Uma das melhores entrevistas / reportagens que li....versão em Inglês ( Original em Holandes) 17-02-2014

Já o tinha escrito em 2008 quando o visitei e agora 5 anos passados, sobre essa data, alguem afirma que é o melhor Columbofilo Holandes da actualidade e um dos melhores de sempre. Contra factos não existem argumentos...nesta pequena historia, pode-se constatar que foi atraves dos seus soberbos resultados que os pombos do Leo Hermans ficaram conhecidos, um Grande Senhor da Columbofilia Mundial, que tive o prazer de rever em Houten no passado dia 25 de Novembro 2013 e voltar a trocar umas palavras sobre columbofilia e sobre pombos.

Ele e Ad Schaerlaeckens são os columbofilos que descobrem os columbofilos emergentes e apostam nesses pombos, criando assim as modas, quando os outros comecam a ter, já eles estão noutro patamar e noutra busca.

Não chamo a isto sorte, chamo a isto muito trabalho de investigação e muitas horas a visitar pombais de outros durante a epoca de defeso.

Claro que nem sempre acertam na moche, porque já tem comprado posturas completas e dai não aproveitarem nada, em Agosto de 2013 quando visitei Ad. Schaerlaeckens essa foi a minha pergunta e o mesmo me confessou alguns dos fracassos das suas apostas. Não revelo os nomes para não ser indelicado, mas algumas das colonias em que eles apostaram e não deram nada são apregoadas em Portugal ao 7 ventos, como sendo o futuro.

Uma entrevista para se ler e refletir sobre o desporto e sobre a columbofilia.


Willem de Bruijn, best of the best                        

                                                                                              (part 1 of 3).


In 2000 the National pigeon magazine NPO asked their readers who they found the best racer of Holland. I remember this so well because after the votes were counted I found myself at the 3rd place of the nation. Of course this was too much honour, but nevertheless I felt flattered. But 2000 is a pretty long time ago. 2000 is not 2013. If the same question would be asked to-day quite other names would be brought up.



I  was discussing this subject (who is the best) with friends.

The names of v d Merwe, Verkerk, de Bruijn and Koopman were mentioned most.

It is true, they are all fanciers that race many birds but without many birds it is hard to be the best to-day.

- P v d Merwe? He can show breath-taking results, but should be more consistent.

- Verkerk? He is for sure the best one day racer but his weak point is young bird racing.

- Koopman is a also a star but should be more consistent as well.

- We finally agreed: The absolute number ONE in present day pigeon racing is W de Bruijn. The results of the dentist who refuses to retire are breath taking the whole year round. Short distance, middle distance or one day races? Old birds or young birds? For his birds it does not make any difference.

Every race, the whole year round,  he is the man to beat, the favourite to win.

Not only regional, but Provincial as well. I cannot imagine that any one else has won so many NATIONAL titles in the last few decades.   

Willem de Bruijn who looks serieus. A rare picture.


As a youngster Willem was already obsessed by pigeons, which in fact was not real strange. Half of his classmates had pigeons in those days.

The real start to a magnificent career was made in 1984. Then he bought a farm with a big shed in the little town of Reeuwijk, located some 25 kms north of Rotterdam.

The lofts were installed soon, the only thing that was missing now were the birds. Good birds of course because this man is a born winner and one of the words that he hates is “average”.

And where could he get better birds than at Bros de Wit? These were very honest people (important!) and in the races unbeatable.

The fact that they never got the international fame that they deserved is not relevant.

De Wit had mainly Klakbirds, so Janssen family. Today every Dutchman knows how good these de Wit birds birds were then. They are winning now for Verkerk, Verbree and v d Merwe.

Those people, and de Bruijn of course, were smart enough as to go and get De Wit birds while the rest of a whole nation was sleeping.

Willems pigeon farm


So to De Wit he went where he bought 30 babies. It was back in 1984.

Only one year later he had his first real super. He named it “Sterkweker” (“Breeding Star” 85-340) and this name was not exaggerated.

This b”rd would be the start of an era of a loft that was loaded with superbirds.

