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07 Nov 2019

No matter how you put it, champions can be learned from … even if it is just a detail, a tiny matter they take into account and we may never have thought of. Our curious nature lead us to Emmen in the Dutch province of Drenthe. Insiders who hear the name of the town, will know that we were knocking on champion Gerard Koopman’s door.
Gerard and his team are top … the kind of people this world does not have enough of. You will never hear them boast about the performances of their own pigeons and they are always very respectful about the performances of their competing colleagues. Champions great and small … all are equal for Gerard. A well-respected attitude in the pigeon world. Proof: the busy open day Gerard always organizes in spring.
The 2018 season again was one to remember. Winning first prizes against a huge and tough competition … it is in Koopman’s pigeons’ blood. Especially for you, we paid Emmen a visit and asked Gerard the following questions:

Can you elaborate on a few breeders in particular?
That’s a tough one … at the moment we have several pigeons that are performing excellently in their own loft as well as in several international one-loft races. Breeding cock ‘Bert’ for example (won 1st Nat. ace pigeon one-day long distance – Fondspiegel himself), for example, is grandfather of ‘Keep Dreaming’ (NL17-1643767): 3rd ace pigeon in the Pattaya One-Loft Race 2018. In my humble opinion, however, the breeding line of ‘Bjarne’ is very successful as well. The last few months, our pigeons performed well in several one-loft races. It is striking that in several OLR winners, the name of ‘Bjarne’ is hardly ever far in the pedigree. ‘Bjarne’ (B02-4247563) is an original De Rauw-Sablon cock and a direct son of ‘Dromer’ x ‘Sister Smallen’. ‘Bjarne’ himself won 6th Dourdan 364 p. and the 7th interprovincial Chateauroux 5,349 p. More important is his breeding value. ‘Bjarne’ is the father of: ‘Good Aim’ (3rd Sun City Million Dollar) – ‘Bonamo’ NL09-1674447 (is father of 13 x 1st prices at Koen Van Roy’s with several hens and grandfather of ‘Linda’ (1st Provincial ace pigeon KBDB middle distance 2015 – 6th National ace pigeon KBDB middle distance 2015 – Olympiad pigeon Brussels 2017)) – ‘Miss Lang Ping’ (3rd Boxtel 9,525 p. – 4th Strombeek 6,378 p. – 15th Duffel 8,866 p. – 6th Ravenstein 5,247 p. – 9th NPO Pithiviers 4,494 p.) – ‘Miss Jenjira’ (1st NPO Breuil Le Vert 4,562 p.) etc.

All your breeders are housed in magnificent breeding boxes … perfect for re-coupling … does this happen often?
What is ‘often’? Let’s say each cock is coupled to another hen at least twice to three times per breeding season. It may be important to mention that all the pigeons we sell through the Pigeon Bids internet sales ( are provided with a notarized DNA certificate. The buyer can be 100% sure of the pedigree and sex.

How do you determine which pigeons you couple … on the basis of the ‘eye theory’ or on the basis of their track record of pedigree.
The pigeons are coupled on the basis of their track record, either their racing or breeding record. And the pedigree is very important as well, of course.

What is best to reinforce your breeding loft: a strong inbred pigeon or a crossbreed?
As so many other champions, I prefer to reinforce my breeding loft with an ace pigeon from a very good family. Flying ahead must run in the family for an optimal chance of success.

Can you elaborate on your 3 best flights of the 2018 season?
Let’s start with Bourges of 7 July. 5,877 pigeons competed in the race. The distance between Bourges and Emmen is 704 km. They really came storming in as arrows from a bow and won 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th etc. The first prize was won by ‘Manu’ NL16-4784182. Earlier, ‘Manu’ also won 1st Chateauroux against 1,268 p. and is a grandson of ‘Cassius’ (NL02-2373002) x ‘Gicara’ (NL07-4736465) on mother’s side.

