I don't read many loft reports, simply because they are so boring. Always talking about that darkening or mating ‘good with good', I get tired of it.
Of a champion loft, the writer should always ask himself 'what distinguishes this champion from others'.
Today, however, you could once again read a report in De Duif that was interesting. It was about the top performances of Bros Leideman. Foppe was the author.
Andre from the far north and his brother also emphasize that our sport is mainly about quality and that many people waste their time looking for something that does not exist.
His idea? Medically as little as possible, preferably no medicine at all and supplements do not make you a champion.
Champions such as Verkerk, de Bruijn, Leo Heremans and long distance icon Jantje Theelen are not fond of supplements either, nor were legends like Klak and Gebr. Janssen, although Janssen Bros sometimes gave pieces of cheese.
Furthermore I must admit that in Antwerp quite a few champions put garlic in the drinking water in winter. If it is useful some prominent vets dare to doubt and so do I, though I must admit I am skeptical by nature.
The Leideman brothers visited me when they were young and Andre still regularly travels to the south. While others ponder what to give to their pigeons, he is looking for quality, preferably in the province of Antwerp or at his German friend Roeper.
And believe me, he is a man who only sleeps at night.
If there's anyone he suspects of having better birds than himself, Andre visits him, and it's not to talk about the weather.
You can also see how alert he is in the pedigrees of his best pigeons. You will find the names of Gert Heylen, v d Brande and Gustje Wouters from a time when very few had heard about them.
Whether the fanciers mentioned are not pure vitesse players? Indeed, but so what?
For 5 years it was said about Willy Daniels that he was the best in Belgium in the (small) long distance. His (National) Ace Pigeons and winners also stem for a large part from sprint birds. You should not ask him about supplements either. He will look at you questioningly as if he wants to ask what for? And still he was for sure the best of Belgium for some years.
Fanciers seem to like to talk about everything, only the most important thing, QUALITY, seems less interesting: 'Seems'.
W de Bruijn is one of the best fanciers in Holland. I often went to visit champions with him and sometimes those were real long drives. But in the car we never talked about lofts, strains, feeding, systems, eyes, nor did we gossip ;-).
We only talked about good pigeons.
The most sensational racer in Holland is young Bas Verkerk. He claims that he tried out any supplements imaginable. But never did he notice any improvement in condition. It seems he is even against them.
Bas: The pigeon body itself will produce the ingredients that it needs. If you give those supplements the body will stop producing it. You make it as it were lazy.
And you won’t believe how many kilometers his birds have to deal with every year.