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Combination Bruggeman

Combination Bruggeman from the Zeeuwse Wemeldinge


Wemeldinge is a village located near the Oosterschelde on the former island of Zuid-Beveland. Positioned near the channel that runs through Zuid-Beveland made Wemeldinge a great spot for passing ships, it was a home for many that passed through. After the locks between the Easter- and Western Schelde were removed, the ships stopped coming by. The municipality of Kapelle then appointed Wemeldinge as a focal point for tourism. The shift from ships to tourists as an important financial factor seems logical, thanks to the large yachting harbor, several campings, a bungalowpark and of course the wondrous underwater-world of the estuary Oosterschelde.


The village has made a name for itself regarding the pigeonsport, like the phenomenon “Mariën Pieterse” with his world famous “Koppel 17” in the 70’s. The total sale after his passing away in 1983 achieved a record turnover. In this small but beautiful village in the Zeeland province the family Bruggeman settled several years ago, with the goal of building a loft that could compete nationally and internationally.

The combination


Partly caused by brother-in-law Willen Weststrate, Jaap Bruggeman entered the pigeonsport in the first half of the 80’s. Before the current combination was formed in late 2007, it was Jaap who, like so many of us, started on the short and middle distance races. This went on until around the year 2000, when he slowly shifted his interests towards the overnight races. After moving several times in 1986, 1988, 1994 and 2004, a brand new start was made after selling all the racing pigeons in 2005. Because Jaap’s work took up a lot of time, his friendly and social wife Arian ended up doing a lot of the needed activities. It was then decided in October 2007 to start practicing the pigeonsport together and to race under the name of combination Bruggeman. Once settled on their new address in the Wilhelminastreet in Wemeldinge, a start was made to build their brand new colony. And what a colony it is!!




The new set-up

Once they were fully comfortable in their new home, they proved that they were a true business-couple, since they were used to and only accepted real quality in their purchases. Their wish to grow to the top of the national and international long-distance flyers knows no bounds. All signs point to big investments being made in these last few years, both in regards to the lofts and the pigeons that occupy them. Many times, in the span of a few years at the most, fairly big purchases have been made.




The pigeons


When talking to both Jaap and Arian it is quickly clear that their First long distance pigeons were acquired from and through the brother-in-law that raced in the combination Weststrate-Martens at the time (nowadays this is combination Weststrate – van de Velde). Now, after many years, there are still new pigeons being added from this loft. The pigeons are mostly of the Van der Wegens strain through Simon from Mastiek and the Mulders through Johan Verhaage. These pigeons, Jaap tells us, are mostly meant for morning-releases. For the midday-releases they wanted pigeons from no one less than Frans Janssens. This tough playing fancier still sells pigeons to this day.


But since they have the strong ambition to minimally be as good as the top fanciers, this had a big influence on their pigeons. That's why in 2006 it was decided to invest heavily in breeding material.



The Blauwe Vanoppen from Wijnands


The first purchase to achieve the goal of great breeding pigeons was a son straight from the breeding-miracle “De Blauwe Vanoppen”. Also, a lot of money was invested when Cees van der Poel from Ridderkerk had a complete sale of his pigeons. Cees possessed a series of pigeons that were truly one of a kind. No less than sixteen pigeons were bought from him. These sixteen are mostly coming from the strain of the old Theelen basis, from couple “De Late Marseille” x “De 90-Duivin” (another 100% Theelen). But they were also bought from the earlier mentioned strain of “De Blauwe Vanoppen” from Wijnands. Among others another straight daughter. Besides these purchases, they also added six late youngsters to their strains in a sale of the combination Ophuizen – Marell in Limburgen province. Furthermore, there are some pigeon from Wiel Cramers, Leo kouters and a late hen from Gommaire Verbrugge. But also on the most recent sale of Wijnands and son no expenses were spared and another son from “De Blauwe Vanoppen” was bought.




Stefan Leloux


A visit was paid to the man who surprised friend and foe alike on the last race of 2007 from Montauban. Both from the winner of that race as from several other breeding-pairs, youngsters were brought to Wemeldinge. Jaap mentioned that even four younglings had been purchased from the victor of Leloux with Mark Vandaele from Oostrozebeke in Belgium. Stefan Leloux is not well known with the general public but he is a professional fancier through and through. He is working on his pigeons day and night and has achieved formidably on the national midday-releases the last few years.



A matter of time


Knowing that I have been on many national and international lofts throughout the years in my profession as writer, and have held many different pigeons in my hands, I traveled to Wemeldinge without suspecting anything. Once in conversation with Jaap regarding the pigeons and looking in the lofts, I quickly realize that these pigeons are soon-to-be champions. Combined with the short time the combination has settled on their current location, their drive as well as their well-stacked breeding-loft, I know it is only a matter of time.



Johan Hamstra


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