The second prize was won by ‘Paco’ NL16-4783976. ‘Paco’ is a full brother of ‘Manu’. The third prize was won by ‘Alawa’ NL17-4704064. Earlier, ‘Alawa’ won 3rd Rethel 4,692 p., 3rd Chateauroux 1,268 p., 101st Tongeren 10,331 p. etc. On mother’s side, she is a granddaughter of ‘Madir’ (NL04-1389385 – son ‘Ermerveen’s Hope’ x ‘Amore’) x ‘Golden Lady’ (B96-6286060 – mother of the world-famous ‘Kleine Dirk’). The fourth prize was won by ‘Nigan’ NL14-1462303. ‘Nigan’ is a constant value in the flying team and already won 16th Rethel 4,692 p. – 47th Quievrain 10,570 p. – 39th Reims 8,183 p. He is a son of ‘Nilton’ (NL10-1109863 – son of ‘Ermerveen’s Hope’ x ‘Abelle’). On mother’s side, he is a grandson of ‘Magic Man’ (NL04-5430805) x ‘Zina’ (NL06-1597157). The fifth prize was won by ‘NL15-1230798’, a direct daughter of ‘Golden Capri’ (B09-6040496 – son ‘Di Caprio’) x ‘Henna’ (NL10-1109802 – daughter of ‘Blue Energy’ x ‘Choni’).

The second flight that made our pigeon heart race, was the flight from Chateauroux on 21 July (755 km). 3,647 pigeons participated in total and our flying team excelled with: 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th etc. The winner was ‘Manu’ again, the same as Bourges! The 3rd prize was won by ‘Alawa’, the same hen that won 3rd prize in Bourges. The 4th prize was won by ‘NL15-1230781’, a direct daughter of ‘Royal Dream’ (NL12-1076982 – son of ‘Cassius’ x ‘Lady Promise’) x ‘Pollin 470’ (direct Marc & Geert Pollin). The 5th prize was won by ‘Bert Junior’ ” (NL16-4783962), a direct son of national ace pigeon ‘Bert’ (NL10-4789721) x ‘New Hope’ (NL07-1207604 – a daughter of ‘Golden Lady’).

The third flight we would like to highlight is Sens of 23 June. Sens is 567 km away and 8,780 pigeons participated. Our flight team won: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 27th, 28th,50th, 67th etc. The third prize was won by ‘NL17-4703943’, a daughter of ‘Que’s story’ (NL13-1654855 – won 1st Quievrain 12.996 p. and is a son of ‘Jerson’ x ‘Lady Promise’) x ‘Geena’ (NL15-1230843). The 4th prize was easy prey for ‘Amadi’ (NL16-1072675), a full sister of the topper ‘Manu’ we described earlier. Behind the 5th prize, we put the ring number of ‘Nestor’ (NL13-4727672), a son of top hen ‘Zara’ (NL10-1109753 – daughter of ‘Ermerveen’s Hope’ x ‘Young Dream’ (a daughter of ‘Kleine Dirk’).

A few weeks ago, the ceremony of the elite "Pioneer Club" took place in Beijing (China). In this "Pioneer club", the top of the Chinese pigeon sport gathers and competes for honor and a lot of money. The ACE pigeon of last season was 'James Legend' (2018-B003791) ... a seldom seen topper in the history of the 'Pioneer Club'. This champion won: 8th Qi Xian 7,361p. (4907 km - 11/10/2018) - 6th He Zer 6,279 p. (503 km - 18/10/2018) - 1st Feng Qiu 2,510 p. (549 km - 25/10/2018) and 16th Hua Xian 976 p. (504 km - 1/11/2018). The speed with which the number of participating pigeons drops, says enough about the level of difficulty of those flights. Owner of this unique pigeon is James Huang, a Taiwanese businessman from Shanghai and represented in the "Pioneer Club" by Taiwanese fancier Chen Yong-Shan. A look at the origin of this unique pigeon shows us that 2 of the 4 grandparents are direct descendants of the Gerard Koopman Loft. Grandmother on father's side is 'Zus Royal Dream' (NL12-1076974 – daughter of "Cassius" x "Lady Promise") and the grandfather is "Kleine Koopman" (NL14-1462354 – son of "Jardel" (from "Mighty Man" x "Magic Victory") x 'Razinda' (daughter of 'Jason' x 'Zina' and mother of Olympiad bird 'Kyara'). But this is not the end of the story. "James Legend" was bought back by its owner for the unimaginable amount of 22 million Chinese Yuan or €2,788,000! This way, the noble Koopman strain has played a role in the global pigeon history.

Gerard Koopman together with Taiwanees champion James Huang