Lei, Jeanny Kurvers and Dr. Henk de Weerd, winners of the
West European Super Marathon and the Cup of Flanders of Barcelona (2005)
Last year, Lei Kurvers and veterinarian Dr. Henk de Weerd from Hulsberg in Dutch Limburg added two new jewels in their -already rich- crown. After their international triumph on Perpignan in 2004, this renowned duo was once again in the spotlights last year: they won the much desired West European Super Marathon and the Cup of Flanders of Barcelona. Just another top season was completed with this victory.
Lei Kurvers has been playing together with Henk de Weerd for five years now and always with great success. They have won pretty much everything that could be won. Just two sparkling diamonds are still missing from their marvellous list of achievements........ Barcelona and the national marathon. But who knows, in the years to come? Lei Kurvers will not sleep in peace before he had added this prestigious Spain race and the marathon to his impressive list of achievements. The 58-year-old ex-farmer can look back on an extraordinary record of service in pigeon world. He has never had a bad season. This impressive career can safely be considered as thirty years of high level pigeon racing. The hundreds of beakers at his home are a relic of his splendid sport history. His performances can be added as crown jewels to pigeon sport history. Lei Kurvers is a passionate fancier and an obsessed idealist who has raised his hobby to art. He has won countless top prizes. The stunt racers from Lei Kurvers and Henk de Weerd are living free as air in the attic of the farm which was built back in 1736. The floor is always covered with pea straw. “Thanks to the straw the temperature is always 5 degrees higher, it isolates, keeps the dust away and the widowers like to lie in it”, nothing but advantages, so says the long distance star. Lei Kurvers has been living in the farm since 1948 and his cradle stood in one of the rooms. The farmstead is an impressive construction from the olden times and was built with pure marl and natural stone. He used to keep cows but he could no longer make a living out of that. He learnt “pigeon racing” from expert Jo Janssen in Hulsberg whose wife was a niece of Lei’s mother. His charming and always friendly wife Jeanny has become indispensable in the lofts. She is the one who is doing the cleaning, coupling and feeding in the loft of the pigeons that are liberated at noon. As to Henk de Weerd: he is keeping an eye on the health of the colony. A trio with clear duties.
Lei and Henk in front of the farm with snow on the roof.
We have to back to 1975 to discover the origin of the loft. At that moment expert Jan Theelen was racing miraculously in competitions of all distances. Lei Kurvers bought six youngsters from this golden source. 1975 was the year when Theelen still possessed his base pigeons of Jos Hermans, the unsurpassed race that had been formed with pigeons of Dr. Bricoux in Walloon Biomont. The Hermans strain has created dozens of champions but Jan Theelen in particular has a lot to thank about this pigeon strain. Lei is not only considering race. Before a bird gets a place in the breeding loft it has to successfully pass an exam in the air. “De Kleine Rode”NL75-1584733, a direct from Theelen, understood perfectly and became ace pigeon of the racing programme of -at the time strong- C.C. Zuid. Later-on, he would become the most important main pigeon of Lei Kurvers. “De Kleine Rode” was born in Buggenum and descends from the exceedingly strong base pigeon: NL74-466087, very own son of illustrious “Trutje”(Hermans). The nest sister of “De Kleine Rode” turned out to be an excellent breeder as well. Some more reinforcement was obtained at Theelen’s: “Drie Tweetjes”NL81-235222 which excelled in transmitting his good qualities. Math Heijnen was living in Hulsberg at the time and he was a fan of Theelen as well and achieved superb results. From Heijnen Lei got “de 156”NL85-2015156 which was closely inbred according to “het Trutje”, queen of Theelen’s breeding loft. Finally, “De 156” became one of the most important pigeons in the breeding loft and father of the extraordinary “Goede 60”NL86-616060 that won four top prizes of the national St. Vincent and which became mother of the 1st prov. Limoges, 9th nat. Dax, 16th and 40th nat. Marseille, and grandmother of the 2nd,3rd and 14e nat. Bordeaux, 99th nat. St. Vincent and 11th nat. Perpignan. Afterwards, Lei Kurvers borrowed “de 91”NL82-1402691 from his bosom friend and known long distance racer Twan Huijnen from Heerlen. “de 91” was the very own son of the legendary “508”NL 72-508 which was probably the best breeder ever owned by Jan Theelen. A descendant from “De 91”, “St.Vincent Star”NL95-2680168, won the 4th nat. St. Vincent 20.073 p. and another descendant won the 3rd and 9th nat. Dax. Another son of “de 508” came to reinforce the colony in Hulsberg in 1997 and he became the father of the 7th nat. Soustons. Another bird Lei got from Theelen was “de Drie Viertjes”NL79-2131444 and she became the mother of some excellent pigeons. This hen descends from a grandson from “de 508” and she was coupled with “de 707”NL82-1529707. His grandparents were two pigeons of the strong middle distance racers Leon Janssen and son in Hulsberg who have built up their loft mainly with Janssen pigeons of Henk van Boxtel in Kaatsheuvel. “This couple allowed me to maintain speed in my extreme long distance pigeons”, says Lei Kurvers. “’t Zwart 87”NL89-1970187 that descends from this main couple is the goose that lays golden eggs. She was the mother of the 3rd prov. Dax, 10th prov. St. Vincent, 11th prov. Dax and 20th prov. Soustons. One of her sisters was the mother of the 1st prov. Dax Z.L.U and the 1st prov. Bergerac back in the lofts of long distance star Wiel Cramers in Grevenbicht. Also closely related to this main couple is super pigeon of Klinkers in Beek. This list clearly shows that Jan Theelen’s pigeons have laid the iron strong foundation of thirty years of very high level pigeon sport.
