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Leo Pronk

Winner ZLU Pyreneeën Cup 2006
Leo Pronk from Breezand



Breezand, a tiny village in the northern end of the province North-Holland, surrounded by agricultural land, is where we find the focus of our article. A single house, looking out over a dike, behind which is the Waddensea, a beautiful spot for those who love nature and taking long walks. Leo really loves animals, as on his property we can find 150 chickens, swans, geese, and other types of birds. The number of pigeons is also noteworthy, as about 300 currently occupy his lofts. In this presentation we will focus on the very successful season of 2006, with many tough races, also known as ‘flights of truth’. Last season was quite a different story, with many high-speed races and nightly arrivals.



Switch to overnight long distance races


From an early age, Leo has spent time near pigeons. Brother Nico, the famous loftbuilder from Mill, was the family member that started in the pigeonsport. From mothers’ side there also came several pigeon fanciers, and now, at age 80, she still keeps pigeons and 2 years ago she still participated in races. She was quite skilled in the pigeon sport, and once managed to score on the extremely challenging Ruffec, both in the ‘fondclub’ and in the whole province of Northern-Holland. Leo also keeps and cares for other birds, like canaries. It makes his place in the Balg-road almost looks like a petting zoo!


After disbanding his organization Leo completely switched from the short and middle to the long distance races. This was partly influenced by his opinion that Rayon A, in which he played, was far too large in size. As between the shortest and the largest distance there is a difference of 60 kilometres. He thinks that smaller Rayons are the solution to keeping the fun in the races.

Leo played the whole program in previous years, and he often basketed several pigeons on overnight-races. He is therefore still building up regarding the overnight long distance races, but has already scored several victories over the past few years, with the season of 2006 as the highlight.



A summation


Fondclub North-Holland province

1st nominated morning-releases

3rd not nominated morning-releases

4th Overall-champion



ZLU championships

1st Pyreneeën Cup

This is a championship with 5 flights, of which the points from the first clocked and the two first nominated pigeons are counted.

Pau 1131 km: 46th National with 2413 pigeons and 89th International.

Barcelona 1300 km: 54th and 106th National with 6777 pigeons, and 75th, 161st and 758th International with 22.887 pigeons. Also won the 1st International CureghemCenter, with the 1st and 2nd nominated pigeons.

10th International Golden Pigeon Competition Extra Long Distance.

Dax 1110 km: 73rd and 122nd National with 3260 pigeons.

Narbonne 1093 km: 41st and 52nd National with 2563 pigeons, with the first two nominated up front (5 pigeons in the race).

Perpignan 1142 km: 10th – 11th and 238th National and 5th National with the hens.




The pigeons

Leo is in possession of the old Van Wanroy strains thanks to brother Nico since 1986. Leo’s basis pigeon named ‘de Oude Kuijpers’ of 1992 won 1st Bergerac and a 1st Tarbes in one season and has been kept for breeding since. This cock, who is currently still on the loft, turned out to be an excellent breeder. His offspring has managed to win 10 teletext placements.


From 1999 onwards, pigeons belonging to North-Holland crack Nico Volkens from Bergen have been added. Leo had pigeons from Nico as early as 1996, when a fancier from Alkmaar stopped racing and Leo bought his pigeons, they were from Nico’s best strains. In 1999, Leo bought 10 pigeons from Nico, and Volkens pigeons also entered the loft through Hennie de Vries from Bovenkarspel. Especially when mixed with the old van Wanroy strains, the Volkens pigeons managed to obtain some of the greatest successes in the last few years.




The game

Leo races the natural and the widowhood system, with the hens only the natural system, and the cocks on the traditional widowhood. The cocks were performing very well in the heavier races during the season of 2006, while the hens were stronger last season.


Widowhood is raced with 48 cocks, and these are divided in 4 departments. Leo has access to 24 hens for the natural system, which are raced on a two days race. They take part in one two days race as yearlings, being either Bergerac or Bordeaux. Because Leo is still building his colony he is also breeding many late younglings, these aren’t trained as youngling, but as yearling they are played the same way as the young pigeons, they will participate in all the young pigeon races. By age 2 they will take part in several 600 kilometer races and Bergerac. It takes quite some patience, but in the end it will pay off, according to Leo. To prepare, the pigeons participate in most short distance races, then the first two 600 kilometer races, so they will have flown 1500 km before their first two days race. Which pigeons take part in which race is decided early on by Leo, and during the basketing the final decision is made. The nestingpigeons are basketed in such a way that they have a youngster of 4 to 5 days old.



Feeding system

The feed is very important to Leo. “I’m not a tight feeder, but it really needs to be quality feed”. He even buys barley from a farmer, everything of the highest quality. The pigeons receive barley throughout the year, up to 40/50% of the time in the winter period, and 20% in the race-season, so when they are breeding youngsters as well. For about ten years, Leo feeds a mixture of Topspeciaal from Paloma, enriched with a diet-mixture during race-seasons, with pleasing results. He makes his own combination, consisting of 1/3 barley, 1/3 ‘superdiet’ and 1/3 Topspeciaal. The final days before the basketing this mixture consists of 80% Topspeciaal and 20% barley. He feeds in such a way that there always remains a bit of barley in the feeding bowls, and he feeds two to three times a day. He can find the time to do this, as his carpenter-workshop is near his house.


Regarding the medical assistance, this consists of a a treatmant against trichomonis during the first breeding period. Leo is not in favor of medication, he believes in all-natural products. A supplier on the isle of Texel provides these. To help the pigeons recuperate faster after the races, nectar is mixed in their water, which makes them fit and ready to go thirty minutes afterwards.



Highlights of 2007


Bordeaux, 2486 pigeons: 5 – 26 – 316 – 318, 6 flying, 4 prizes.

Tarbes 1361 pigeons: 17 – 29 – 132 – 178, 15 flying, 5 prizes

Perpignan Fondclub 357 pigeons: 8 – 21 – 25 – 30, 6 nestinghens flying.

Perpignan National 5294 pigeons: 43 – 181 – 226 – 366, 6 flying, 5 prizes

Montauban Sector 2, 1255 pigeons: 6th, this was the 2nd pigeon of North-Holland province

8th ‘Keizerkampioen’ Fondclub North-Holland

9th Overnight-champion Department North-Holland, midday-release



Several great pigeons


Cock 00-1781482, named “Don Leo”

Barcelona 2005: 36th National 7491 pigeons and 65th International 25.815 pigeons

Barcelona 2006: 54th National 6777 pigeons and 75th International 22.887 pigeons

Perpignan 2004: 81st National 6489 pigeons and 241st International 17.570 pigeons

This cock is bred from 2 Nico Volkens pigeons

His sister, named “Miss Lourdes” was co-winner Barcelona: Cureghem Center



Cock 04-5425085, named “the Pau”

Pau 2006: 46th National 2413 pigeons and 89th International 6553 pigeons

Dax 2006: 73rd National 3260 pigeons and 202e International 11.517 pigeons

Father is a brother of the 1st Montauban SNZH 2001 and the mother is inbred to the basis cock, she’s also mother to 1st Bourges Department.



Hen 04-5425099, named “Queen of sky”

Perpignan 2006: 11th National and 5th National hens

Barcelona 2006: 390th National 6777 pigeons

Perpignan 2007: 43rd National 5294 pigeons



Hen 05-1232182

Tarbes 2007: 1st N.I.C. and 49th Sector 2 5210 pigeons

Montauban 2007: 2nd N.I.C. and 6th Sector 2 1255 pigeons

This hen was bred from two Nico Volkens pigeons



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