Knaven Berth - Didam (NL) national loft champion NPO Extreme Middle distance competitions - 2010

The champions of the NPO competitions have been made public, these races are held in high regard by the majority of fanciers and the championships of the various disciplines are a special favourite by everybody.

Berth Knaven (61) has won this national championship. He was bitten by the bug 50 years ago and is still an active sport colleague, at first together with his father and this team was very successful for years. For many years he has enjoyed the support of his wife Elske, who assists him when necessary in several matters. She is the perfect hostess when a pigeon fancier visits, and there have been a lot recently. Berth says, with a slightly raised voice: I have a great deal of respect for fanciers who have remained at the top for years .

He is a proponent of the system “Pigeon Academy Prestige” which is provided with pigeon food by Garvo, Berth has given this to his pigeons for years and is extremely satisfied with it.
This is proved in the fantastic performances and his championships in the Extreme Middle Distance over the last few seasons.
He is of the opinion that people should pay more attention to natural products and use less medicine, if we assume that the basis consists of good pigeons, then success is often guaranteed. If you have mastered the breeding and keep to a good system which suits you, then you are well on your way.

His pigeon stock:
This extreme distance collection consists of pigeons from the following top racers: Ad Schaerlaeckens – Bertus Camphuis – Ferry van Loo – Hans Dekkers via M.Jolink and his fellow townsmen the comb.Driessen                                                                                  
Various pigeons were obtained from Schaerlaeckens out his good and well-known cracks so as New Sissi , Home Alone , Ace Four , Turbo and the Olympiade line. Van Camphuis the old 05 line and the Kromline. From Ferry van Loo descendants of the Mercedes and the Max.
The pigeons out the Schaerlaeckens lines are the most notable: Trente, with several top prizes and a teletext mention, Mr.T with 2x teletext and several top prizes. Further the topper Kumpe with a 2nd NPO from Orleans and a 2nd NPO from Blois.
The Pim,with a first NPO from Pithiviers,comes out a crossing of the NL06-1792722 (Bertus Camphuis) x the NL07-1446198 from (Ferry van Loo)

The Berthie and Mr. T, both teletext pigeons, come out the Loo pigeons.
The first NPO Blois, Christel, comes out the Dekkers line.

The blood of the pigeons from the  Comb.Driessen sits in various toppers and these were all bought directly.
In answer to my question, do you own specific “golden breeding couples”, his answer was “yes”.
He has three couples which are the parents of a number of “Super pigeons”  and he is especially pleased with the performances of the offspring.
This address houses 16 breeding couples and 20 racing couples and 60 youngsters are kept for own use.
The breeders are coupled during the first week of January and the racers during the first week of March.
The youngsters are kept from all the pigeons, these are not darkened, but are given as many races as possible to gain experience.
The specific properties and characteristics of these pigeons are: richly coloured eyes, and the ability to race at the front or even ahead by warm weather and a headwind.
New purchases must satisfy his strong demands, namely
they have to have a soft plumage and look good, and also have to descend from the super pigeons and not from a brother or sister.
If possible, he buys the performance pigeons self, otherwise he buys the youngsters.
Berth says over the selection:
By the old birds this takes place via the performances delivered and I think that is the best judge, and by the youngsters on lineage as I don’t darken or race with the sliding door.

Racing system
He says the following about his favourite topic:
Since I retired three years ago I have specialised in the 1-day long distance races.
He is a proponent of the total widowhood game with cocks and hens.
The nest game doesn’t take place here, according to Berth his pigeons are motivated extra by their own surroundings.
He built the lofts himself with advice from Bertus Camphuis
There is very little medical guidance, he only visits the veterinary surgeon if his pigeons are sick or for the paramyxo vaccination. For the last few years he has only been for the vaccination.
The preparation for the races is different to everybody else, his advice is: let the pigeons train a lot and always give them plenty to eat.
So as stated earlier, he feeds them Garvo Pigeon Academy Prestige, a beautiful sack of food for the whole season, his racers have to eat a lot and they are also given cheese and peanuts.

The races which count towards this national NPO championship are:
Orleans-Chateaudun-Bourges- Blois and Chateauroux (this due to the weather conditions in Orleans).
His absolute toppers (see photos) won various top and first prizes, but there are also others which have achieved fine performances a.o.

The NL09-1922381 “Berthie”  Chateaudun 3rd from 5246 p., Orleans 41st from 3570 p.,
                               Blois 43rd from 3689 p.,

The NL07-1464530 “Trente” Nanteuil 19th from 6639 p.,Orleans 22nd from 3570 p.,
                               Blois 4th from 3689 p.,

The NL08-1192003 “Kumpe” Pithiviers 99th from 6255 p., Bourges 62nd from 4463 p.,
                               Orleans 2nd from 3570 p., Blois 2nd from 3689 p.,
                               Kumpe was also 2nd champion pigeon extreme middle distance of province 9.

The NL08-1192010  “Mr.T” Pithiviers" 22nd from 6255 p., Morlincourt 56th from 8125 p.,
                                Orleans 65th from 6736 p.,Chateaudun 2nd from 5246 p.,

The NL07-1464525 “Little Devill” Pithiviers 31st from 6255 p.,  
                               Chateaudun 4th from 5246 p., Orleans 12th from 3570 p., Blois 12th from 3689 p.

We have to mention that there are only very promising pigeons amongst his yearlings. Insiders know all too well that Berth also achieved fantastic results last year.


 a  6th NPO Pithivers 35 entered 23 prizes,
an 11th and 12th NPO Orleans 30 entered 21 prizes,
a  6th NPO Chateaudun 30 entered 23 prizes,
a  1st NPO andNational Blois 30 entered  8 pigeons by the first 100 national.  


was yet again a very successful season.

 1st champion extreme middle distance Fondclub East Netherlands
1st champion extreme middle distance nominated and not nominated province 9 

This season he has won almost all the championships in the extreme middle distance races, with the best prize being the National Loft Championship from the NPO.

In answer to my question as to whether there were other fanciers who had performed well with his pigeons, I was given the answer: Yes, there are several, including Geert Visser, Comb Driessen, Willy Nieling and a few German fanciers.
At governing level and in the media he would like to have more spread out attention for the fanciers and a racing programme which offers everybody an equal chance. Furthermore he would particularly appreciate not only seeing the commercial names in the paper.
Salient detail is:
One Friday Berth received a telephone call from the NPO office in Veenendaal telling him that he had won this championship. The next day, Saturday, Ad Schaerlaeckens and Willem de Bruin suddenly appeared at his home. It was unexpected and a very nice surprise for Berth and his wife Elske.
A striking statement from Ad Schaerlaeckens over this championship is:
This title has ended up where it should have ended up.