There aren't many conversation between pigeonfancier where the names of Koopman's 'Kleine Dirk', Dirk van Dijcks 'Kannibaal', Reynaerts 'Figo' or Gaby Vandenabeele's 'Bliksem' aren't being mentioned. And rightfully so. These birds are all worldfamous and have earned their credits in present day pigeonracing. All of them were also all born between 1995 and 2000.
A not so foreknown but nevertheless equally brilliant pigeon is NL01-0108666 '666', bred by Henk Melis. Insiders and Zealanders speak with awe of this mythical bird. I dare say that this '666' is allowed in the ranks of the beforementioned illustrious breeders/races. Nevertheless doesn't the name of his boss, Henk Melis, ring a bell for most people like Vandenabeele or Dirk van Dyck does, therefore a short introduction.
Henk Melis lives in Westkapelle and is practising his sport together with Gerard van de Weijer. Gerard is from the province of Brabant and is staying on Henk's camping site during the racing season. Until 2009 they played seperately very meritorious. Starting the 2010-season they are racing in partnership, namely Henk Melis and Melis-v.d.Weijer. The selection on their breed is on the 100-1000 kilometer, including the Internationale ZLU-races. Their birds are skilled for every distance, on the long distance for example they won the 3rd place in the prestigious West-European Supermarathon and became 3rd Longdistance champioen of Afdeling Zealand. They were ranked on teletekst eight times between 2009-2011.
The reign of '666'
Their mythical warrior NL01-0108666 is the ultimate breeder and racer on their loft, he's almost a 100% Vandenabeele. He won (a.o.):
1st Provincial Acebird (NPO-races) 2002
1st Golden Crack Fondclub Southern-Netherlands 2002
2nd NPO Ruffec (658 km) 3.549 birds
4th NPO Tours (503 km) 5.756 birds
7th NPO La Souterraine (607 km) 2.949 birds
15th NPO La Souterraine (607 km) 4.108 birds
23rd NPO Tours (503 km) 6.737 birds
25th NPO La Souterraine (607 km) 3.516 birds
25th NPO Montluçon (580 km) 4.831 birds
It's a monstrous honor roll, but that was just highlighting his racing career. His breedingresult is astonishing. Naming every single topbird bred out of '666' is a hell of a job, his offspring was on teletekst over fourty times yet, through his children and grandchildren we can get a glimpse of this phenomenon. Just to shed some light on the golden genes of '666', just read these highflyers of today's pigeonsport:
His most renowned son is without any doubt NL03-0318506 or 'Dario', he won:
1st NPO Ruffec (658 km) against 3.201 birds in 2004
1st NPO Ruffec (658 km) against 2.626 birds in 2005
His name was on every fanciers lips seven years ago and in breeding he was also succesfull, especially his grandchildren are amazing.
Today a new white raven has risen. There are no five alike in Holland these days. He lives at the famous partnership of Braad-De Joode in Woudrichem and his bandnumber is NL09-1332498. His oily name is 'Henky 98' and he was bred from a daughter of '666', NL04-0414033, who in turn is a full sister to 'Dario'.
Still being a yearling he gained his first respect by obtaining the 1st acepigeon championship of Afdeling 2/Brabant 2000 on the long distance races. He was on teletekst 4 times in an NPO race:
- 3rd NPO Bourges (521 km) against 12.511 birds in 2011
- 3rd NPO Argenton (633 km) against 8.338 birds in 2010
- 4th NPO La Souterraine (671 km) against 5.603 birds in 2010
- 6th NPO Blois (540 km) against 3,788 birds in 2010
The number of the best upsidedown! She is a topbreeding hen, this NL05-0507999, also a daughter of '666' (when he was paired with a Koopmanhen). She gave birth to:
- NL08-3806618: 6th NPO Ruffec 5.223 birds
- NL08-3806756: 5th NPO La Souterraine 3.539 birds and 7th NPO Châteauroux 5.223 birds
- NL08-1606796: 5th NPO Argenton 4.441 birds
And there are some brothers and sisters of the '666' that also excel in breeding. Sjaak de Koning from Breskens got the NL04-2122241, she is a full sister to '666' and became mother to:
- NL07-3708666 'Triple Six': 1st provincial Acebird Zealand overall 2008, 5th best cock WHZB 2008
- NL07-1877774 'Beautifull Blue': 3rd Acebird province Afdeling Zealand 2009
- Both of them were raced by the father and son Traas from Nieuwdorp
She also is the mother of NL10-3026400 named 'Leen' , owned by Braad-De Joode. And she in turn won the 1st NPO Bourges against 11.911 birds!
These two brothers from Terneuzen are considered one of the strongest lofts in Zealand nowadays. They bred a complete regiment of airwarriors from NL02-1713196 '196 Melis', and she's a daughter to '666'. For example:
- NL04-0451802 't Super 02': 1st Acebird Zealand '96 youngsters 2004, 2 x Teletekst
- NL06-0750728 'Lieke': 1st Acebird Zealand '96 youngsters and 5times top 100 NPO
- NL04-2136205 '205': 1st Acebird Zealand '96 middle long distance, 7th National Acebird WHZB 2006
- NL05-0565984 'Blauwe Orléans': 1st NPO Orléans 5.011 birds
- From one dam three provincial acebirds and an NPO-winner: astonishing!!