In Holland the Brügemann brothers Cees, Peter & Jos have managed to develop a strain of pigeons that is amongst the best in the world at the present time, and this inspite of the fact that the brothers sold all of their pigeons in 1996 with the exception of the birds bred that year. Prior to this, along with their father Lou, the brothers raced at the short and middle distances with success. (Brügemann senior died in 1987). The brothers then sold the shorter racers in 1992 and set their sights upon the ultra distances until their decision to sell all racers and stock. Included in that sale in autumn of 1996 were 'Orthan' and 'Myra' who finished in 5th and 8th National Barcelona. There was also 'Tycha' who won 3rd National Pau in 1994 and perhaps best of all the 'super couple' who lay at the base of the strain the great ' Oude 62' and 'De Vegvlieger'.
Let us now move forward in years to the Summer of 1998, for the youngsters of 1996 were to be put to the test after two years of preparation in an airy loft of dry droppings. They were astutely prepared via exercise, training and an intake of the right food and proper supplements, etc, to face races such as Barcelona (1,248 km), Marseille (1,026 km) and Perpignan (1,099km). It should be noted that when other competitors' birds are home, fed and asleep the Brügemann Bros. entrants are still flying for a couple of hours or more until their base. But what was to occur could not be imagined by the most fertile imagination, for two nest sisters, granddaughters of 'Orhan' named 'Sumari' and 'Sumara' captured 10th and 18th National respectively, 28th and 45th International against 24,139 pigeons. What an achievement by three masters nurturing the seed of the Aarden pigeon dynasty! It is said that the pigeon who won the race did not receive the due it deserved because of the feat of the Brügemann pigeons. The lofts also scored in the top 100 from Perpignan and had 5 birds in the top 100 in the race from Marseille including 6th National.
However, there were also yearlings sent by the brothers to the Bordeaux International in 1998 (938 km) when they received 33 prizes with 70 pigeons returning in good time out of the 75 sent. An example of the stock available to the brothers and equally an example of their managerial skills. This was no flash in the pan for the Brügemann family since then have continued to reach the heights since their comeback and I have no doubt that their strain will be pioneers in the long and marathon distances in the new millennium. This prediction is based upon a young stock loft of approximately 15 pairs of the best of tested bloodlines.
The Brügemann brothers are now Peter and Jos, for Cees left the partnership after the 2000 season and now races with his son Bas at another location but he is still committed to the ultra distances. The brothers ensure that mating wise their long distance candidates are sitting on the third nest prior to the chosen race and the condition implies sitting on a 2 to 3 day old YB or on eggs for 10 to 14 days. During this period they are not raced and have about one month's rest before going into the race pannier. As for the young they enter races of 300 to 400 kms and the one year olds have to fly Bordeaux.
The Brügemann strain has many admirers in Europe and in recent years its reputation has spread throughout the globe. Its further development will be interesting.
Liam O Comain