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Eijerkamp - Virtuosos of International Pigeon Racing (Die Brieftaube)

Eijerkamp - Virtuosos of International Pigeon Racing (Die Brieftaube) Professional Pigeon Racing born out of Passion

Starting a report on one of the most renowned partnerships in international pigeon racing poses a challenge for any author. Countless texts have already covered many pieces of information and anecdotes repeatedly, making the introduction to this report not any easier. So, what captivates the German reader in another report about Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp? The last report in the "Brieftaube" dates back to 2010. Since then, much has changed in the world, in pigeon racing, and, of course, on the lofts of the Eijerkamp partnership. Therefore, after thirteen years, there is all the more reason to embark on another report.

By Mareike Kühntopp.

Our visit begins on a Monday morning in mid-June. Summer has arrived in Europe, and the first heatwave of this summer in 2023 is in full swing. When we scheduled this appointment, we were immediately asked to come after ten o'clock; before that, veterinarian Tony Oranje would be there to check the health of the pigeons. This check takes place without exception every Monday and is meticulously followed by Hans and Evert-Jan. Even the press has to wait.
From a distance, we can already see the pigeons circling the expansive property. The heat doesn't bother the pigeons; in top form, they complete their morning training. The scene that unfolds upon arrival makes the heart of every pigeon fancier skip a beat.
A six-person team is responsible for the care and training of the pigeons in the Eijerkamp lofts. Lotte Eijerkamp's racing team is trained and cared for by Oliver Sabol. Esther Noorderijk is responsible for the young pigeons and, in recent weeks, for the entire old bird team of Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp. Arnold Paalman and Rick Wuestenenk exclusively look after the breeding pigeons. Henk Jurriëns is the right-hand man of Hans and Evert-Jan, known as the first point of contact for many for decades.
Operating in pigeon racing for over 50 years as the Eijerkamps do requires a team of this magnitude because the name Eijerkamp signifies quality and professionalism, and only through such a team can both be fully ensured. This is once again evident in this year's results.
Since 2022, Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp also compete together with Arnold Paalman in Laren, where Arnold resides. They compete in section 9, and the results in the first year with the old pigeons were phenomenal, starting with several provincial victories and impressive series.
However, anyone who thinks the size of the support team or the size of the pigeon stock means that Hans or Evert-Jan ever lose track is mistaken. Especially Hans, at 88 years old, knows his pigeons and, above all, his aces.

Martin Stiens, Henk Jurriens, Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp (from left to right) in front of the young bird loft at Esther Noorderdijk's.

Janssen brothers
The pigeons from Eijerkamp are legendary, and over the years, there have been numerous names and aces worthy of mention. The breakthrough came in 1964 when Hans purchased his first pigeons from the Janssen brothers in Arendonk. Here began the success story of the Eijerkamp pigeons, a story that has continued ever since. Even today, almost sixty years later, the blood of the Janssen pigeons can still be found in the breeding stock of Eijerkamp.

The loft of Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp. Above the facility, the pigeons circle during their training flights.

NL18-1627863NL18-1627863"Luka Modric"
One of the current aces from the Eijerkamp lofts also traces its lineage back to the Janssen pigeons: "Luka Modric". Named after the exceptional Croatian footballer, the bird lives up to its name and lineage from a young age. His mother is Honda"Honda", and through her, he represents the eighth generation of Janssen pigeons, which once moved from Arendonk to Brummen. As a young pigeon, he shone on the national level in the Netherlands, becoming, among other titles, the first national Ace Pigeon of the Young, achieving two first prizes, a third prize in the National ranking from Peronne (332 km), and a sixth prize from Troyes (447 km). Through his father, "Luka Modric" combines the Janssen pigeon lineage with the exceptional pigeons of Leo Heremans. His father, Jackpot Junior"Jackpot Junior", is a grandson of the "Olympiade 003". The Heremans pigeons made their way into the Eijerkamp team's lofts in 2006, following a recommendation from Willem de Bruijn to visit Leo Heremans and Karel Ceusters. What followed is history: the pigeons impressed, some young pigeons changed lofts, and after writing their success story in the Greenfield Stud, Hans and Evert-Jan continue to cultivate the lineage of these pigeons on their lofts to this day.

The Breeding Philosophy
We are sitting in the showroom, having a casual conversation with Hans, Evert-Jan, and Henk. It's a relaxed chat rather than a traditional interview setting. In the course of our discussion, we touch upon the breeding philosophy of the Eijerkamps. Evert-Jan draws a parallel to horse breeding. His daughter is a passionate rider, and about ten years ago, he made contact with a horse breeder who shared his own experiences. This contact provided Evert-Jan with valuable lessons. The fact that these lessons aligned with his observations in pigeon breeding made this encounter even more significant and is now an essential part of the breeding goals in the Eijerkamp lofts.

Hans (l.) and Evert-Jan (r.) Eijerkamp with board member Martin Stiens (center) in the showroom of the racing partnership. The most important trophies of the partnership are exhibited there.