De Bruijn had so many of them throughout the years that I have to make  choices. The result is that, believe it or not, inevitably NATIONAL Aces, Olympiad birds and winners against 10.000 odd birds will be skipped or will get little attention.


"Starbreeder" (85-340)

"Starbreeder" was a direct De Wit bird. Through Klak and Ouwerkerk (line Verbarth) there was pretty much Janssen blood in it. "Starbreeder" became:

- Father of the best cock of the country in 1993.

- Grandfather of the best cock of Holland in 1995.

- Also grandfather of the best NATIONAL young bird in 1996.

Perhaps the most spectacular descendant of “Starbreeder” is “Super Schalie” (90-089). “Schalie” means “Slaty” which is a reference to the Janssen strain.


"Super Schalie" (90-089)

You just cannot possibly describe how good the off spring of this wonder breeder was. In most of the de Bruijn Aces of today the blood of this bird is represented. 

As said before it is a grandson of “Sterkweker” but “Super Schalie” is also a direct son of 86-186, another Klakbird through De Wit and another basic bird as well.

Descendants of “Super Schalie” were:

- 3rd best hen of Holland 1992.

- 3rd best hen of Holland 1993.

- 2nd best hen of Holland 1995.

Especially a pigeon called “King”, another descendant of 86-186 was a one in a life time bird. It won: 4.410 p -1st, 3.818 p - 1st, 2.289 p - 1st, 1.3890 p - 1st.

Most of de Bruijns best breeders also have an excellent racing record. Like “Super Schalie”. It won:

9.119 p - 1st

4.734 p - 1st

2.976 p -1st

737 p - 1st (3,106 p - 2nd).

691 p - 1st (2.891 p - 8th).

It gave so many supers that Willem just forgot to update me on one of his best direct children: “Apollo” (01-694) which is a descendant of Sterkweker as well.


"Apollo" 01-694.

"Apollo" was 4th best Middle Distance bird off All Holland: His main results are:

3.777 p - 1st

4.492 p - 4th

4.274 p - 4th

6.409 p - 7th. and naturally much more.

Off-spring of “Apollo” won:

- 5th best cock of Holland.

- Bourges 8.548 p - 3rd.

- Sens 1.018 p - 1st

- Orleans 6.036 p - 1st

- Nanteuil; 14.669 p - 1st

- Mantens 11.778 p - 1st

- Peronne 19.278 p - 1st

- Duffel 5.535 p - 1st.

- Duffel 4.530 - 1st

- Peronne 608 p - 1st

- Vierzon 14.964 p - 3rd

- Morlinourt 8.345 p - 6th

- Strombeek 2.247 - 1st

- Nijvel 4.853 - 5th

- Pommeroel 4.092 - 2nd. 

- Sezanne 1.202 - 1st

- Pont 3.777 p - 1st AND MORE!


Olympic Zeus (01-452).

Also famous “Olympic Zeus” is a descendant of “Super Schalie” and the old de Wit strain. Seeing its results it will not surprise you it was crowned as the 2nd best cock of Holland in 2002 and that it was Olympiad bird as well. It won:

6156 p. - 1st

2555 p. - 1st

1453 p - 2nd

6409 p - 4th

3894 p.- 5th

2299 p - 6th

4178 p - 9th and, again(!), that is only part of it.

These prizes were won in races from 125 to 600 kilometres.

It stands to reason that “Olympic Zeus” as well became father or grandfather of many outstanding birds, but now I want to draw your attention to something else.

One of the bird that made W de Bruijn famous.


The birds, mentioned before, are mainly de Wit birds mixed with a bit Griekspoor, Ouwerkerk and van Breemen.

The start of the new century was for W de Bruyn also the start of a new era.

He imported some birds to mix with his own family and it was not long before the “new” de Bruijn birds stunned the nation. AGAIN!

In Holland it is a well-known fact that Willem de Bruijn have been friends since long.

Though we think the same about many things we practise this sport differently.

He races many birds, I even dare participate in a race with less than a handful. Furthermore you should know that before 2000 he had rarely been in Belgium.

