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The van der Wegen Strain

by Liam O Comain

This particular strain of distance racing pigeons blossomed on the tree of the Jan Aarden dynasty and without a doubt it is one of the greatest families of the sport. A truth confirmed by the countless successes of the founder, Janus van der Wegen, and his sons (Jac and Anton) and the numerous fanciers from throughout the world who have succeeded with it. In fact it is possible that it could be the beginning of a new dynasty of the sport in the present century.

Anton

The strain had its origins in the Dutch town of Steenbergen which is the source of many outstanding strains and families such as Jan Aarden, Ligtenburg and van Agatmaal, among others. Obviously there must be something in the air of that Dutch environment which has produced such giants and greats of the sport.

Janus van der Wegen who laid the strain's foundations was of the former school and by all accounts he was a born pigeoner. The strain has been developed from pigeons which have flown the tough Dutch programme of Bergerac, Dax, St.Vincent and Barcelona including Tinus of Meer who won in 1971 1st National St. Vincent with a Jan Aarden. Piet de Weerd once wrote that one of the first pigeons to start Van der Wegen off was from Tinus. In fact some commentators opine that the strain was the best in Holland during the last 50 years of the 20th century and the first 5 years of the new millennium, for reports worldwide keep throwing up the name time after time.

Jac

Beginning in the 1950s van der Wegen obtained birds from Jan Aarden although one of his most famous was of Ligtenburg bloodlines. This was a black cheq cock known as the 'Oude Doffertje' (H.58.314573) and as well a being the foundation of the strain it is one of the most famous names in the history of the sport. Partly of Aarden and partly of Delbar blood, it was the brother of the famous '10' of Toontje Ligtenburg.

As a producer the 'Oude Doffertje' was second to none being the sire of, amongst others, the famous 'Lamme' who scored 7th, 10th and 11th from Dax in the Dutch National as well as 6th National St. Vincent. The 'Lamme' sired 1st National Barcelona and 14th National St.Vincent; this same bird also scored 5th National Barcelona and 2nd National Dax. A son of the 'Oude Doffertje' known as '152' won 14 National prizes and two grandsons won 1st National St. Vincent and 1st National Bergerac. Other producers of the strain included the Dax hen, the 1st Hen, the Barcelona hen, the Gruiters hen, the '83' and the 'Oude Knollekop' to name but a few.

Oude Doffertje

The van der Wegens are an excellent family to cross with. For example, Willegers in 1983 was 1st International Barcelona with a cross and Simons won 1st National Barcelona with a cross. So did Thei Crommentuy who won 1st Nationals St. Vincent and Pau in the hot bed of Dutch pigeon racing. There are numerous other examples. Therefore it was a fortunate day in 1958 when a son of Janus van der Wegen namely Anton purchased two eggs from Toontje Ligtenburg, who in his own words recorded the occasion: 'In '58 Anton van der Wegen came to me and purchased two eggs of the third round. From them hatched two cocks. He showed me them when six weeks old. They simply radiated quality. One youngster I think he lost near the loft. The other became the famous 'Oude Doffertje'. He was a full brother of my '10'. A sure champion...' Little did Toontje or Anton realise that fate or whatever had placed them at the birth of a great strain, a strain that is still a leader throughout the world of pigeondom.

The van der Wegen lofts have achieved 1st Nationals from Barcelona, Dax, Pau, Marseille (and Dax with the Z.L.U). As for their contribution to the successes of others the following list shows the percentage blood wise in national and international winners:


