Over 80 years of successful pigeon sport!
It all started with ‘John’ Koopman. Never heard of him? Of course we mean Cornelis; his family, friends and acquaintances call him ‘John’, or ‘Johnny’. Why ‘Johnny’? The parents to Cornelis, Harmina and Jacob Koopman, had a German speaking maid at their farm, Dine Moes, and for Dine the name Cornelis was too complicated. ‘You must call him Johnny’, she said. Why Johnny? ‘That is my brother’s name!’ said Dine and the nickname was born. To prevent misunderstandings, we call him Cornelis. He was born on May 31st 1915 in Nieuw Amsterdam as fifth child to a traditional family of farmers. He is now over 93 years of age! Cornelis grew up in a huge family; he had 6 brothers and 5 sisters, unfortunately they all deceased. Last year Cornelis celebrated 80 years of pigeon fanciersship … unbelievable but true!
The start of Gerard!
Jaap Koopman raced already fabulous from his own lofts on the ground of the parental home. Gerard, the youngest boy from the family, was attracted by pigeons but was keener on playing football. An injury however kept him of the fields and Gerard decided to make a rigorous choice. A decision with big consequences but it turned out to be the right choice! On a morning Gerard went to his dad and said: “I like to home pigeons together with you!”
And he had that special feeling for pigeons! With 13 widowhood cocks, that were selected by Cornelis, he started to race on his own little loft and every week he and his brother Jaap bedded for 2,5 euro and he always said to his brother: “Give me the money already, I win today!” Gerard was very ambitious! Inspired by Koos Tjeerdsma from Almelo he and his father went to grandmaster Louis van Loon from Poppel, who grew out to the great tutor and best friend of Gerard. Here they purchased splendid pigeons, but – maybe even more important – Louis van Loon gave Gerard valuable advices. A year later they went to the Janssen brothers in Arendonk where they were treated very correctly as well. Together with a cock of mister J.H. Ameln from Nieuw Dordrecht the Van Loon and Janssen pigeons can be called the base of the present Koopman strain. Only think about absolute cracks like ‘De Zitter’, ‘De Eric’ or ‘De Beatrixdoffer’ and many, many others.
Three exceptional breeding pairs
When the Koopman pigeon comes up nowadays, they do not mean the Janssen or the Van Loon strain anymore. No, Gerard and Cornelis created an own strain. The Koopman pigeons, pigeons with great character and the never ending will to win. They show it worldwide on the 100-800 km races. In this discipline the Koopman pigeon is almost unbeatable.
Three breeding pairs play an important role in this strain. Up to the day of today their blood runs through the veins of almost all cracks that are born in Ermerveen. Naturally Gerard kept on looking for reinforcements, pigeons that could make his legendary strain even stronger, faster and tougher. Most of the times it is wasted trouble. However the grandmaster does succeed once in a while to find suitable cross material and history seems to be repeating; his feeling for pigeons is exceptional!