For me this is different, I live right at the border, he lives in the middle of Holland.

When Willem said in 2001 “I would not mind trying out something new” my reaction was “Let”s go Belgium then”.  

And to Belgium we went.

Our first target was a fancier that was quite unknown then and did not live far from the French border. Gilbert Meire was his name. How I knew him? When Leutenez was in his glory days he had supers from this man.

So we went all the way to Meire, Willem bought a basket full of birds and one was to be an absolute miracle, both as a racer and a breeder.

He named it “Gilbert”. It won 40 prizes in 3 years” time, among them 3 firsts. As a breeder it was a real sensation and became father or grandfather of over 20 first prize winners. His descendants won:

- 4th S National Ablis 17.730 p.

- 1st Duffel 3.912 p.

- 1st S National Blois 20,755 p.

- 1st Orleans 3.984 p.

- 15th S National Bourges 9,000 p.

- 6th S-National Blois 4.673 p.

- Famous “Mystery Lady” and “Olympic Anita”, both raced by Vanlint.

"Mystery Lady" won 12 prizes in top 100 National Belgium. "Olympic Anita"became Olympiad bird.

- 5th National Ace.

- 8th best cock of Holland..  

- 9th National Ace Belgium.

- 5th National Ace and more!!!

The dentist was so happy with his “Gilbert” that he told me: “If ever you know a man who has birds of the same quality, you should tell me.

That was in 2005 and I knew such a man indeed. His name was Leo Heremans, in those days just as unknown as Meire at the time, but already kind of legendary in his own area.

So to Leo Heremans we went.

The memory of those visits will stay in my mind forever.



I do not think any Dutchman had been to Heremans then.

German Mr Roeper though had outsmarted me and was the first foreigner to visit Heremans and buy his birds.

Anyway, Leo was proud then to get visitors from abroad then and he welcomed us heartily. And he was proud as well to show us his top birds.

Never ever will I forget the beauty of the birds that Willem and me handled there.

We were so impressed that we hardly spoke a word when we drove home and they kept us awake at night. In our lofts we felt like killing a lot of our birds, since they could not compare with Heremans birds.

Finally I myself bought 6 birds there, Willem bought 60, all from the very best.

This was typical W de Bruijn style. He never buys birds for crazy prices to put it in the breeding loft, on the contrary: For the same money that others sometimes pay for one bird he buys a bunch at a time and he races them.

They first have to prove themselves as racers before they get a chance to breed.

I must admit though, in the beginning de Bruijn was not sure of himself.

When he had those Heremans birds he asked me numerous times:

"Do you really think these birds are so good?" 

"No doubt about it, but why do you ask?" I always reacted.

"These birds are too pretty to be good" he said again and again.

The first training toss already made an end to his doubts.

Five races later he thanked God he had bought these birds. And after the first season he knew he had gold in his loft. Among the 60 youngsters were 12 birds that were ABSOLUTE SUPERS, birds that could win against 10.000 pigeons or more.                                                                                  



Note about National Aces in the Netherlands. We have the following NATIONAL competitions that each has its own rules:

- NPO. You can compare this with KBDB.

- WHZB: A traditional competiton of the leading magazine “NPO”. 

- BOTB: The competition of to-days” leading magazine “Het Spoor”.  

In the previous edition I described how W de Bruijn, the super star from Holland, built up his family of birds.

And I mentioned the golden move he did early this century: The import of a bird from Meire and scores of birds from Leo Heremans that made

de Bruijn even better than he already was.

The Heremans birds themselves were almost unbeatable, for the crossing of these birds with his own old family I have no words.

I daresay that the results at de Bruijns were partly responsible for the Heremans hype of today. 12 Of the 60 birds that were purchased were real good, or 20%. Naturally he got rid of the other 80%.

ONLY 80% rubbish?

Two birds of ten that are real good? All those who are realistic will admit this is exceptional. Some of those Heremans stars you find below. The stuff is less boring as it may seem, if you study the results well.  


"Kleine Blauwe" (B-05-6045556).