Both the conversation with his acquaintance and his own experiences confirmed for him that the best pigeons are exclusively bred "in a straight line." Brothers or sisters, uncles or aunts, could never produce the same successful pigeons as the true "superstars." In football terms, one would say, "What matters is on the field," and only direct descendants of these superstars are bred.
The Eijerkamps have had rather negative experiences with crossbreeding outside lines. Purchases of foreign pigeons and thus new lines are made sparingly and with careful consideration. In 2018, based on a recommendation, Hans and Evert-Jan approached André and Bert Leideman. A series of young pigeons transferred to the Eijerkamp lofts and performed impressively.

A look into the young bird loft reveals how well the animals feel. Their performances duly reflect this.
In a large loft, the young pigeons can move freely and thus get to know their surroundings before starting their training.

Therefore, it's not surprising that the Eijerkamps seized the opportunity when the Leideman brothers auctioned their racing team at PIPA in 2020, acquiring some of the best racing pigeons until then. Among them were Viton"Viton" and Daughter Goed Grijs"Daughter Goed Grijs", the parents of Speedy Grizzle"Speedy Grizzle", which had already arrived at the lofts as a young pigeon in 2019 and became the 1st National Ace Pigeon in the Speed.

In the extensive grounds of Greenfield Stud, not only do racing pigeons find their place, but also the horses of the Eijerkamp family.

Henk Jurriens in front of the young bird loft, which is managed by Esther Noorderdijk. Henk has been the right hand of Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp for more than thirty years.
The widowers were sent here in the Netherlands until well into August. And even with foreign visitors, they remain completely relaxed sitting in their nests.

Viton"Viton" (NL18-1459293NL18-1459293) and Daughter Goed Grijs"Daughter Goed Grijs" (NL17-1647589NL17-1647589)

Both pigeons were raced by the Leideman brothers. Viton"Viton" won, among other achievements, a 1st prize from Deurne against 4,299 pigeons and a 3rd prize from Weert against 11,059 pigeons. Daughter Goed Grijs"Daughter Goed Grijs" also achieved numerous top prizes in her career, including a 1st prize from Hannut against 5,447 pigeons and another 1st prize from Chimay against 1,464 pigeons. They were both top flyers before transitioning to breeding. Therefore, it was certainly not only the successes of Speedy Grizzle"Speedy Grizzle" that prompted Hans and Evert-Jan to acquire this top breeding pair; one can safely assume that.

Also, at Eijerkamp, the breeding successes are noteworthy. Viton"Viton" x Daughter Goed Grijs"Daughter Goed Grijs" are also the parents of Gucci Grizzle"Gucci Grizzle", the 1st provincial Ace Pigeon, and Grizzly Diamond"Grizzly Diamond", winner of 2 x 1st Provincial. They are also grandparents of several 1st prize winners, as well as a 2nd and 3rd National Ace Pigeon, and now the great-grandchildren of this super pair are already starting to win. Daughter Goed Grijs"Daughter Goed Grijs" is also the mother of the 19th place in the final of the Pattaya OLR 2020.
Taking a look at their lineage, one quickly finds names that are well-known in Germany. Viton"Viton" is a close descendant of Wolfgang Roeper's "Olympic 16". The bird represented Germany in the 2013 Olympics in Nitra. Both parents are grandchildren of Wolfgang Roeper's Olympic bird. The mother of Viton"Viton", known as "Jet", herself flew three first prizes and is a paternal granddaughter of the "Olympic 16". Her mother comes from W. Stellermann and, as a breeding hen, produces several first prize winners.
In the lineage of Daughter Goed Grijs"Daughter Goed Grijs", the Roeper and Stellermann pigeons are also prominent. Her father is also a grandson of the "Olympic 16", and her mother, "Goed Grijs", comes from the van den Brande brothers and was a top flyer at the Leideman brothers before being used in breeding.

The breeding pigeons of Hans and Evert-Jan Eijerkamp are kept in separate breeding compartments to prevent cross-fertilization.
The breeding pigeons enjoy their regular bath with the best view.

Back then, today, and tomorrow
Hans Eijerkamp built his first pigeon loft in 1955 and has remained dedicated to pigeon racing ever since. The original loft in his hometown of Zutphen no longer exists; the world-famous Ponderosa was inaugurated in 1970, and in 1977, Hans Eijerkamp purchased the expansive property that he inaugurated as "Greenfield Stud" in 1978, where racing pigeons have been skilfully managed ever since.
In almost 70 years, he and his family have not only written a success story but several. Hans took over the family's well-known furniture business from his father at an early age and expanded it further. Once success in pigeon racing was achieved, Hans recognized the potential and, in his own way, combined the pleasant with the useful. Who didn't know the vouchers for a young pigeon when visiting the Eijerkamp furniture store? The concept worked, and soon not only Dutch fanciers bought furniture at Eijerkamp, but breeders from all over Europe, aiming to own one of the coveted Eijerkamp pigeons.

