Last Wednesday Leo Heremans the creator of the Heremans-Ceusters strain was a guest at Greenfield Stud in Brummen, visiting with Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp and the entire Eijerkamp team.
He had been invited to evaluate the Heremans-Ceusters breeding pairs and to see whether or not he thought the pairs fit together. Who better to judge the pairings than the grand master himself? Isn't he the one that knows this family better than anyone else?
Amongst these pairs were a number of pigeons that Hans and Evert-Jan had purchased direct from Leo in 2006 and 2007 and also a number of descendants bred from these birds. A number of these pigeons had flown well at the Brummen lofts and had been sent to the breeding loft.
Team Eijerkamp invariable spends a lot of time making decisions on pairing the breeders.
When selecting pigeons Team Eijerkamp employs a professional and strict self-developed selection system. This selection system is a total concept system made up of seven separate criteria all of which the pigeons must satisfy before they are bred out of.
Last October, using this system the pigeons were all evaluated. A number fell along the wayside because for example: their muscle quality was not optimal, their feathering was not slick enough, the pigeon didn't show enough vitality, the pigeon wasn't balanced, there was too little ventilation in the last four flights of the wing etc.
Team Eijerkamp does not make quick and thoughtless decisions; everything has to be perfect in order to breed top pigeons out of top pigeons. Evert-Jan has a saying, "Out of cows one can't breed race horses!" In November Evert-Jan and his staff again went over the pigeons that had survived the first selection process and made a final judgement.
After this final assessment Team Eijerkamp put a lot of time in pairing the pigeons for the upcoming 2011 breeding season. Special attention is paid to how the pigeons are build and how they fit together; if they don't then compensation pairings are made.
Leo Heremans declared that he was very much impressed by the quality of the pigeons and their excellent condition. According to Leo, the pigeons were in perfect condition for breeding. He found only two pair that he did not think fit together. One of those pairs was made up of a beautiful large cock and a very small hen that had been named "Mus" (Sparrow). Leo easily followed Evert-Jan's reasoning for pairing these two pigeons together: the ancestry of the hen was tremendous and fit perfectly with that of the cock. A pair of youngsters will be bred of this pair and if they are built well than the pair will remain together, otherwise the cock will be paired to another hen.
Leo was pleasantly surprised by the expertise used by Team Eijerkamp to put together the breeding pairs. He didn't attempt to hide his praise and said that, except for those two pair, he would have assembled the breeding pairs the same way. Leo said that these pigeons were of an unprecedented high quality and that they would not be out of place in his lofts.
To this Hans answered, that if Leo ever lost his lofts to fire, he could come to Brummen to get new pigeons. Leo reacted by giving Team Eijerkamp the biggest compliment he could give: "I do believe that I will have to look and see where I put my lighterÖ"
Team Eijerkamp's expectations for the 2011 breeding season are very high.
Leo Heremans, Evert Jan Eijerkamp and Hans Eijerkamp
Henk JurriŽns, Leo Heremans,Evert Jan Eijerkamp en Hans Eijerkamp
It was a magnificent day and now we are gone wait for the results