For over 40 years I have visted many lofts in the Netherlands and Belgium and admired the top fanciers breeding strategies. Most of the very top fanciers are only interested in results at the distances they are interested in. The type and the various selection theories are very rarely considered as it is only results that matter. They breed from birds with performance and cross with other top performance bloodlines. That is it. Not handling with great backs and great eyesign or breeding feathers or tusks , but just good intelligent and healthy birds with plenty of multiple performances.
Every renowned long distance fancier in West Flanders and middle distance fancier in the Antwerp Union together with the great all rounders like Grondelaers, Jaques Tournier were visited on a regular basis, and I really mean every renowned fancier. For many years.
By and large our own interest either racing in North Wales, The Netherlands or One Loft Races has required an all round type of pigeon, so out and out short distance fanciers have been of little interest as the managment methods of the fanciers plays too uch of a major part in short distance success and as the old saying goes ‘You can buy the birds but not the fancier’ is very true indeed. (The ‘village’ game in Belgium that means short distance racing is from 60 to 100 miles every sunday morning.).
I really dont think birds are short, middle or long distance. There is only good ones and bad ones. There are of course exceptions for example two day marathon pigeons are a very different metabolism and size.
One of the very best ever in the Antwerp area in the last few decades has to be Leo Heremans. It would be impossible to quantify the success on an international basis achieved by his bloodlines. One of the modern day greats is Willem de Bruijn from Reuwijk, The Netherlands. He is another fancier that just looks for good birds and nothing else and selects very severly only on results. His bloodline is also based on many of the original Leo Heremans famous basic pigeons from twenty plus years ago.
We had to have some of his principle bloodlines to blend in not only to our own Rossi and Di Caprio birds but also to further develop our Young Couple and Drum lines. It is well known that we have no desire to own ‘pure’ pigeons, not even to sell. Fanciers want to buy our crosses in our auctions or they dont. Much easier to breed on this basis.
One of the original hens we bought from Willem de Bruijn is SWEET CAROLINE and although she is only at the start of her breeding carreer some of her offspring have had some very solid results. With various mates.
In her first season she was paired to JUNIOR one of our top breeding sons directly from THE YOUNG COUPLE and the first youngster GB20V56437 we sold in our Pigeon Chat auction and was purchased by Mr Steve Cutts from Rotherham. We had a report yesterday from Steve that one of the first ones he bred from her with one of his own establshed Vandenabeele bloodline bird is a prize winner straight away and last Saturday she won 2nd Section K (71 members sent 595 birds) and a provisional to 50 open result from the NFC Messac against 4504 birds. We certainly do not intent to take anything away from the gallant birds that beat her especially the 1st Section K for Mr Haigue and Sons but Steve had to have prepared his candidate to a ‘tee’ to get that side of the Pennines at a distance of 391 miles flying over 10 hours into a very stiff east north east wind. Good ones or bad ones? I would say she is a good one! Absoluteley brilliant Steve and well done once again.