The Belgian band shows this is a direct Heremansbird.

The father is a brother to famous “Rossi”.

The mother is bred from “Blauw Kampioentje”, the mother of “Jan” and halfsister of “Wonder Aske”. “Kleine Blauwe” became father or grandfather of:

- 1st Creil 2.648 p.

- “Joep" that won 3 x 1st and 5 x 2nd.

- “Jeroen" that became 4th National Ace pigeon.

- 11th best cock of Holland.

- "Olympic Schanulleke", which became 1st National Ace long Distance in ALL National competitions and Olympiad bird as well. It won, read and shiver:

- 3rd Orleans 6.951 p.

- 8th Orleans 10.375 p.

- 8th Tours 9.061 p.

- 26th Vierzon 11.674 p.

- 21st Orleans 7.259 p.

- 10th Argenton 3.128 p.

Her mother is "Granieda" another granddaughter of "Super Schalie". 

"Favori" (B-05-6045542).

"Favori" is again a direct Heremans, and what kind of. In its pedigree we see famous birds such as "Brother Kannibaal van Dijck", "Blauw Kampioentje" (mother Jan), "Olympiad 003", "Wonder Aske", "Goudklompje".

Also this bird had to prove herself in the races before it was worth a nest box in the stock loft, typical de Bruijn style.

"Favori" herselfbecame 10th National Ace BOTB in 2006 and is mother of:

- "Zidane" (07-614) that became 2nd National Ace BOTB and 6th National Ace short distance NPO in 2008.

-  "Carina" (3rd S National Breisach 8.445 p).

-  "Blue Favori (07-749) that won:

- 1st Peronne 43.623 p.

- 1st Orleans 10.375 p.

- 6th Creil 20.236 p.

- 12h Peronne 22.790 p

- 13th Marienbourg 19.602 p.

-  Rosalinde (08-464), 3rd best hen of Holland.

- And "Favori"is mother of sensational "Charony”  that won in 8 days” time:

1st Nanteuil 17.186 p and 2nd Bourges (16.843 p) !!!


"Fairy tale" (06-1071928).

"Fairy Tale" was bred by de Bruijn from two DIRECT Heremansbirds: "Fantast" x "Fina". "Fina" is a daughter of famous "Rossi"  x “Spinneke”.

"Fairy Tale" won 1st from 693 birds and 1st Provincial Ables (2.764 p). That was  good enough to put her in the stock loft. She became mother of:

- "Olympic Hurricane" (10-185) that won:

- 1st Ablis 2.193 p

- 1st Pommeroel 2.753 p.

- 7th Duffel 5.535 p and much more. “Olympic Hurricane” became 3rd National Ace ybirds (BOTB), it was Olympiad bird as well and became father of

"Olympic Froome (11-433) that won:

- 1st Argenton 1.262 p.

- 1st Peronne 1.689 p.

- 4th Mantes 10.466 p.

- 4th Pommeroel 3.105 p.

- 10th Nijvel. 6.019 p.

And, it is amazing, also “Olympic Froome” became Olympiad bird (Nitra).

Furthermore “Fairy tale” is mother of:

"Tineke" (11-1742359) that won Peronne 19.278 p - 1st.

"Lisa" (11-182), another daughter of "Fairy Tale", won: 650 p  - 1st, 672 p - 1st, 387 p - 1st, 3.062 p - 2nd and S National Bourges 7.586 p - 8th.

Does “Fairy Tale” deserve her name?

"Fairy Tale" is halfsister "of Blue Fame" (07-760) that was 5th National Ace young birds and 11th best hen of Holland in 2009. (WHZB).  

"Blue Flame" won 6.255 p - 2nd, 4.727 p - 5th, 8.851 p - 11th, 20.236 p - 23rd, 12.768 p - 22nd. And "Blue Flame" in her turn is mother of 1st - 1.994 p.  2nd  - 1.992 p, 1st - 5.535 p, 2nd - 1.063 pigeons and so on.

Getting dizzy? There are many more you should not miss, but I will pick out just one: “Hestia”.

