They had won several top prizes and teletext prizes but it was eventually their pigeon Balotelli that won a national first prize, beating the entire pack in the race from Agen. He was not only the best of 6,638 old birds, he was also the fastest against 11,673 Dutch pigeons. 2015 was a splendid season for this loft, with no less than 12 top 100 prizes in national extreme long distance races, including 3 prizes per 10.
A great palmares in just three years' time
The Verweij – De Haan combination is still a fairly young team. Michel (Verweij) and Pieter (De Haan) started competing in one day long distance races in 2013. Michel used to be in a combination with Jan Castricum but he was already breeding pigeons together with Pieter, so they managed to create their own pigeon breed fairly quickly.
They already had a solid foundation, which means they were off to a great start: 2013 was already a great season, with no less than 5 top 10 prizes NPO in four races:
1st NPO Bergerac 2nd NPO Cahors (morning release) 5th NPO Agen-Bordeaux 7th NPO Cahors (morning release) 10th NPO St.-Vincent
They won several prizes in 2014 as well but their crowning achievement came in 2015, with a national victory ZLU from Agen.
They have an excellent list of achievements; especially since they are running a rather small collection of pigeons.
When composing new breeding pairs, Michel and Pieter will only pay attention to the longevity of the pairing, e.g. the degree in which the pairs are capable of breeding multiple generations of top quality pigeons. The two fanciers have really gained the benefits of this approach in the past ten years, as they have been able to develop a truly strong pigeon breed. The line of 'The 131' of De Weert played a pivotal role in their breed, and other important bloodlines include the top class pigeons of the top loft of Toon van Beek, as well as the top class pigeons of Nico Volkens. In addition, they will always transfer their most successful pigeons to their own breeding loft, to create new generations of prize winners.
A pigeon that deserves special mention is stock sire Toon (NL01-1675062). He is without doubt one of the best pigeons ever to have raced in The Netherlands, having won 6 national top 80 prizes in the 11 extreme long distance races he competed in (see picture below). After his career as a racing bird he also developed into a top class breeder with exceptional breeding qualities. His descendants, as well as his brothers and sisters, have performed really well in the ZLU morning and afternoon releases.
The stars in the breeding and racing loft
The breeding and racing loft is full of highly talented pigeons, making it impossible to include each one of them. We will only be discussing the five most eye catching pigeons in this loft:
NL01-1675062 - Toon (5th National Mont-de-Marsan)
As we said, Toon proved an exceptional racing bird, but he quickly managed to develop into a first class breeder as well. He is grandfather of the following prize winners:
1st Nat. Agen ZLU 7,135 pigeons 5th Nat. Cahors 5,571 pigeons 6th Nat. Cahors 5,359 pigeons 7th Nat. Bergerac 12,423 pigeons 8th Nat. St.-Vincent 3,714 pigeons 10th Nat. Tarbes 5,423 pigeons 15th Nat. Cahors 5,571 pigeons
The list of grandchildren that have won a national top 50 prize is simply too long to be included in this article.
NL02-2350928 – Milos (1st NPO Montauban)
Milos is a son of a brother of Toon. He became an invaluable breeder as well, after having won a 1st NPO Montauban against 1,862 pigeons earlier on. Milos is now the sire or grandfather of:
1st NPO Tarbes 2nd Nationaa Tarbes 1st Provincial Narbonne 2nd National Narbonne 2nd Provincial Perpignan 1st Provincial Perpignan 1st Provincial Tarbes
NL11-1584019 – Balotelli (1st National Bordeaux – Agen)
Balotelli is another invaluable pigeon in this loft! His national first prize in 2015 was not a coincidence: he had already won a 5th national Cahors 2012 and a 6th national Cahors 2013. He is a son of Barry (see below) and a grandson of Toon. This is a highly talented bird! Click here for the full pedigree of Balotelli.
