**With grateful thanks to Henk Simonsz www.pigeonfever.nl
*Ad Schaerlaeckens visits Van Elsacker. The ‘Van Elsackers’ are producing very good pigeons combined with the Ad Schaerlaeckens bloodlines.
Zoon Jonge Merckx
It didn’t take long before the son of the ‘Jonge Merckx’ was put in Ad Schaerlaeckens’ breeding loft. Until the present day this cock plays an important role as breeder within the pigeon sport, and the fanciers that have been successful with descendants from him are numerous. But first of all, he had to prove his worth as a breeder in the loft of Ad himself and for this, in 1985 Ad coupled him to a full sister of the ‘Goede Jaarling’. Out of the first couple of eggs hatched the H85-639, who was tested severely as a young pigeon and who was entered in the race from Orleans as an encore. This became an unparalleled success and the 85-639 won the 1st national Orleans (R3) in a fantastic manner. Ad was over the moon to have such a performance in his favourite race. He was already a fan of the pigeons of the Janssen Bros, but this topped everything.
Meanwhile, the Janssen Book, written by Ad Schaerlaeckens, had been published in several languages, and the brothers became even more famous and popular than they already were (the book is sold out). The Schoolstraat in Arendonk became the Mecca of the pigeon sport and the, often wealthy, buyers from all over the world fought for the chance to buy a young pigeon that was ‘made in Arendonk’. Despite all of this, and the enormous demand for their pigeons, the Janssen brothers didn’t over-react, continued to be the people they always had been, and kept producing the same number of pigeons that they always bred. At one point, the madness was such, that when a fancier had been able to acquire a few direct Janssen pigeons, he could have sold them straight away for double the amount he had paid.
Chaos, fanciers waving money on one side and pure modesty on the other side, there was no greater paradox imaginable…
But it was not just the name Janssen Bros, the further generations of these pigeons still proved to be successful in breeding. The race from Orleans for young pigeons was very reliable as a selection race, because almost all pigeons that flew in the lead in this race proved to become good breeders. Regrettably, this race is removed from the young pigeons program; it often gave the fancier valuable information about the breeding value of certain bloodlines. The cock that won the 1st national Orleans for Ad Schaerlaeckens also produced very good pigeons. Descendants of him would later again win a 1st national Orleans (NL96-962), but also another 1st against 9,207 pigeons in a difficult race from Etampes. For that matter, the ‘Zoon Jonge Merckx’ didn’t just produce this 1st national Orleans; he produced more very special pigeons, like the famous brothers 87-021 and the 87-022.
Two descendants of the NL87-022 won a 1st national Orleans. But the NL87-021, called ‘Windfighter 021’, has also produced a series of extremely good descendants, of which the aftershocks are still felt even to this day.
A fancier whose achievements put him in the limelight in the last few years in the Netherlands, even to the desperation of his competitors, is Henk Scheffel from Elburg. His barrage of super results on the speed races and middle-distance races only seem to be increasing. And to show that we are definitely not speaking of old glory, here is a recent example… On one of the first flights of this season (2014), Henk opened on Chimay with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 against, you won’t believe it, 7,380 pigeons… He kept on winning first prizes during almost the whole season, with really immense prize percentages of frequently around 80-90%.
Currently Henk is almost unstoppable on his favourite disciplines, and it is nerve-racking to compete against him!
Also, in one of the most difficult and most desirable competitions, the Gouden Duif, he ended well at the top in the 2013 season, and he became Gouden Duif winner of the Netherlands. A title of which he was rightly very proud.
The pigeons that were primarily responsible for these achievements are the descendants of his super breeder, the ‘Bendner’ (NL07-156), a true champion cock that propelled the congenial Henk Scheffel to the absolute top. Children and grandchildren of the ‘Bendner’ have already flown 11x teletext and 8 x a 1st against on average thousands of pigeons! As it transpires, the ‘Bendner’ is another descendant out of the lines of the ‘Windfighter 021’ from Ad Schaerlaeckens. The mother of the ‘Bendner’ comes after all out of a direct daughter (NL95-142) of the ‘Windfighter 021’.
In the offspring of the ‘Bendner’ you also regularly come across the name of Van Elsacker from Schilde, this by way of G.J. Timmer, who at one time managed to buy a top breeder from there.
Most remarkable though, is that the super breeder ‘Bendner’ produces his best offspring with three excellent hens, and that all three have more or less Schaerlaeckens blood in their veins. The blood of these hens, respectively named the ‘Laura’ (01-078), ‘Super Schalie’ (07-164), and the ‘Jonge Bonfire’ (09-884) combines very well with the bloodline of the ‘Bendner’ and out of these, another young top breeding couple has already been formed.
In studying the parentage of one of these three top breeding hens, many more pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place. Of which more next time!
(To be continued)