5916220, from LIMSON NL-06-1597707 X LIMSA NL-06-1597498
NL-11-5012604, from ENGELS 789 B-06-6154789 X DAYDREAM NL-07-5724626
NL-10-5012002, from VRIEND, B-03-6254818 X DAYDREAM NL-07-5724626

Orléans (640 km) on 23 June (NPO One Day Long Distance) against 6,611 pigeons: 5th, 7th, 12th, 14th, 25th, 26th, 32nd, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 42nd, etc....
These are the parents of the first ten pigeons:

NL-10-5011833 JERSONfrom VRIEND B-03-6254818 X DAYDREAM NL-07-5724626
NL-10-4790131, from GOLDEN CAPRI B-09-6040496 X XAMIRA NL-09-1674632
NL-10-4790105, from DUTCHMAN NL-07-1207843 X PERFECT DREAM NL-09-1674493
NL-11-4708570, from HEBBERECHT123 B-07-4374123 X SUSAN NL-05-1942936 (Leideman brothers)
NL-08-4756322 BIG SURPRISE, from DE BLOIS NL-04-1919872 (Leo Janzen) X ZINA NL-06-1597157
NL-11-5012593, from GOLDEN DIRK NL-04-1389690 X HEBBERECHT 144 B-07-4373144
NL-10-1109584, from HYPERION DV-7237-03-1575 (Werner Stellermann from
Eurostar 2098-99-802 (Prange) X NL-02-2373107 (Koopman)) X LAURA NL-05-1936623
NL-11-5012517, from GOLD MINE NL-08-2049374 X DREAM LADY Nl-02-2173518
NL-11-4708534, from GOLDEN RNERGY NL-05-1937085 X PEIREN 671 B-10-3172671
NL-10-1109745, from BLUE STAR NL-05-4708743 (Comb. de Vries) X ALANA NL-08-2048916

Obviously, with such results you can win championship titles as well. Although the championships are not a priority for the Koopman team (they focus on early prizes!) they still managed to win the title of Keizer Generaal (general champion) in the big FNN (Fondclub North Netherlands). They have also won the first Ace Pigeon at the Multiple Day Long Distance (as well as a first Ace Pigeon Marathon) with this cock:

NL-08-5821681, from WITNEUS NL-01-2347667 (Wijnands) X ANTJE NL-03-4781229 (R. Scholtens)
Jerson won a fourth place in the One Day Long Distance category in the Ace Pigeon rankings. This pigeon was also first Ace Pigeon old birds in Rayon 10 of District 10!
NL-10-5011833, JERSON, from VRIEND B-03-6254818 (J. Maris) X DAYDREAM NL-07-5724626

This was part one of our series about the Koopman philosophy. In part II we will discuss some current topics with Gerard.