“Alfonso” NL96-1201819. A champion with a capital “C”. He won: 10th Nat. Pau ‘01, 2772 p., 15th Internat. Pau 7.841 p., 56th Nat. Dax Z.L.U.’98, 1.979 p., 176th Nat. Dax Z.L.U. ‘99, 4.108 p., etc.. Descends from the mother of the famous “Mirage” from F. v. Ophuizen-M. Marell, Landgraaf with 6th Nat. St. Vincent and 7th Nat. Dax in one year. Line “49” Aarden and “Oud Doffertje” A. v.d. Wegen.
A very important contribution was “de 393”NL79-2131393 which came from the -at the time strong- long distance racer from Limburg: Jan Cobben in Nuth. This super breeder was the father of many good pigeons in Hulsberg. He descended from the famous wonder breeder “66”NL74-589666 from Cobben. “De 66” was born in the lofts of an expert in Limburg, the late Jan Slabbers in Swalmen, and was the son of his famous main couple. The cock was “de B70-3020096”, bought by Slabbers at a sale of the late world famous Marcel Desmet in Waregem, a branch of Stichelbaut. In Swalmen, he was coupled for years with “Zus 10”NL69-371668, a sister of the wonder hen from Limburg “de 10” from Casper Janssen in Stein which achieved the 1st nat. St. Vincent (south) and the 4th nat. Dax in one year. Jan Cobben coupled “De 66” with “de NL78-794”, a pure v.d. Wegen and result of a coupling of NL72-277, son ”Oud Doffertje” x NL74-958, sister “Barcelona”. And this combination finally became Jan Cobben’s golden couple. Lei Kurvers obtained the unforgettable “393” from this couple, one of the most important pawns in his loft. The long distance star in Hulsberg coupled him with “’t 89 Duifje”NL79-1996389 which descended from the main pigeon “de Kleine Donkere”NL74-589766 which belonged to the successful long distance racer Hein Brasse in Vaesrade. “de Kleine Donkere” was a first brother of “de 66” that belonged to Jan Cobben. So this was a closely inbred coupling. From this dream couple “de 50”NL82-1529750 descended which achieved nine magnificent prizes in extreme long distance races and which became the grandfather of the much talked about “Perpignan King”, the ace pigeon of international races with a.o. the 5th internat. Perpignan 18.264 p., 3rd nat. Perpignan 7.083 p., 21st nat. Pau 2.792 p., 34th nat. Perpignan 7.195 p., 30th nat. Dax Z.L.U. 4.108 p., 78th nat. Perpignan 5.479 p..