Fairy Tale

"Hestia" (B-05-6045569).

 "Hestia" is again a direct Heremansbird.

She became 5th best youngster Holland WHZB and is mother of:

- 1st Nanteuil 14.669 p.

- 1st Mantes 11.778 p.

- 1st Chalons 11.853 p.

- 1st Pommeroel 6.082 p.  And understandably much more.  

"Hestia" is grandmother of "Forezza, 4th best young bird Holland in 2010.  I want to finish with the best racer in the loft in 2012 and 2013. “Jacob” is the name.


"Jacob" (11-1742183).

"Jacob" is a grandson of "Zidane", mentioned before.

The mother “Janneke" (08-341) is a daughter of "Kleine Blauwe" x "Granieda".  Main results of “Jacob”:

- 1st Lisquin 4.904 p.

- 2nd Lille 16.450 p

- 9th Chateauroux 13.512 p.

- 1st Pommeroel 719 p.

- 13th Nanteuil 8.986 p.

- 21st Tours 11.759 p.

- 7th Meer 3.062 p.

- 12th Duffel 4.454 p and again… Much more of course.

"Jacob" became 4th best cock of Holland in 2013 and won no less than 15 times in 1st One percent.

And what is typical for the de Bruijn birds in general and this bird in particular?

* “Jacop” was top from Chateauroux (9th prize from 13.512 birds), no less than  621 kilometres. Strong headwinds that day and consequently a low speed of 1.131 mpm.

* And it was also top from Meer (7th prize from 3.062 birds) which is 62 kilometres only. Tailwinds then with a speed of 1.511 mpm.

So the bird was very early from a hard long distance race and very early from a pure sprint race as well with tail winds. 

Furthermore “Jacob” was raced from the end of March till Middle September!

I find it unbelievable.



Unfortunately I have to restrict myself, if not this report would be a book soon.

Many real good birds that are ignored would be stars in the loft of others.

Pigeons such as:  

- “Nationaaltje”: Best bird of Holland in 1996.

- 88-854. (Prins) 5th best cock of Holland in 1990.

- 96-411: 6th best cock of Holland.

- 98-995: (mother Olympic Zeus) 9th best hen of Holland.

- 04-363: Won 10.652 p 1st and 4.250 p - 1st.

- 97-611: 2nd World Champion V L 1997.

- 96-505: 5th best ybird of Holland and one year later 5th best hen.

- 02-468: (Pettachi) Won 4 firsts.

- 13-357: (Wiske) Won: 10.767 - 2nd, 4.530 p - 1st and 4.092 p - 2nd.

- 09-617: (Katinka) won: 1.675 p - 2nd, 2.381 p - 3d, 608 p - 1st, 4.078 p - 12th.

This “Katinka” is mother of “Sietske” (09-185) that won 14.964 p- 3d, 8.345 p - 6th,

12.765 p - 15th, 6.9851 p - 9th.



I did not mention:

- 11-348: (“Vanilla”) 3rd National Ace BOTB

- 09-288: (“Rowi”) mother of 8th from 13.199 birds and 2nd from 9.015 birds.

- 10-120: (“Koen”) 10th best cock of Holland.

- 11-359: (“Tineke”) 1st Peronne 19.278 p.

- 05-589: (“Borias”) 5th best cock of Holland.

- 00-045: 1st National Ace NPO.

- 94-021: (“Victory”) 1st best cock Holland in 1995.

- 96-405: (“Jaap”) Best young bird of Holland.

- 10-012: (“Naila”) that won: 1st - 14,699 p and 1st - 11.778 p. 

- 07-805: (“Brutus”) that won: 19.602 p - 3rd, 1.308 p - 1st, 1.202 p - 1st, 22.790 p - 7th. Did I exaggerate when I said: “W de Bruijn is the best?”

This year (2013) in the national competition “BOTB” no less than nine de Bruijn pigeons were classified in the first fifty in the category “All Round”.



After this you may wonder:

- Is this de Bruijn located so well?

- Does he owe his breath taking results to training, special feeding, medication or

secrets may be? The fanciers mentioned below have got the answer to this question.

