John Crehan & Jan Hooymans
Collaboration with Jan Hooymans (Holland)
The two fanciers first met in Sun City, South Africa, in 2013. They were introduced by Thomas Gyselbrecht and Pieter Oberholster of PIPA at the venue of the Sun City Million Dollar Pigeon Race. Initial discussions centred around John racing some direct Jan Hooymans pigeons in the UK and after deciding on a long-term plan they agreed to an initial shipment of young birds the following year. Jan would breed youngsters for John from his stock loft in Kerkdriel and in return, John would race them in the UK.
The first shipment of youngsters duly arrived in Manchester in April of 2014. Any initial doubts that John may have had about introducing a new breed of pigeons were immediately laid to rest. These youngsters had a magnificent season with 9 x 1st club and 5 x 1st federation wins. By the end of the young bird racing programme, John was convinced that he had done the right thing and was excitedly looking forward to greater success in the following years.
2015 was the first year that John raced the Jan Hooymans' family as yearlings and they proved their worth with 6 x 1st federation wins, first and second amalgamation against 2,395 pigeons and first combine, 2,884 birds. In total the Hooymans yearlings were responsible for twenty first prizes at club level and the second batch of youngsters proved as able as the first. These youngsters were trained and raced extensively and after a season of only six races, in two clubs, they had achieved 7 x 1st club wins plus numerous other prizes.
The third batch of youngsters arrived in early 2016 and of course John was now racing three generations of the Hooymans' pigeons. It quickly became apparent that the yearlings were more than holding their own against the more experienced two-year-olds in the team and the old bird season ended with a total of thirteen first prizes and eleven second positions. The youngsters again excelled with 4 x 1st federation cards from only eight races.
Highlights of the 2016 racing season
Worcester 88 miles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9,... federation 1,015p. Bath 142 miles 1, 2, 12,... federation 613p. Bath 142 miles 1, 2, 15,... combine 3,224p. Tewkesbury 102 miles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11,... federation 789p. Tewkesbury 102 miles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10,... federation 946p. Yeovil 176 miles 1, 2, 3, 4,... federation 305p. Portland 201 miles 1, 2, 3, 4,... federation 201p. Portland 201 miles 1, 3, 4, 5,... combine 1,038p. Carentan 290 miles 1st section, 1st open North West Classic Club 159p. Yeovil 176 miles 3, 4, 7, 8,... combine 1,571p. Bath 142 miles 3, 4, 5, 6,... combine 3,326p. Wollaston 69 miles 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14 15,... federation 888p. Tewkesbury 102 miles 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 20,... federation 1,168p. Tewkesbury 102 miles 6, 7, 12, 13, 14,... federation 1,234p.
John completed in two races with the Midlands National Flying Club and scored second section, thirty-fifth open from Bedhampton, 185 miles, 7,176p. and eighth section, seventy-fifth open from Vire, 325 miles, 6,917p.
The UK stock lofts of John Crehan now consist entirely of direct Jan Hooymans' pigeons that were handpicked by Jan for John. These consist of direct children of Harry, Mystique, James Bond, Cees, Alexia and Roney. Recent introductions have been made from the lines of the amazing New Harry and his sire Beauty Harry which are unique in the UK and which means John has the best from the top three siblings in Kerkdriel, Harry, New Harry and Beauty Harry.
Flash Harry (photo courtesy of Brian Sangers)
30 first prizes
In total the Jan Hooymans' family of pigeons won thirty x 1st prize cards in 2016 with many more prizes won overall. Congratulations to John Crehan and Jan Hooymans on their fantastic collaboration. We wish you both the best for the future.