And this brings us so the golden couple that has left a significant mark on the overwhelming successes achieved by the Kurvers-de Weerd team these last few years. The cock of this couple is “de 090”NL89-79090, son of the said “50”(“393” x “’t 89 Duifje”). The hen is the wonder hen “Bax Duivin”NL89-4187721, a direct from the small but very strong extreme long distance racer Wim Bax in Budel which has built up his loft solely with pigeons of the Kuypers Bros. in Neer and Jan Theelen in Buggenum. This superior couple were the parents of “Perpignan King”, ace pigeon of international races, “de Marseille Star”, 26th nat. Marseille 5.739 p. and “Mistral King”, 20th nat. Marseille 5.739 p., 60th nat. Bordeaux 5.384 p.. But the mother of “Maleisia King” which won the 1st international Perpignan last year, also descends from this unsurpassed couple. Furthermore, the 1st and 2nd nat. Perpignan (p.) from his friend Jo Widdershoven in Doenrade are also closely related to this top couple. Another brilliant combination of the past years is “de Kleine Blauwe”NL91-2849531 with “Blauw 21”NL97-2024921. “De Kleine Blauwe” was the best pigeon of the national “Fondspiegel” in the years ’93, ’94 and ’95. He obtained 11 prizes 1 on 10 with 39th, 154th, 335th, 495th and 565th nat. Barcelona. This stunt racer was also the 2nd best Barcelona pigeon from ‘93 up until ’97. His father came from the -at the time strong- long distance racer Piet de Boer in Hazerswoude and had been bred from Aarden pigeons of late Janus Sprenkels in the “Lepelstraat”. His mother was bought at a sale of Machiel Buyk in Hoogerheide and is a granddaughter of the legendary “Dolle” from M. van Geel. “De Kleine Blauwe” is also the father of “Maleisia King”, which won the 1st international Perpignan last year. “Blauw 21”, the hen from “de Kleine Blauwe”, descends from the super couple “090” x “Bax Duivin” which means that she is a sister of the three musketeers “Perpignan King”, “Marseille Star” and “Mistral Star”. Another hen that saw to excellent offspring is a pure v.d. Wegen that came from F. v. Ophuizen-M. Marell in Landgraaf. She was the mother of to the famous “Mirage” which won 6th nat. St. Vincent and 7th nat. Dax...in one season. She is, a.o., the mother of “Alfonso” with 10th nat. Pau and 56th nat. Dax Z.L.U. and this pigeon is the father of “Dubay Queen”, the super hen of this year that won 5th nat. Marseille and 76th nat. Perpignan. A grandson of “de Klamper” of long distance star Cor de Heide in Made is the father of “Coronel”, 21st nat. Barcelona. Another excellent breeding pigeon is the magnificent bird from the -then known- long distance racer Martin Thaens in Bree. Two pigeons of long distance star Cor de Heide in Made also proved to possess some extraordinary hereditary properties. The latest acquisitions, whose descendants are doing extremely well, come from long distance cracks Harry and Roger Wijnands in Maastricht. These pigeons matched perfectly with the Kurvers-de Weerd pigeons.
at Kurvers-de Weerd’s. They are the parents of the three musketeers “Perpignan King”, ace pigeon of the international races this year, “Marseille King” and “Mistral King”. Blood of this couple runs through the champion team like a thread.
They won the W.E.S.M 2005…….
The pigeons that raced the much desired West European Super Marathon 2005 to Hulsberg are:
148th internat. Pau ‘05,
190th internat. Perpignan ’05,
47th nat. Bordeaux, 50th nat. Perpignan ’05, 67th nat. Pau ’05, 74th nat. Dax Z.L.U. etc.. Father is a son of the main couple “90”x “Bax Duivin” and mother is “de Klinkers Duivin”.
“ Blauwe 17”NL03-1536417:
177th internat. Narbonne ’05.
Furthermore: 51st nat. Narbonne ’05, 186th nat. Barcelona ’05. Father is a son of “Blauwe Vanoppen” progenitor Wijnands & son, Maastricht and mother is a direct Cor de Heide, Made, granddaughter of “Perpignan Doffer” and “St. Vincent Duif”.
210th internat. Dax ’05,
Has also won: 6th nat. Pau, 2.792 p., 26th nat. Perpignan, 7.195 p., 28th nat. Mont Ventoux, 52nd nat. Bordeaux, 7.112 p., 72nd nat. Dax 3.105 p., etc.. Father is a pigeon of Thei Bours, Elsloo and mother is line “Trutje” Jan Theelen.
1.478th internat. Barcelona ’05,
Has also won: 21st nat. Barcelona, 139th nat. Barcelona, 182nd nat. Narbonne, 271st nat. Perpignan, etc.. Descends from NL96-2434454 direct Cor de Heide, Made, grandson of the legendary “Klamper” x NL96-143, granddaughter main couple “090” x “Bax Duivin”.
Other top pigeons of 2005:
2nd internat. Marseille (d.)’05, 2.539 p.,
5th nat. Marseille 3.679 p.,
22nd internat. Marseille 13.930 p.,
19th internat. Perpignan (yearlings), 4.666 p.,
28th nat. Perpignan ’05, (d.),
76th nat. Perpignan 6.300 p.,
82nd internat. Perpignan (d.). 4.859 p.