They imported de Bruijn pigeons and found themselves winners on NATIONAL level shortly after. And believe it or not, I have to make choices again. There are too many of them. The Aces of those champions were direct de Bruijn birds or bred from de Bruijn birds. Who in this world can show off with such a list?


- G and S Verkerk:

3rd Olympiad bird (2007).

1st NPO S National Blois 20.755 birds (!).  

Friend and neighbour and Super champion as well
Bas Verkerk
. After a half de Bruijn duif beat 20.755 pigeons
from Blois he had he reason to smile.

- L Sioen Belgium:

1st NATIONAL Poitiers 13.135 yrls with a pure de Bruijn (2013).


- K Lippens Belgium:

2nd NATIONAL Bourges 11.883 yrls, a pure de Bruijn (2013).     


- Michel Vanlint Belgium (and that is REALLY IMPRESSING):

1st NATIONAL Geuret, fastest of 14,497 pigeons (2013).

1st NATIONAL La Souterraine 3.150 p. Bred by de Bruijn!!  (2004)

1st NATIONAL Vichy 2.458 p in 2004 and Olympiad bird in 2005. Bred by de Bruijn.

1st NATIONAL La Souterraine 13.965 p. (2006)

3rd OLYMPIAD BIRD long distance. Poznan. Bred by de Bruijn. (2011).


- T Bosma:

2nd Olympiad bird yearlings (2013).


- C Everling (one of de Bruijns closest friends)

1st OLYMPIAD BIRD yearlings in 2011 and also 1st OLYMPIAD bird yearlings 2013.


- J v d Pasch:

2nd OLYMPIAD bird all round (2013).

3rd OLYMPIAD bird yearlings (2013).

1st S-National NPO Pithiviers 12.987 p.

1st NATIONAL ACE youngsters 2013.

2nd NATIONAL ACE youngsters 2010.

1st S-National NPO Tours 13.244 p.

1st National Ace y birds 2009.

1st best hen of Holland in 2012.

V d Pasch was already a great champion. He bought pigeons from de Bruijn and is so honest as to say “this is the best thing I ever did. Willem must have wonderbirds.”


- Albert Derwa Belgium:

This sympathetic fancier became NATIONAL Champion Belgium Yearlings in 2012.

Two superbirds were responsible for it. One was bred by de Bruijn.


- Cassaert-Senechal Belgium:

This man has had super birds all his life that are popular all over the world. In 2011 he had a bird that was even better than his own family. It became 2nd NATIONAL ACE KBDB Middle distance and was a PURE de Bruijn.


- G and S Verkerk:

3rd Olympiad bird (2007).

1st NPO S National Blois 20.755 birds (!).  


A v d Burg:

1st Provincial Mantes 23.851 pigeons !!

1st Provincial Nanteuil 30.013 pigeons !! This bird was bred by de Bruijn.

Anton v d Burg, one of the many that were successful
with de Bruijnbirds.


H Calon:

1st Provincial Orleans 6.036 pigeons. Bred by W de Bruijn.


Borgmans Bros:

1st NPO S National Sens 9.437 pigeons. (2013).


J Kuijzer

Best short distance pigeon of Holland NPO (2013).


Did I say that de Bruijn one had the SEVEN best hens of Holland in the NATIONAL Competition WHZB?

No, I did not.

Did I mention race results of this loft?

No, I did not.

But there are so many good birds, sensational results and Ace pigeons that I did not mention. But there is ONE result I want to show you. That is the result of the last race of 2013 from Mantes, 400 kilometres. He had entered 160 birds, yes that is a lot, but… no less than 124 of them were prize winners and that is also a lot! The entry of this provincial race was 2.050 birds. De Bruijn won, fasten seatbelts, SEVENTEEN PRIZES IN THE FIRST TWENTY:

Or to be more precise from 2.050 birds: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.  

In the past I thought competition was poor where he races. Now the Belgians know better and I know better. I also have a de Bruijn bird, only a yearling.

It won:

- 2nd NPO S National Pithiviers from no less than 15.770 birds. Over 400 kilometres and strong head winds. 

