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The power of chance

They are sometimes very small things that can have huge consequences. This can happen in a negative sense (think about being at the wrong time in the wrong place) but the reverse is also true. I am thinking in particular of certain super pigeons.

Just one egg broken or not broken?

Or just one pigeon that hit or did not hit a wire may make all the difference between eternal fame or obscurity.

Take "Paulin" of Derwa. Simply one of the best birds of this century. Nothing more and nothing less. Peerless on flights and even better as a breeder. Albert thanked this bird to the oblivion of a fellow sportsman.

One should know that in 2006 he had promised to breed some babies for their friend  Paul Huls. However, he never came to pick up the birds.

Among the birds were some real beauties and Albert decided to keep them for himself. One of them was "Paulien", the one and only.

She owns her name to Paul.


Albert Derwa handling Paulien and her daughter. See how healthy they look.   


One of the best racers of the Netherlands in this century, is the "Geeloger" of Dutch Koen Minderhoud. How good the bird is as a breeder we do not know yet but as a racer it was a sensation in 2013.

Well, the mother of this flying miracle is a daughter of the same "Paulien". Hence also the "Geeloger" owes its existence to forgetful Paul Huls.
But there is something more. This "Geeloger" obviously has a father as well. Koen calls him the "Broken Wing" and this bird also has a story.
One should know that a few years back a raptor attacked his pigeons. One of them panicked so much that it flew at full speed against the loft. The result was a broken wing and Koen had no other choice but to put him into the breeding loft where he was to become father of "Geeloger". While other pigeons lose their lives by a raptor, "Geeloger" thanked its existence to one such murderer .


While pigeons such as "Paulien" and "Geeloger" are among the best of this century, the Kannibaal from Dirk van Dijck was yet of another level. That was one of the best pigeons in the history of this sport.
Especially by his unprecedented breeding value. I doubt if there has ever existed a bird with so many national winners and national Ace pigeons among its off-spring.

Also this "Kannibaal" owes his existence to chance.
One should know that Dirk had a mealy cock in the 90-ies that raced super from Quievrain (120 kilometers). Until it got lost. It stands to reason that Dirk was upset. Anyone who ever lost a super will know such pains.
Anyway, its nestbox was taken over by another male (Rambo!) and incidentally, he took the hen of the mealy as well. Guess what happened? They became the parents of the "Kannibaal".

The one and only. Unfortunately the photo is not real clear but that is typical Dirk van
Dijck who is a racer in the first place.  

The best pigeon Klak had in the twilight of his career was his "613".

The father, (1987-927), he called the "Knook", that means something like "ugly".

I handled the bird many times. It was very ugly indeed and I was obviously not the only one that thought so.

In fact the bird should have been sold as a baby but no one was interested.

When fanciers came to buy babies they even begged Klak if it would be a problem if they not take that "927".

Although it was bred from direct Janssen birds and descended from famous birds such as the Rocket, Geeloger and Old Witoger Klak decided to take it to the poulterer. But then a hawk caught one of his cocks and now Klak had a problem.

He had either a hen too much or a cock too little. He decided not to get rid of a hen but for heaven"s sake keep that ugly bird. It was to become the father of the "613". The parents were mated for many more years but never produced another good bird.

Klak handling his 613.

One of the basic birds of famous Geerinckx he got from Jef Keirsmaekers.
And the way he got it was a bit unorthodox.
One should know that Keirsmaekers had a sale in the 90"s where Luc Geerinckx was present. After the sale, there were a handful of pigeons left, pigeons that nobody wanted. Geerinckx found it a pity to take those birds to a poulterer and took one home with him. A few years later, he was the proud owner of a handful of real super pigeons and guess what? They were children and grandchildren from that bird that no one wanted



I still remember the day that Bas Verkerk, of all people, came to my place to buy some birds. World famous "Bubbels" was one of them, but not the only one.

I then had 2 brothers, 049 and 050 which were real lookalikes. I still see Bas hesitate which bird he should take. Finally he decided to take 049. Later on he would call it "Alessandro" that would produce illustrious "Sprint" a real sensational racer.

Also "Bolt" from Leo Heremans, the bird that was sold for 310,000 euro, was a descendant of "Alessandro".

Talking about coincidences: If Verkerk had bought 050 and not his brother 049 he would never have had his Sprint and Heremans would not have had his "Bolt".

I kept 050 myself. All the offspring were junk. 

295 and 296
I myself had my "Ace Four" and his nestsister 144.

They were 1st and 2nd Provincial Aces in 1996 against no less than 11,500 birds average in the races. Never happened before that brother and sister took the first 2 places in a provincial championship.  
Henk Simonsz wrote a series of articles dedicated to their descendants.

I daresay this is UNBELIEVABLE. Take Belgium alone:
- "Anita" Vanlint (1st National and Olympic pigeon) was a descendant of Ace Four.

- The 1st National Argenton from P Rubens Belgium descended from Ace Four.

- The 1st National Argenton from B van Oeckel descended from Ace Four.

- And so did "The Ad" of Marcel Wouters (1st National Ace KBDB and 1st Olympiad pigeon), as well as "Fleur" from Jespers vd Wegen which was often described as the best breeding hen of Belgium.
The father of Ace Four and Co. was 95-295 and I was lucky to have this bird.

You should know that in 1995 H v Helmond had bought a voucher from me. I then had a great couple (Mattens x Sissi) and when van Helmond came to my place to pick up the bird for his voucher I had two babies of this pair, four weeks old.

Herman looked at them, he did not notice any difference, and said "just give me one".

"The prettiest is yours" I said and handled him "296".

Only one year later I had my Ace Four and his sister. They were children of the "295", the bird that I kept by chance. Later on "296" also produced a national winner.


In short, chance plays a great role in our existence as humans and as a fancier.

And breeding couples? Are there people who can form breeding couples?

No way. No one can.


The breeding pair does not make the super bird, but the super bird makes the breeding pair.


What I mean is this: Mate birds that will produce winners is what we hope.

What happens in reality is that we suddenly have that "super" and later on we put the  stamp "breeding couple" on the parents.

And "Golden Couples" that especially Chinese often talk about? These only exist in auction lists. And in our dreams. 


Home Alone, the most famous son of Ace Four. It won 1st from 13.500 birds with a lead of 5 minutes
in hard weather.