NL06-2026985 – Barry (5 x top 100 national extreme long distance)
Barry started his career in the racing loft as well, winning the following prizes:
28th National Sint-Vincent 39th National Cahors 47th National Bergerac 76th National Chateauroux 98th National Sint-Vincent
Barry is also the sire of Balotelli (1st national Bordeaux-Agen 2015, 5th national Cahors and 6th national Cahors), and of the winners of an 8th National Agen, a 15th national Cahors, a 30th National St. Vincent, etc. Click here for the pedigree of Barry.
NL09-1026429 – Messi (1st NPO Cahors and 1st NPO Bergerac)
This is a great racing bird as well. He won two first prizes NPO, from Cahors 2011 and Bergerac 2013 against 3,151 and 2,172 pigeons respectively. He is an inbred pigeon of Toon and a brother of Xavi, winner of a 5th NPO Cahors and the title of 3rd Ace Pigeon marathon Northern Holland.
NL13-1091276 – Mila (8th and 10th National Bordeaux-Agen)
The Verweij - De Haan combination seems to be winning top prizes with great ease. They have a collection of racing birds with great potential, including for instance Mila, winner of an 8th and 10th National Bordeaux-Agen. She is now the dam of a 26th National Bergerac! She is a half sister of Balotelli, 1st National Bordeaux-Agen 2015. Click here to take a closer look at the pedigree of Mila.
NL13-1091237 – Joep (10th National Barcelona 2015)
We end our overview with a promising new pigeon. Joep has won a 10th National Barcelona (19th International), a 48th NPO Cahors and a 104th National Cahors so far. Click here for the pedigree of Joep.
Quite a number of championship titles have been won in 2015. Let's have a look:
1st Champion North & South Holland 2015 1st Champion Nominated ZLU Northern Holland 2015 1st Champion 'Champion League' long distance union 2015 2nd Emperor champion long distance union 2015 1st Champion Marathon cup Northern Holland 2015 4th Champion Supercup Marathon Northern Holland 2015
References in other lofts
A great number of pigeon lofts have been really successful with pigeons of Verweij - De Haan as well - a brief overview:
1st Nat. Barcelona hens 2008 Kees Limmen, Egmond aan Zee 1st Nat. Bergerac 2015 Gijs Baan, Middelburg 1st NPO Agen 2014 Fred Stet, Moninkendam 1st SNZH Bordeaux ZLU 2014 Tim Hage, Woerden 1st Nat. Cahors 2014 Fam. Toom 1st Province St.-Vincent ZLU 2015 (4th Nat.) Marcel Tromp, Egmond aan Zee 1st Province Perpignan ZLU 2015 (4th Nat.) Fam. Hendriks, Zuiderwoude 1st NPO Agen 2013 Kok Koeman 2nd Nat. Narbonne 2013 J. Schreurs, Nieuw-Vennep 2nd Nat. Tarbes 2014 Tim Hage, Woerden 3rd Nat. Agen 2014 Fred Stet, Moninkendam 4th Nat. Narbonne 2015 J. Schreurs, Nieuw-Vennep 4th Nat. St.-Vincent 2015 Fam. Hendriks, Zuiderwoude 5th Nat. Tarbes 2013 Zwiers Goorbergh 1st National Marathon 2015 J. Schreurs, Nieuw-Vennep 1st National Marathon 2015 (8th nominated) J. Schreurs, Nieuw-Vennep 1st Champion Sector 2 2013 R. vd Berg de Kwakel 1st Champion Overnacht Nederland 2013 V. Vork, Noorden 1st Champion Marathon Noord ZLU 2013 J. Schreurs, Nieuw-Vennep Best overnight long dist. Northern Holland 13 Comb. vd Burg, Amsterdam
This relatively small Dutch long distance loft has managed to become a top level player in no time. The combination was founded in 2013 and the fanciers already have quite an impressive palmares. Many of their most successful racing birds tend to become outstanding breeders later on as well. And this is perhaps the most important ingredient if you intend on becoming a top level player for several years!