- 3rd NPO S National Orleans 7.743 birds. 450 kms.

- 2nd Sint Quentin 6,069 birds.

If these prizes were won by 3 birds it would be amazing.

But they were won by just one bird. Who else than W de Bruijn can breed such pigeons? From Sint Quentin it was only beaten by a loft mate, a grandchild of

of Home Alone. Given all the firsts won by de Bruijn I wonder how many Home Alones or is it Homes Alone he has!!!!

Who would not smile with a bird that he got as present
that won: 
- S-National NPO Pithiviers 15.770 birds 2nd.
- S- National NPO Orléans 7.743 birds 3rd.
- St Quentin 6.069 birds 2nd (Only beaten by loft mate). 

Many books have been written about pigeon sport.

And many fanciers are eager to tell you what you should do to win.

But unfortunately most of these that advise others are less than average racers themselves. Should they be the teachers?

The people that you can rely on are the champions. And especially those that have been champions all their lives. Such a man is Dutch Willem de Bruijn, the man with the fairy tale results who also made others champion. I asked him some questions that may reveal things you normally would not think about.


What should I do to become such a champion as you have been all your life?  

You should WANT to be a champion in the first place. Everybody can do what I can  provided they have the will to win.

Of course people should also have the feeling, and even more important, not believe all the sh*t that is told such as secrets that others claim to have but that do not exist.


What do you understand by “the feeling”?

Hard to tell. You should be a pigeon between the pigeons. Have the capacity to observe very well. See what pigeons need, how they feel, what they like and what they do not like and so on.


What is the most important thing in this sport?

Simple. Good birds. 90 Percent of all the rest is BS. Ask 10 champions how they feed and you will get 10 different answers. Ask how they train and the same story. The lofts are supposed to be very important. But look how different the lofts of the champions are.  

Leo Heremans claims lofts should be well ventilated. “Pigeons need fresh air.”

Champions such as v d Wouwer, Dirk van Dijck, v d Bulck and Jos Joosen say lofts should NOT be ventilated. “Ventilation only causes draught.”  

Some champions visit a vet every month, others hardly ever.  


And what is YOUR idea about ventilation?

Unlike the lofts of v d Wouwer and Dirk van Dijck my lofts are very open. Above the heads of the birds are the tiles of the roof. Just like Janssen Bros.

The last few years W de Bruijn often went Belgium and built up many
good contacts there. One of them is Maurice Haesendonckx.  


"Good birds" is all that matters you say. If a fancier does not have good birds, how can he get them?

Go to the right places. Preferably to fanciers that have little place and therefore few birds. Such people are obliged to eliminate birds that would be good birds for others.


Ha, then people should not go to you.

I get your point, this may sound funny indeed, since I myself have many birds.

But I daresay I am of a different kind.

When people talk about Verkerk, me and others they often talk about the many birds we race and “forget” how many of these birds win prizes.

It happened to me that I entered 110 birds and won 100 prizes.

In my opinion that is far more difficult than winning 10 prizes from 11 birds even though that is very good as well.


"Go tot the right places, you said. Can you be more specific?

There are many fanciers with good results but that is not

good enough for me. I also want to know the strength of the competition.

In some parts of both Holland and Belgium it is not that difficult to get outstanding results, since the competitors do not mean much.

In other regions it is the opposite. I will try to explain with an example.

Where I live is much water. If in winter I would skate with aged people I would be the  best of all. If I would skate with 20 year old fanatic skaters I would be a big joke. See what I mean?


"I do. But you in Holland know where the good birds are. And you have the money. Many people abroad are not so fortunate. Can they forget to play a role in this sport?

Due to the internet also the pigeon world has become small. Foreigners should study loft results and certainly not fall for ads that promise to breed a bridge even if there is no river. But I must admit, interpreting results in the right way is a kind of art. Furthermore you should not go to fanciers that medicate a lot.


Amidst big shots.

Your birds seem to be fast and strong. How do you get such birds? By grading them maybe? See if they have the muscles to turn into strong birds?

