Wim & Bertrik Murk (IJsselstein, NL) show their potential with a 1st – 8th – 12th – 27th – 28th – 34th NPO Orange in District 7 Central Netherlands

This father & son partnership sold their entire collection earlier this season, except for the pigeons from the years 2012 and 2013. No one could have expected them to play a key role in this exceptionally difficult long distance season or to take the victory from a tough flight from Orange over 878km. And yet they were able to take the first prize in district 7 Central Netherlands against 879 pigeons.

From left to right: Wim, Thijs, Fenna and Bertrik

Wim (75) and his son Bertrik (36) had agreed that they should not expect anything from their young team of racing pigeons in the 2013 season. At the beginning of the season they selected five flights in which they would allow their future stars to gain experience for the years to come. Surprisingly enough they did a lot more than just gain experience. In fact they were able to compete with the very best pigeons of this season.

We saw a solid performance from this team in the race from Perigeux (826km), winning a 32nd – 36th – 61st – 137th – 183rd – 187th - …. etc. (11/30) against 4,773 birds in the Northern Union (NU) in zone 1. Three weeks later we saw an even better result from 18 pigeons that had also been in the team for Perigeux. They were able to take the win in the entire district 7 Central Netherlands. The De Murk pigeon family took the following prizes against 879 birds:

1st–8th–12th–27th–28th–34th–78th and 141st (8/18)

“The arrival of the eventual winner Johan (NL12-1387457) was probably the best moment in my career as a fancier”, said an honest Bertrik. “We decided to wait another fifteen minutes. It was shortly after 10:30 pm and it was starting to get dark when we noticed something falling from the sky and landing directly on the landing board after a gracious spin. The pigeon was clocked at 22:33’30”. It was really exciting to clock a pigeon when the night is falling.”

The winning pigeon Johan was obtained via a voucher from his fellow fancier Johan Den Uijl (Lopikerkapel, NL). Johan had showed his strength already in the race from Perigeux. It was a fast race and he won a 32nd prize against 4,773 pigeons with an average speed of over 1700 m/min. In the race from Orange the small sized widower could achieve a velocity of only 947 m/min. This shows that he is capable of winning top prizes in all weather conditions. We had a look at the pedigree of Johan and now we understand why Bertrik took him into his loft in Ijsselstein. His sire is no other than Super 613 (NL03-2124613) of A. Schalkwijk, which won 20 prizes in 23 extreme long distance races. The dam of Johan is the NL10-2059029 of P. v/d Berg & Son (Benschop,NL). Click here for the full pedigree of Johan, first NPO Orange.

The pigeon that won an 8th NPO Orange is the NL11-1503239, a cock that was raced on widowhood. He belongs to the Murk bloodline, which includes pigeons from the combination Koop and Gerda Kiekebelt (Drijber, NL). The 239 is a half brother of Gerko, winner of a first NPO Perigeux against 4,348 pigeons in 2009. Click here for the full pedigree of NL11-1503239, eighth NPO Orange.

The best pigeon in the loft of Wim and Bertrik is currently the widower hen NL10-1438254. She won a 12th prize NPO Orange in district 7 Central Netherlands. She had already won a 36th Perigeux in the Northern Union Zone 1 against 4,773 pigeons, as well as a 69th NPO Bergerac against 3,297 pigeons and she had been nominated only four times. She is one of a kind! This hen had been lost after the race from Aurillac in 2012 but she eventually returned home to Ijsselstein, just before the start of this season. She has excellent origins so the two fanciers decided to give her a second chance this season. They made the right choice and she has already won a number of great prizes this year. Click here for the full pedigree of NL10-1438254, twelfth NPO Orange.

Project manager Bertrik and his retired father Wim are not planning to lose their heads after this sudden success. Instead they have a well laid out plan for the rest of the season. “We will probably basket a few pigeons for Bergerac but our priority is to build a solid pigeon breed”, Bertrik explains.

Winning four first prizes in important races in four years, this is something to be proud of. We hope to see a fifth victory in the near future! Good luck.

Click here for the impressive list of achievements of Wim & Bertrik from 2002 to 2012