Super “Dubay Queen” descends from “Alfonso” (10th nat. Pau, 56th nat. Dax) from “De Thaens x “v. Ophuizen duivin”, granddaughter of “Ruffec” A. v.d. Wegen and sons and mother ”Mirage”, 6th nat. St. Vincent and 7th nat. Dax. Mother of “Dubay Queen” is a daughter of “Blauwe Vanoppen”, progenitor Wijnands and son.
“ De 79”NL01-2332179:
13th Prov. Cahors ’05, 2.863 p.,
46th nat. Narbonne 2.992 p., etc.,
Has won seven prizes in total.
Descends from a son of the main couple “90” x “Bax Duivin” coupled to sister of “Sensation 1”.
“ De Dax”NL01-2332047:
8th nat. Dax ’05, 5.034 p.,
87th nat. Mont de Marsan ’05, 3.206 p.,
115th nat. St. Vincent ’05, 4.866 p.,
39th nat. St. Vincent ’04, 4.623 p., etc..
Descends from a cock of Rik Stevens via Jo Widdershoven, Doenrade x daughter “Super 70"
The pigeons that had to fly the Z.L.U. races in 2005 were coupled in the third week of March. After five days of brooding they were separated, re-coupled on May 10 and put on widowhood after one day of brooding. “This system of coupling did not stop the early loss of feathers”, says Lei Kurvers. He coupled the ((duiven van de middaglossingen / afternoon racers)) in the third week of March as well and once their youngsters were fourteen days old they were moved to another loft together with the hen. “This turned out to be the best system because the team lost its feathers much slower”, says this long distance star from Hulsberg. The widowers train twice a day even if it is raining cats and dogs or in foggy weather. Morning training already starts at 5:30 AM. “That way, they learn to get up early when flying long distance races and they learn to race in rain and fog”, says Kurvers. The widowers that are liberated in the afternoon get to see their hen at 2:00 PM. The pigeons that are flying Z.L.U. races are allowed half an hour with their hens. But this is not standard practice. “I don’t really believe in showing the hens, they have to want to come back home”, says Lei. And what do they have to look like before they are basketed in order to fly top? “Light, but full when held in the hand. I also pay attention to the small feathers that have to lie flat on top of the wing and they also need to have pure red paws: that’s a sign of a perfect blood circulation. I also pay attention to the ears which have to be smooth”, says the long distance star. Is the position of the feathers of any importance? “I like to see them loose a first feather, preferably prior to basketing or in the basket. But I once basketed twenty widowers to St. Vincent and they had just lost a first feather and several pigeons lost some in the basket. The results were sensational: sixteen prizes one on ten. Pigeons which have feathers that are situated down in the shaft are always raced and Lei has already obtained spectacular results with them. “Other fanciers can say what they want”, he says. The loft is also of considerable importance. His loft was pretty chilly and good achievements failed to occur. “That’s when I decided to close the ventilation shaft and they started racing top immediately”.
Hens on widowhood
The team started racing hens on widowhood for the first time in 2005. And with great success. Fourteen inexperienced hens of 2003 that had raced only two races as youngsters and that had not even seen a basket as a yearling were raced every Sunday as from the first race. They were “loose” in a loft with eleven other one-year-old hens. The ones that started coupling were removed immediately. Prior to Narbonne Lei noticed that a hen had laid eggs on the floor. He put her eggs in a nest dish and when she sat on them her loft mates charged her and started a fight. Result: this was the first hen from Narbonne to win 46th national against 2.992 p. But according to Lei Kurvers this system also has a disadvantage: if half of the loft has to be trained, the others that stay home are likely to couple faster. There is already a yearling super champion among the widow hens: “Dubay Queen”, the flying goddess with 5th nat. Marseille and 76th nat. Perpignan p. this year. Some excellent results of 2005 with widow hens: nat. Marseille 795 hens: 2-5-19-182, nat. Perpignan 1.580 p.: 28-270-274, 8 basketted, Montauban 248 p.: 6-8-11-35-39-404354-60, 17 ((mee)), prov. 4.819 p.: 207-341-414-935, etc., nat. Barcelona 1.300 hens: 84-332-350-394, etc, 13 ((mee)).