Certainly not by grading the birds, and about muscles I know as much as about eyes.

That means nothing. I do not know much about pigeons anyway. 


Are serious now?

Deadly serious. Sometimes foreigners that want to buy babies ask for the colour if the eyes of the parents. Believe it or not, I do not even know what colour the eyes of my best breeders are.


And eye sign then?

Eye sign, come on. We are serious people, are not we? When people buy birds I can never understand what they are looking for when they look in the birds eyes. They should rather look in the eyes of the fancier!


You say you bought many birds, but that is also what many others did. But unlike you they never make it. What is the difference?

Quite simple. I breed many babies and race as many birds as I can every week from any distance! Even the pure sprint birds that I bought in Belgium must be able to handle long distance. My old birds are raced 20 times a year.
Birds that cannot handle this can go. By doing so you finally will end up having good birds.


Or NO birds.

Ha, good birds or no birds, right. But I prefer no birds to bad birds. Moreover, an empty loft has been a good base for a fresh start for many.


You are often successful when importing birds. You say you nothing about birds, nor

about eyes or muscles. What do you look at?

What you say is wrong. I bought many birds indeed but I was seldom successful. And what do I look at?

Hhm. Nothing at all. When I think a fancier is honest and I suspect him of having good birds I just buy a basketful of babies.


A basketful?

Right, or two basketsful. In this way I buy the rubbish but the good birds as well. Much money for just one bird is no guarantee for quality. I always compare with a raffle. The more lots the more chances. The advantage of racing those birds

is that you need not wait for years to find out if they are any good.

De Bruijn loft by winterday

Do basic birds such as Kleine Blauwe only give good birds?

Of course not. Birds that only give good birds only exist on the internet. Therefore it seldom happens that I put birds directly in the breeding loft for their good pedigree alone. They first have to prove in the races that they are worth it.


Do you believe in inbreeding or should people cross?

I believe in good luck! That is what you need when breeding.


What would you say is your secret?

Selection based on results and natural health. With the record sheet in my hands I make the selection. Thus you will get good birds, there is no other way.

If you select with the pedigrees in your hands you get birds with a nice pedigree.

If it is beauty that matters you will get beautiful birds. But what is the use of birds with a breath taking pedigree or beauty that are unable to leave the others behind when flying home?


And feeding then?

That is the easiest thing in pigeon sport. I give my birds the same mixture the whole year round and they can eat as much as they want. I fully trust on their instinct.

Birds will eat what they need and not eat what they do not need. In case some feed is left I make the chickens happy. In fact every fancier should have chickens.


And what about medicating?

Nothing special. When the birds get sick I will be the first to medicate.

When they are in good health I stay away from all medicine. A big mistake that many  make is to think that medicine can make birds fly faster.

For one thing I do not take any chances: Paratyphoid. I blindly medicate once a year.  


Willem de Bruijn: Frequent medication inevitably results in pigeons that get weaker and bacteria that get stronger.


Are you sure this is the best method?

Hmm. “Convinced” is a better word. I have always tried to get the best out of my birds. And I must admit I had my doubts in the past. There is nothing that I did not try.

I injected the birds before the races with different antibiotics, in fact there are no medicine that I do not know and hardly any that I did not try.

Whenever I heard something I tried it out.

I concluded that, if there were such a thing like boosting, this cannot be done with medicine. I know few people will believe me but that is not my problem but theirs.

Everybody is free what to think but while others wasted their money on useless products I invested in good birds. And I never regretted it.


The future

Special things about training or tossing?

Nothing special. Daily loft training like others do and the youngsters I toss up to 20 times before the races, but only from a distance of 15 kilometres max.

In between the races I do not go on the road any more. I did it in the past but, if there is a difference, it is only in the first few sprint races. For the rest I consider all those tosses a waste of time and gas, but others may think different of course. 


Thanks Mr de Bruijn. A final question. Advice for novices?

It is not medication, training, feeding and so on that will make you a champion but good pigeons ! And for the rest all I have to say can be summarised in three words:


                                         Keep things simple.


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