Daughter Goed Grijs


'Daughter Goed Grijs' is winner
1. Prov. Hannut 5,447 pigeons
1. Chimay 1,464 pigeons
8. Prov. Asse Zellik                4,712 pigeons
14. Prov. Isnes 8,525 pigeons
14. Prov. Rethel 3,838 pigeons
'Daughter Goed Grijs' is mother
1. Prov. Ace pigeon Speed/Natour in 2021
1. Prov. Ace pigeon Short distance in 2022
1. Nat. Ace Speed Natour WHZB 2019
1. Prov. Quievrain                    12,633 pigeons
1. Prov. Heusden 7,320 pigeons
'Daughter Goed Grijs' is grandmother 
1. Gennep                               12,570 pigeons
1. Marche 10,983 pigeons
1. Arlon 3,722 pigeons
19. Final Pattaya PIPR OLR in 2020

Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp
Cortenoeverseweg 82
6971 JK Brummen (NL)
Tel: +31 575 538555

In her career, "Daughter Goed Grijs" won numerous top prizes, including a 1st prize from Hannut against 5,447 pigeons and another 1st prize from Chimay against 1,464 pigeons. She forms a perfect breeding pair with "Viton".



"Viton" is winner
1. Prov. Deurne 4.299 pigeons
3. Prov. Weert 11,059 pigeons
3. Prov. Venlo 3,696 pigeons
7. Prov. Gennep                   6,676 pigeons
'Viton' is top breeder and father
- 'Gucci Grizzle', winner of
1. Prov. Ace pigeon Speed/Natour in 2021
'Jitters', winner  of
1. Prov. Ace pigeon Short distance in 2022
'Speedy Grizzle', winner of
1. Nat. Ace Speed Natour WHZB 2019
-  'Grizzly Diamond', winner of
1. Prov. Quievrain          12,633 pigeons
1. Prov. Heusden 7,320 pigeons

Raced by brothers Leideman

Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp
Cortenoeverseweg 82
6971 JK Brummen (NL)
Tel: +31 575 538555

"Viton" achieves, among other successes, a 1st prize in Deurne against 4,299 pigeons and a 3rd prize in Weert against 11,059 pigeons. He is a close descendant of the "Olympic 16" from Wolfgang Roeper.

Today, the company employs over 300 people at two locations, regularly utilizing television appearances to promote their furniture. The vouchers are no longer available, explained Evert-Jan. As well as the concept worked, at some point, it became overwhelming and was no longer compatible with the present time.
And how do they see the present time? This question is posed, leading the conversation quickly to the differences between pigeon racing in the Netherlands and in Germany. They can draw a good comparison. Hans has had a strong friendship with Peter Janßen for decades, and accordingly, their perspective extends beyond borders. In the Netherlands and Belgium, long-distance races have long been the highlights with significant participation numbers. It's not uncommon to participate in multiple races in the Netherlands over a weekend, quite different from our situation. The sport today is different than it was twenty years ago and a completely different era than it was fifty years ago. How this transformation will ultimately unfold, no one knows. That was unknown in the past as well, but it will be exciting to observe.

Luka Modric


1. Nat. Ace Young NPO in 2018
1. Nat. Ace Young De Allerbeste 2018
1. Nat. Ace Young Pipa 2018
1. Nat. Ace Young Fondspiegel 2018
1. Niergnies 2,748 pigeons  299 km
1. Bierges 833 pigeons 187 km
3. NPO Peronne     5,900 pigeons 332 km
8. NPO Troyes 3,836 pigeons 447 km
"Luka Modric" is top breeder and (grand)father 
1. Prov. Nanteuil 10,295 p.
1. S-final Aal Nagib 502 km   945 p.
1. Ace pigeon Goldcoast OLR  
1. Tienen 2,438 p.
1. Morlincourt 1,763 p.
1. Heusden-Zolder 1,095 p.
2. Prov. Morlincourt 17,024 p.

Hans & Evert-Jan Eijerkamp
Cortenoeverseweg 82
6971 JK Brummen (NL)
Tel: +31 575 538555

One of the current breeding pigeons from the Eijerkamp strains, named "Luka Modric," traces its origins back to the Janssen pigeons. It represents the eighth generation of the Janssen pigeons, which were originally moved from Arendonk to Brummen.

At the end of our conversation, we touch on the topic that was the reason for writing a report in 2010. The traditional auction on Saturday morning of the DBA (German Breeders Association) was used for decades to contribute the proceeds to the "Aktion Mensch" charity. We all know about the sums in the high six figures that could be allocated to this special charitable purpose. Since the founding of the Prof. Dr. Kohaus Foundation, it has taken over the patronage of the auction, but the special character of this auction has not changed. In the past and today, the Eijerkamp family willingly provided pigeons for this auction, forming one of the highlights of each auction. In the 1980s, pigeons went for record sums – back then under the hammer of Siegfried Scharf. In the 1990s, the proceeds exceeded themselves. The record sums of 25,000 (1993) and 24,000 (1994) DM are unique to that time. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that this year, once again, a pigeon from the Eijerkamp family will be auctioned in Dortmund on December 16th.