Peter van de Merwe, his daughter Gwen and his father Arie
In the province of South Holland the one day long distance race from Vierzon was scheduled to take place on Saturday 11th of June, but the release was postponed to Sunday. It was a misty, cloudy Sunday morning with a high chance of rain, so the organisers decided to look for a different release site with safer weather conditions. It was agreed to release the pigeons from Pont St. Maxence instead, where the weather was good, with a slight wind from south-southwest. The pigeons were released at 11am. The first prize in Rayon East (Entente South Holland East, Gouwe Ijssel and Drechtsteden) in Province 5 was won by Peter van de Merwe. Peter had basketed nine pigeons, and seven of them managed to win a prize, which is a great result. He has won quite a few top prizes already in what proves to be a very difficult 2016 season. We take a look at his best results of 2016 so far in Entente Drechtsteden.
23 April Quiévrain 170 km 3752 p. 1-4-5-9-13-14-16-18-20-21-24-26-29-32-33-36-etc.(98/125) 30 April Quiévrain 170 km 3900 p. 2-3-8-14-15-18-24-28-36-38-41-etc.(57/125) 15 May Pont St.Max. 316 km 3478 p. 6-7-8-9-13-15-21-22-29-35-38-40-42-50-etc.(75/116) 28 May Quiévrain 170 km 2069 p. 1-3-5-10-12-13-15-16-24-25-27-28-37-38-40-etc.(56/83) 28 May Roye 270 km 1773 p. 6-7-10-19-26-33-44-etc.(29/35) 12 June Pont St.Max. 316 km 750 p. 1-34-48-etc.(7/9)
The 2016 season has been quite unpredictable so far. In fact, the year 2016 started very unfortunate for Peter van de Merwe, who first had the flu and then contracted pneumonia. He was forced to leave the caretaking of his pigeons to his wife Nathalie, his daughter Gwen and his father Arie for a couple of weeks. As a result, the first few races were done with pigeons from the nest. The following weeks were disturbed by the bad weather, and many pigeons were forced to spend a few more days in the basket. Some races were cancelled altogether. Peter was very careful when he basketed his pigeons for the one day long distance race NPO from Vierzon, especially because of the weather. Eventually he picked a team of nine racing pigeons, which included the eventual winner in Rayon East.
NL14-1061560, winner in Pont St. Maxence
The winner from Pont St. Maxence is the blue-band cock NL14-1061560, which was raced in widowhood. He is an inbred Schaerlaeckens cock based on the lines of Second Ace, Goed Boekckxje, Ace Four and Cyriel-duivin. Click here for the full pedigree. In addition to his victory in Entente Drechtsteden, the 14/560 also took the win in Rayon East against 2291 pigeons. This is already the third victory for Peter this season in Entente Drechtsteden; his other two first prizes were won from Quiévrain. His prize winners are heavily based on his top breeder NL05-1400951 Amgio.
NL05-1400951 Amigo, (grand)father of many top class pigeons
Grandchildren of Amigo claimed victory in the races from Quiévrain on 23rd of April and 28th of May in Entente Drechtsteden. The NL15-1708747 took the win against 3752 pigeons and was also the fastest pigeon overall (11,902 pigeons). This one year old hen had already won an 8th Pont St. Maxence against 6106 p. Her grandfather is Amigo, winner of three first prizes. He played a defining role in the Peter van de Merwe pigeon family, and he is for instance the sire of Joy, 1st NPO Ablis (15,871 p.). Click here for an overview of Amigo's descendants. The pedigree of 15/747 can be found here.
The race from Quiévrain on the 28th of May was also won by one of Peter's hens: his NL15-1708719 Sister Tiesto managed to beat the entire field, and she was also the fastest pigeon in Rayon East (6734 p.). She also won a 1st Duffel (2474 p.) and a 1st Peronne (1008 p.) earlier on. She is a granddaughter of the aforementioned Amigo. Click here for her full pedigree.
The pigeons of Peter van de Merwe have demonstrated their potential not only in their own loft; they received several references from other lofts in 2016 as well. One of them is the Potten & Laenen combination (Ijsselsteyn, NL), which managed to win top prizes almost on a weekly basis thanks to the introduction of Van de Merwe pigeons. The combination has been very successful in the Province of East Brabant, with for instance the fastest pigeon from Sezanne in the entire province (14,159 p.).
Fanciers have been struggling to adapt to the ever changing weather conditions this season. Peter van de Merwe is one of those champions that has been able to cope with these unpredictable circumstances, having already won three first prizes in Entente Drechtsteden so far. We reckon there will be more to follow for him.