Pigeon sport as a friendship vehicle
As in many hobbies, our beginnings start from a family heritage. Our family pigeon sport tradition began long years ago, our uncles Oti and Nino had had a little loft when they were fourteen and they started to race with all the fanciers of our neighbourhood in Gijón, controlling the rossor rings in a pub. But the thing they always recall was when our grandfather Marcelino noticed his disembark in Ribadeo (Galicia) using a pigeon, when a very hard gale lashed the coast of Asturias, in 1961.
In those days, there were a lot of fanciers in our neighbourhood. Unfortunately, they had to stop racing pigeons because of studies and work.
We have started in the sport in 1977, with fourteen and twelve years old. Our first steps were supervised by our uncle Oti and a workmate of him, Aurelio. We had frequent gets together at home. It was there when we heard the stories of foreign pigeons arriving in the incoming ships to the port. We also remember, the recall of the ‘Gijón International Race’ in 1928, organised by the ‘combatientes de Lieja’, documented in numerous books of that time.
Another important point in our beginnings was the great atmosphere we experienced during our study holidays in England. The huge help received by Mr and Mrs Osborne, our host family, to find a pigeon fancier in Tamworth permitted us to meet Edy Keyte. We had spent wonderful afternoons with him waiting for the liberated in France. Was Edy the man who introduced us in the widowed method. At that time, he raced in two different clubs: a midweek club and a weekend club, so our activity during the summer was frenetic.
The military service of Adriano in the Canary Islands was another important milestone. There, he could meet the Bausili family. He also met Aguilar brother’s from La Gomera, both lovers of the Stassart line. Was also during those months, when Adriano corresponded with Charles Heitzman from Kentucky, USA. He was 87 and he sent to him some books written by her own hand and he told him about the Sion and Stassart Lines.
Mr. Heitzman passed away in 1988 when he was 91.
At that time, pigeon sport was awaking interest on us, not only in a provincial or national level, also in an international level. It was at that time when we started to receive by post the results of the international races from the north of Europe.
We started to take in knowledge more and more about pigeon sport all over the world. After the arrival of Marcelino from his military service in Menorca in 1987, we started to analyse the origins of the Barcelona winners and, in 1988, we decided to make drastic changes in our breeding teams. That is the reason why, in 1991, we make our first trip to The Netherlands. We had closed one visit to Albert Simmons, at that time he lived in Roosteren, and Kuijpers Brothers, from Neer. In addition to that, Jan Zantboer organised us five more visits around Steenbergen. We have a special steem to Jan Aarden’s schoolmate loft visit, Toon Ligtenberg.
That first journey was so stimulating for us that it was the starting point of our loft. Every pigeon was important, but with no doubt, NL-91-2735885 (Kuypers I) and NL-91-2735886 (Kuypers II) contributions were outstanding. They were grandsons from the Kuypers golden couple, ‘Zoon Spin x Zuster Pau’.
Photo of 1991.- Jacq Pansters with “Zwarte 400” y Marcelino with “153”, last child of the base couple “Zoon Spin” X “Zuster Pau”
The sport is important, but the most important thing in our life is people, that’s why our motto is ‘Pigeon sport as a friendship vehicle’. The motto born due to a lost pigeon from Dax in 1990 to our loft. The contact was made thanks to Jacq Pansters, who made as a translater and whose friendship endures today. Therefore, we can claim that noticing losted pigeons could be a guarantee of starting a friendship. We can remind lots of fanciers we met by that reason.
In the same 1991, we meet Enrique Freire and Pepe Pereiro (RIP) from Pontevedra due to a pigeon founded dead in León which was from our loft. As time passes, our ties run through the pigeon sport, It’s something closer: the friendship, the family.
Afterwards our first trip to central Europe, more and more came. In 1992, we decided to combine family and pigeons and we went all over Belgium and Netherlands with our wifes ten days. There we met Maurice Bourges and his family, who inveted us to spend a few days at his home. Although our original motivation was to hand his basic cock ‘The 954’, son of the 515 hen from Kuypers. Maurice leaded the Barcelona races during the 80’s and starting 90’s, he was the first Belgian that wons two times the ‘Primus Interpares’ award to the best clasificated in five times raced Barcelona. He won that award in 1989 with a cock from 1982, and in 1993 with a hen from 1987.
Recorte de prensa de 1989, que nos sirvió para contactar con Maurice Borgers la primera vez.
We even visited eight times northern Europe countries mixing family, as well as friends, and pigeon sport. Was in 2002 when a pigeon liberated in Burgos arrived to our loft, that’s how we met Patricia and Christophe from Brioux, next to Niort (France).
With them and with Pepe Pereiro and his wife we visited Vertelman’s family, champions of the North Marathon in 2001 and I International Perpignan in 2007. We discovered how tough could be pigeon sport because Vertelman’s race more than ten international races over 1000 kilometres.
Pepe Pereiro y Adriano with Ton Vertelman
Year by year, we continue doing our international appointment. From 2016, the new generation of our family has joined our sport with the incorporation of Gonzalo. One of our last experiences was in September 2018 when we handed André (I int. Marseille) and Helios (I int. Perpignan) in Jos Martens’ loft and also in Roger & Harry Wijnands when we handed the Triple A and Witneus 301, both exceptional breeders.
Jos Martens and Gonzalo with ‘Helios’ I Internacional Perpignan
During this decades, we tried to visit the best lofts of Europe, always trying to brough them closer to the Spanish fanciers and giving our Spanish mates the opportunity to get hold of pigeons with reasonable prices, since in Spain is not a professional sport. Thanks to that, they’ve organized several auctions of different European fanciers such as Maurice Borgers, Dirk & John Bakker, Rik Stevens, Hein Brassé, Eijerkamp-Muller, Van de Poel & Buckley, Schreurs Hauben, Hermanos Van Doorn in different Spanish locations such as Mallorca, Canarias, León…
This new project of colombofilia.com borns with the intention of mixing that knowledge that the grown up have been learning during years with the spirit of the new generation and his command of the new technologies, specially powered after our last incorporation, Juan. With the same excitement of 1977, we want to continue transmitting the huge devotion we have to the pigeon sport and contributing to the developing of this sport, always loyal to our motto: ‘Pigeon sport as a friendship vehicle’.