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Hans & Evert Jan Eijerkamp 6th WHZB / TBOTB 2017

Hans & Evert Jan Eijerkamp 6th WHZB / TBOTB 2017 Against 15.000 lofts

The name Eijerkamp needs no introduction to anyone in the racing pigeon sport. Everyone knows the now 83-year-old Hans Eijerkamp and his 56-year-old son Evert-Jan Eijerkamp from Brummen. Hans has now enjoyed his beloved pigeon sport for 67 years, his son Evert-Jan was inducted as a child with a gruel spoon, into the pigeon sport. They are members of the P.V. ‘Zutphen’ and fly in the Kring ‘IJsel,’ Region 4 Section 8 GOU.
Their breeding pigeons are housed in the fantastic attic lofts of the beautiful pigeon palace ‘Greenfield Stud.’ The racing pigeons reside in simple but effective garden lofts. The lofts all face south-east. The ventilation is controlled by ceiling panels. There are aviaries in front of all the lofts, these are open or closed depending on conditions. When the birds come home from the last race, they are no longer allowed out owing to the numerous raptors in the area.
They began the season with 140 old birds, all of them are flown on the regular race schedule. The families represented on the race team are: Heremans-Ceusters, van Loon, Eijerkamp-Janssen and over time have been developed into their own family, the H. and E.J. Eijerkamp family. They are capable of racing, from 100-700 km.
Naturally, from time to time, they look for breeding material to improve their loft. New lines, such as Verkerk, Lambrechts and national Ace pigeons and Olympiade pigeons, have been obtained and are being blended into their own family. The lines or families with which, they have had the most success, are the Janssens, the Eijerkamp-van Loons and the Heremans-Ceusters.
They breed from two teams, one of the teams is paired on January 8 and, the other on January 28. There are approximately 250 youngsters banded out of their breeders and, from their best racers.
They fly widowhood with both the cocks and hens, the partner is always waiting for them on arrival from the race. To date, it appears that the hens have been most successful.
Preparation of the race team begins in September, after the last race. As soon as the team is selected for following season, they are treated with Orniflox for salmonella and receive a cure for fungal and yeast infections. Dr. Tony Oranje from Zelhem comes weekly to examine the pigeons and, only on his advice other required treatments are given.  All the racers are vaccinated for PMV when down on eggs and, after the youngsters are weaned, the race team is immunized against pox. After raising their youngsters, the race team is again treated with Orniflox for some days followed by Fungitrax. 
The race teams training begins cautiously in March, at first, they are loft flown once a day for several days, followed by twice per day. In principle, the birds are raced every week, especially the hens. Rest, rusts is their creed. The youngsters are road trained a step at a time from 2 to 65 km. They are released one basket at a time to lower any risks and to learn to orient. The last training toss is from Ravenstein.
During the season the pigeons are road trained once or twice a week. They are feed Beyers mixes, Vandenabeele and a widowhood mix for the hens and cocks and, the cocks in one section are fed Koopman All-in-One. They are fed twice a day, and the hens after the evening feeding also get Pika mix as a treat.  As byproducts, the pigeons are given pink mineral powder from Dr. Marien and once a week Topet a nutritional supplement from Dr. Tony Oranje. On arrival from the race, the pigeons are disinfected. Before basketing, the hens are given a product for their respiratory system in the water.
During the 2017 race season, the pigeon's performances were superlative.  The best of which were: 1st Champion Loft Section 8 GOU, Gouden Duif Superstar Middle-Distance, 1st NPO Nanteuil flown by the youngsters and many pigeons in the top of the many national competitions. Naturally also the 6th Best Fancier in the Netherlands WHZB/TBOTB. Hans and Evert-Jan would like the thank the excellent team around them, for all their support and hard work. Joke Geven, Gerard Boesveld and Oliver Sabol for managing the race birds and Arnold Paalmand and Rick Wuestenenk for looking after the breeding lofts. Henk Jurriens Evert-Jan’s right-hand man and guide for the entire team. Together with Evert-Jan, Henk is also responsible for selecting the breeding pairs.
For those who are not familiar with the way the WHZB / TBOTB winners are calculated, the following is a summary:

  • The calculation for best fancier is divided into four disciplines, Vitesse (Sprint or Short Distance), Mid-Fond (Middle Distance), Een-Daagse fond (one-day long distance) and Jong (Young Birds).
  • For each individual discipline: Vitesse, Mid-Fond, Een-Daagse Fond and Jong, all the races flown in the Afd (Section) count.
  • For each category: The race for which the fancier entered the most pigeons determines how many pigeons are used to determine the final score. For example, if a loft had entered 14 pigeons and this was the most entered in that category than 14 divided by 5 = 2.8, and only three pigeons will be awarded points. The third pigeon would get its points for position flown multiplied by 0.8.
  • A race within an Afd only counts if all the clubs within that section participate in that race.
  • A fancier’s final score for each discipline is totalled. The fancier with the highest total score is crowned as the Best fancier of the Netherlands.

From the above, we realize that the winner must perform well in each of the four disciplines. The winner and his close competitors can genuinely be called The Best of The Best. Congratulations to all of them.