When we get to the chapter of medical care, we let Dr. Henk de Weerd do the talking. “Please don’t think that we’re using a lot of products because I’m Lei’s partner. We are giving what’s necessary”, says the likeable “flying vet” from Breda. In November, the pigeons received the yearly one-week cure with Parastop. “You have to be observant with respect to paratyphus. It’s a rampant disease that’s never wiped”, says Henk de Weerd. Prior to coupling this year, they gave the pigeons a cure of six days with B.S. and Belgasol at the same time. During the season, they give something to clear the airways every three weeks. They switch between the well-known Belgatai, Ornisol or anti-phlegm with Orni 3. “I’m very pleased about these products and I’ve been using them for over thirty years, with success”, proudly says the long distance champion. Naturally, all the products come from his partner the veterinarian. Upon their return home from a race the pigeons always receive a combination of B.S. and Belgasol in the drinking water and then they get Belgasol for three days. “I swear by Belgasol but I don’t believe in extra vitamins”, says Lei Kurvers. If the widowers receive a product, it is also given to the hens. During the moult they give the pigeons Biovit in the drinking water for two days a week and some garlic oil and brewer’s yeast is added to the feed. The fact that Belgica products are reliable can be proven by the pigeons aged over six which are still racing top. When the young pigeons are taken away from the old ones they receive B.S. and Belgasol for one week and this cure is being repeated for a couple of days every three weeks. They regularly give cider vinegar to the juniors which is good for the intestinal flora. Before the start of the first training races they get another four days of B.S. with Belgasol followed by a cure for the airways with Orni Special, Belgatai or W.N.. The young pigeons do not receive anything during the season. They are only fed Mariman Junior feed to which fifty percent of “Zoontjes mixture” is added in the morning.
Ace Pigeon International races ‘02
L. Kurvers-H de Weerd, Hulsberg
Lei Kurvers is using the Mariman feed for years. And he is very enthusiastic about the quality of these products. In between the long distance races he is feeding every widower a soup spoon of 50% Super M and 50% “Zoontjes mixture”. The last six meals prior to basketing Lei gives the widowers Super M. He starts with an eggcup per pigeon and increases the quantity until they leave some of it in the feed boxes. As a desert they receive a bit of candy seed and grinded peanuts. During moult and in winter time Lei gives the birds a special moult mixture twice a day and adds a lot of candy seed and weed seeds. This implies that the pigeons are rather fat during winter but in springtime they loose this extra weight soon enough.
Young pigeons are trained during after season races up to 350 kilometres. There is no selection and they all get a second chance as yearlings when they have to pass an exam. When they are one year old they have to race 100, 140 and 180 kilometres after which they get fourteen days of rest. Then, they start flying every week 240, 300 and 400 kilometres followed by Limoges, Bordeaux and Marseille. This year, they also raced Bourges and Le Mans. Which is, by the way, a pretty Spartan method. But Lei Kurvers is happy with it. “It is the best selection that exists”, he says. The yearlings that perform well on these races get a box the next year. And some of the yearlings have already performed very well this year. “De 46”NL04-1265346 has won: 18th nat. Bordeaux and 50th nat. Narbonne and “De 25”NL04-1265325: 65th nat. Bordeaux and 86th nat. Narbonne. And he has several other yearlings with two nice prizes. The old pigeons get the same programme up to 400 kilometres as the yearlings and as a final training race they fly Limoges. “My selection is not based on build or wings but solely on performance. The feathers have to be silky soft. But that’s also influenced by good feed and a lot of bathing”, says Lei Kurvers. He likes a breeder to have a colourful eye and good size. Only pigeons that performed well get a place in the breeding loft. We have held stunt flyers of this miracle farm in our hands. It is a true pleasure for a pigeon fancier to see all that class gathered.
The golden frame 2005
Nat. Marseille 3.679 p.: 5-18-51-76-81-89-129-291-298-327, etc., 15 prizes out of 39. nat. Narbonne 2.992 p.: 46-50-51-86-103-105-155-178-180-182-189, etc., 19 prizes out of 34. internat. Narbonne 5.870 yearlings: 80-143-171-177-235-265-268, etc., 14 prizes out of 25. nat. Perpignan 6.300 p.: 50-76-203-326-341-509-532-629-713, etc., 21 prizes out of 40.
nat. Bordeaux 4.220 yearlings: 18-65-83-92-100-126-131-161-219-310-391, etc.. 21 prizes out of 39.
nat. Barcelona 7.491 p.: 140-172-186-252-283-564-649-976, etc., 23 prizes out of 48.
1st West European Super Marathon, Cup of Flanders (10 nominated from Barcelona), and in the Z.L.U.(National Races with morning release): 1st Grand Prix, 1st Most Prizes, 2nd Super Prestige, 2nd Long Distance Champion and 6th nat. Marathon.