*With grateful thanks to Henk Simonsz  www.pigeonfever.nl

*The successful Henk Scheffel proudly shows his super breeder ‘Bendner’.

Three top hens
The ‘Bendner’ produces his best offspring with three specific hens, and 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.
We are already using superlatives when describing the pigeons of Henk Scheffel, but what he is achieving at present with his colony is really unique. We want to highlight the ancestry of one of these hens especially, the ‘Jonge Bonfire’, which Henk bought from Frans Timmermans from Wehl. Frans Timmermans bred a whole series of top pigeons out of the Schaerlaeckens pigeons, especially those that he obtained by way of the combination Nijhof. One of the standard-bearers was the ‘Camelion Bonfire’, a fantastic cock that, before he was placed in the breeding loft, showed what flying in the lead really means by achieving the following results. We will only mention the very best prizes that he won:
1st Libramont against 3,431 pigeons
1st Sezanne against 1,849 pigeons
1st Epernay against 1,336 pigeons
9th Maaseik against 3,109 pigeons.

This champion was bred from the ‘Hermelijn’ from Ad Schaerlaeckens, a cock direct out of the ‘Windfighter 021’! The same bloodline on the maternal side of the ‘Bendner’… Coincidence? It must be… At the time that Henk Scheffel went to collect the ‘Jonge Bonfire’, he was coupled to the ‘Bambi’, a full sister of the ‘Blue Miracle’ out of the bloodlines of ‘Mattens’ and ‘Superstar’ from Ad Schaerlaeckens. This coupling proved to be a real hit because Henk did not just breed very good pigeons with his ‘Bonfire’ hen and the ‘Bendner’, but more. Also the male half of his new top couple, the ‘Jacob’ (10-498), came out of her. The ‘Jonge Bonfire’ is still a relatively young hen, but already, direct children of hers have flown, without doublings, 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th against on average some 2,300 pigeons.
The new top breeder ‘Jacob’, son out of the coupling ‘Bendner’ x ‘Jonge Bonfire’, forms another new top couple with the ‘Lady Diana’. The first two pigeons of the impressive ‘Chimay 2014’, with which Henk won 1 to 5 against 7,380 pigeons, were direct descendants out of this new top couple.
As things are looking now, all promises to be well for the near future in Elburg, and that is saying it carefully.
In terms of pigeon fancying, Edwin Hoogland has found the perfect father-in-law in Henk Scheffel, because he also regularly performs fantastically with descendants of the ‘Bendner’. A cock out of Bendner x Laura was put in Edwin’s breeding loft and has already produced 7 teletext pigeons…

Frans Timmemans from Wehl with his crack the 'Camelion Bonfire'. In the spring of 2012, this topper was stolen from the loft.

Frans Timmemans from Wehl with his crack the ‘Camelion Bonfire’. In the spring of 2012, this topper was stolen from the loft.

Bonfire again
Another young fancier, Nico-Jan Koenders, who lived in Westervoort at the time, was also looking for hens for his famous ‘Zlatan’ and its full brother ‘Thomas’. The ‘Zlatan’ became among others 2nd national ace pigeon WHZB of the Netherlands, and he had to be coupled to top material to keep the high level of quality.
In 2005, from Frans Timmermans Nico-Jan bought two daughters direct out of the ‘Camelion Bonfire’, who was coupled to a sister of the ‘Bambi’, out of which Henk Scheffel bred his ‘Jonge Bonfire’. He was now coupled to a full sister, the ‘Blue Miracle’, and Nico-Jan Koenders went home with the 05-73, the ‘Escape’ and her sister the 05-13, called ‘Lady Miracle’… two beautiful blue hens. When Nico-Jan bought these two hens he didn’t yet know that he had acquired top material, but he would soon find out. He didn’t enter the sisters in races, but put both of them straight in the breeding loft. A hen out of ‘Lady Miracle’, named ‘Danara’, went to his friends Wil and Falco Ebben, who were to test her in races, and this was an immediate success. As a youngster, she won among others a 2nd NPO Morlincourt against 16,971 pigeons, and as yearling she achieved her NPO victory with a 1st in the race from Blois against 7,917 pigeons. It is remarkable that, as we are typing these lines, Wil and Falco Ebben are winning a 2nd NPO over 555 kilometers with the ‘Indy’ (13-058), a pigeon that as youngster already flew a 3rd NPO. In 2013 Falco bought this pigeon as an egg, directly from… Ad Schaerlaeckens.

Nico-Jan Koenders bred 2 toppers out of 'Camelion Bonfire' x 'Blue Miracle'.

Nico-Jan Koenders bred 2 toppers out of ‘Camelion Bonfire’ x ‘Blue Miracle’.

Lady Miracle
Ultimately, direct children from the ‘Lady Miracle’ would finish no less than 4x among the first 10 NPO against an average of over 7,500 pigeons, and out of her sister the ‘Escape’ came four different pigeons that all won a 1st against an average of some 5,500 pigeons, all straight, without doublings.
Another prominent member of the ‘Jonge Merckx’ bloodline from Ad Schaerlaeckens was the pigeon of Cor Leytens, that proved to be the best of the country on the speed races and that was selected to represent the Netherlands at the Olympiad.
And then there is also the legendary ‘Vale’ from Elzinga. Directly acquired from Ad Schaerlaeckens out of the ‘Windfighter 021’. The ‘Vale’ was a phenomenon as a racer. He was able to fly alone in the lead for minutes at a time, but he also produced a series of top racers. Lastly, after which we close the ‘Jonge Merckx’ era for the time being, B. van ‘t Hul received a pigeon out of the ‘Windfighter 021’ that flew many minutes in the lead in the race from Ruffec.

Danara flew a 2nd NPO Morlincourt against 16,971 pigeons as young, and won her NPO victory with a 1st in the race from Blois against 7,917 pigeons as yearling.

Danara flew a 2nd NPO Morlincourt against 16,971 pigeons as young, and won her NPO victory with a 1st in the race from Blois against 7,917 pigeons as yearling.

But time went on and Ad Schaerlaeckens kept searching for super pigeons to incorporate in his colony. Pigeons that had to belong to the best of the world and that were very rigorously selected. A well-known statement from Ad is that you must get rid of the bad ones, sell the good ones, and only keep the very good ones. However, the standard became so high and the quality of all his pigeons was so good that also a lot of very good pigeons were sold, which is confirmed by the number of references that he got.
Ad also bought a pigeon from Maurice Voets from Kessel that was to give many fanciers in Holland and Belgium good descendants.

(To be continued)