          H.van Helmond, Vorselaar 1 Nat. Pau 25% van der Wegen
          G.Frazer, Ulft 1e Nat. St.Vincent 50% van der Wegen
          H.Brinkman, Tuk 1e Nat.St.Vincent 100% van der Wegen
          H.Hazelaar, Zutphen 1e Nat Ruffec 100% van der Wegen
          W.Coenen, Nuth 1e Nat.Barcelona 100% van der Wegen
          C.Vanoppen, Alt-Hoeselt 1e Internat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          A.Simons, Roosteren 1e Nat.Perpignan 75% van der Wegen
          A.Simons, Roosteren 1e Nat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          A.Simons, Roosteren 1e Nat.Marseille 50% van der Wegen
          P.Paulussen, Roosteren 1e Nat.Dax 50% van der Wegen
          Van Zelderen, Aalsmeer 1e Nat.St.Vincent 25% van der Wegen
          Van Zelderen, Aalsmeer 1e Nat.Bergerac 25% van der Wegen
          Th.Crommentuyn, Velden 1e Nat.St.Vincent 75% van der Wegen
          Th.Crommentuyn, Velden 1e Nat.Pau 75% van der Wegen
          C.Willigers, Steenbergen 1e Internat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          Hendrix-Meijberg, Heerlerheide 1e Nat.Bergerac 50% van der Wegen
          Frans Molenaar, Ulft 1e Nat.Bergerac 50% van der Wegen
          P.Schlangen, Kerkrade 1e Nat.Barcelona 25% van der Wegen
          P.Schlangen, Kerkrade 1e Nat.St.Vincent 25% van der Wegen
          J.Buurma,Peize 1e Nat.Dax 100% van der Wegen
          Van der Wegen, Steenbergen 1e Nat.Barcelona 100% van der Wegen
          Van der Wegen, Steenbergen 1e Nat.Dax 100% van der Wegen
          Van der Wegen, Steenbergen 1e Nat.Pau 100% van der Wegen
          Van der Wegen, Steenbergen 1e Nat.Marseille 100% van der Wegen
          Van der Wegen, Steenbergen 1e Nat.Dax Z.L.U. 100% van der Wegen
          J.L.van Roy, Ronse 1e Internat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          Vogten-Lardinoye, Maastricht 1e Nat.Marseille 25% van der Wegen
          Biemans, Teteringen 1e Internat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          Wijnands & Zn, Maastricht 1e Nat.Perpignan 25% van der Wegen
          B.Walpot, Steenbergen 1e Nat.Barcelona 25% van der Wegen
          L.Hoogervorst, Vrouwenakker 1e Nat.Perpignan 100% van der Wegen
          P.Boers, Goesbeek 1e Nat.Bergerac 50% van der Wegen
          Bakker & Zn, Poortugaal 1e Nat.Perpignan 75% van der Wegen
          Ron.van de Werff, Westzaan 1e Nat.St.Vincent 100% van der Wegen
          Jo. Lardenoy, Maastricht 1e Nat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          G.Keesmaat, Krimpen a/d Lek 1e Nat.Dax 50% van der Wegen
          Cor.Hermans, Geulle 1e Nat.Marseille 25% van der Wegen
          Cor.Hermans, Geulle 1e Nat.Bordeaux (J.L.) 50% van der Wegen
          Jos Thone, As 1e Nat.Barcelona (H) 25% van der Wegen
          F.Bleylevens & Zn, Simpelveld 1e Nat.Marseille 25% van der Wegen
          Van Gils de Nijs, Oosterhout 1e Nat.Soustons 50% van der Wegen
          L.Smid, Goes 1e Nat.Perpignan 75% van der Wegen
          Willems-Thone, Eijsden 1e Internat.Barcelona 25% van der Wegen
          Hein.Brasse, Nuth 1e Nat.Pau 25% van der Wegen
          Jelle Outhuyse, Harlingen 1e Nat.St.Vincent (S4) 50% van der Wegen
          H.de Jonge, Weiteveen 1e Nat.Bergerac (S4) 25% van der Wegen
          H.de Jonge, Weiteveen 1e Nat.Ruffec (S4) 25% van der Wegen
          Cor.van Dijk, Hagestein 1e Nat.St.Vincent (S3) 50% van der Wegen
          W.en B Terhoeven, Zeist 1e Nat.Tarbes (S2) 50% van der Wegen
          Roger Florizoone, Nieuwpoort 1e Nat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          Flip Steketee, Yerseke 1e Nat.Dax Z.L.U. 50% van der Wegen
          Harry Faassen, Illikhoven 1e Nat.Marseille 25% van der Wegen
          Jacob Keun, Donderen 1e Nat.St.Vincent (S4) 50% van der Wegen
          C.Blokdijk, Hoorn 1e Nat.St.Vincent (S2) 75% van der Wegen
          D.Rotman, Musselkanaal 1e Nat.Ruffec (S4) 50% van der Wegen
          P.van Bergen, De Lier 1e Nat.Dax Z.L.U. 50% van der Wegen
          H.en A Kivit, Vinkel 1e Nat.Dax 25% van der Wegen
          C.Vertelman Zn, Hoogkarspel 1e Nat.Bergerac 50% van der Wegen
          M.Schuurman, Doorn 1e Nat.St.Vincent (S3) 50% van der Wegen
          B.Homma, Balk 1e Nat.St.Vincent (S4) 25% van der Wegen
          J.Torreman, Rockanje 1e Internat.Barcelona 50% van der Wegen
          J.Vercauteren, Schimmert 1e Nat. Soustons 50% van der Wegen
          J.Bruine de Bruin, Aalsmeer 1e Nat Bergerac 50% van der Wegen.
          D.Barberio, Weert 1e Internat.Marseille (H) 75% van der Wegen
          Gebr. Schaschkow, Wiesvillers (Fr) 1e Internat Barcelona 25% van der Wegen
          Van Ouwerkerk-Dekkers,Brasschaat 1e Nat.St.Vincent (JL) 25% van der Wegen
          G.de Jong & Zn, De Heen 1e Nat.Perpignan 50% van der Wegen.

The above list records what some of the best European lofts owned by masters of the sport such as Thone, Schaschkow, Florizoone, Hermans, Keesmaat, Wijnands, Biemans, Schlangen and Brinkman, owe to the van der Wegen strain. And needless to say the experience has not yet ended! Yes, I believe that we are witnessing the birth of a new dynasty.

B.I.F.S.

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