My pigeons are my most valuable possession!
This quote comes from Filip Norman, the man behind one of the most legendary pigeon families worldwide. It shows how much he admires the pigeon, its orientation skills, and the level of energy it has, which enables them to fly for 13 or 15 hours, and to find their way back home. It shows that pigeon racing is really a great passion for him.
Norman stands for a century (since 1902) of pigeon racing at the highest level, and it started with the grandfather and then father Norbert Norman. That same pigeon breed is now winning top prizes in the loft of Filip and his son Nicolas Norman, who are assisted by caretaker Gilbert Van Parijs. These are four generations of top class fanciers.
Shortly before his passing in 1997 grandfather Norbert was not so much concerned about whether his son Filip would take over the management of his printing company but rather if he would look after his pigeon collection. It shows that pigeon racing is really ingrained in this family.
The Zorro dynasty leads the way
Norman has been a household name in pigeon racing for decades, and this breed has been consistently performing at a high level. This is the result of breeding pigeons from the greatest champions. Filip: "Working with the best bloodlines is guaranteed to give great results." The Norman pigeon family has been a perfect example over the last century. The Norman fanciers are passionate players, even though their loft is located near the sea, which is a rather disadvantageous location for the national races. This means they definitely need a highly talented pigeon breed and a few super class racing birds if they want to win prizes in the national races.
Over the years they learned that you have to be careful with your pigeons, and especially your prize winners. This means they will get a spot in the breeding loft more quickly. This is often a difficult decision (especially for caretaker Gilbert), since these pigeons allow you to achieve great results in the races. Why does a fancier decide to transfer a successful racing bird to the breeding loft? In this case, the Norman fanciers have experienced that their real cracks, their strongest prize winners are the result of a combination of super class bloodlines, mainly based on their own stars. One of these invaluable breeders is stock pigeon Zorro. His grandson Magic Florian now appears to be a worthy successor.
Stock breeder Zorro and his direct descendants have been achieving great results in the past ten years, and the current generation of Norman is largely founded on this outstanding breeder. He is for instance the sire of:
-Abraham: sire of the winner of the One Million Dollar Race 2008 in Sun City in South Africa
sire of 3rd Nat. La Souterraine in 2015.
-Whonderzhora: 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon middle distance KBDB
-Zus Abraham: dam of Florian: 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2012 and in turn the sire of Impact Florian
-Salome: sire of Dalai: 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Entente Belge, 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2010
These are just a few of many important pigeons of Norman.
Magic Florian, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Zorro
The exceptional Zorro bloodline continues to play an important role in further generations. His grandson Magic Florian for instance became Provincial Ace Pigeon 2012, and has bred in turn several super class racing birds and breeders. One of his grandchildren has been selected for the Olympiad as well.
-Magic Florian BE10-3113328
1st Prov. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB West Fl. 2012 1st Intprov. Poitiers 1,827 p. 1st Prov. Limoges 2,594 p. 1st Intprov. Limoges 1,489 p. 4th Nat. Souillac 7,760 p. 7 first prizes in total!
This pigeon took part in 20 races and he won 15 top 13 prizes, 12 top 10 prizes and 10 top 5 prizes
The sire of the 20-23-220-270-334th Nat. Tulle 5,731 p. in 2014
He is the sire of Impact Florian, the great champion of Norman in 2015.
He is the grandfather of the Olympiad Pigeon All Round youngsters 2015 Budapest.
His dam is a daughter of Zorro x Kristine (from Gaby Vandenabeele), which makes her a full sister of Abraham, the sire of the winner of the One Million Dollar Race in Sun City (South Africa). His sire is a Son National II from Jos Thoné (from 1st Nat. Limoges 12,743 p.: National II x Dochter Narbonne, from 1st Nat. Narbonne 6,423 p.). Click here for the full pedigree.
The full list of achievements of Magic Florian can be found here. An overview of his best youngsters from 2014 can be found here.
The star of this loft of 2015 is a direct son of Florian, called Impact Florian. This outstanding pigeon perfectly illustrates the breeding strategy of Team Norman. It is also the result of their new approach of transferring their cracks immediately to the breeding loft, to create new generations of prize winners. Impact Florian was placed in the breeding loft after his excellent season as well, to join the rest of the Norman breeding team:
-Impact Florian BE13-3096012
4th Nat. Ace Pigeon long distance old birds KBDB 2015 2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB West Fl. 2015 4th Nat Libourne 5,024 p. ’15 10th Nat Limoges II 8,303 p. ’15 (Club 459 p. 1) 20th Prov Brive 1,604 p. ’15 (Nat 8,674 p. 202) 20th Nat Tulle 5,731 p. ’14 54th Prov Bourges 3,324 p. ’14 (Club 671 p. 1) 73rd Prov Brionne 6,773 p. ’13 229th Prov Limoges I 2,953 p. ’15 316th Nat Limoges II 6,907 p. ’14 497th Prov Tours 5,697 p. ’15
The full list of achievements of Impact Florian can be found here.
Impact Florian is based on inbreeding of stock breeder Zorro: both his sire and his dam are a grandchild of Zorro.
Sire: Magic Florian BE10-3113328
He was 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon long distance KBDB 2012 (see earlier).
Dam: Rickky BE09-3186311
Daughter of top breeder Jonge Zorro BE01-3140119 (son of Zorro) x the world famous Marieke BE08-30337512 of Rik Cools (1st N.Zone Gueret 5,166 p., 1st Reg Blois 362 p. and 14th Prov. Blois 5,035 p., 191st Nat. Bourges 41,783 p., and coming from the line of Bliksem Gaby Vandenabeele).
Click here for the full pedigree of Impact Florian
We asked Filip to give us his big favourite for 2016, and he did not have to think about it: his favourite is Son Abraham (a grandson of Zorro), which has already won a 3rd Nat. La Souterraine in 2015. He excelled in 2014 as a summer young bird, and he competed in a few provinical warm up races in 2015, before taking a great result from La Souterraine. This is his palmares:
-Son Abraham BE14-3127072
3rd Nat La Souterraine 6,205 p. (Club 281 p. 1) 12th Prov Chateaudun 4,072 p. (Club 269 p. 5) 17th Prov Chateaudun 3,601 p. (Club 301 p. 5) 108th Prov Bourges 1,415 p. (Club 165 p. 13) 158th Prov Chateaudun 2,299 p. (Club 191 p. 8) 18th Compiègne 290 p.
In fact, the Norman racing team put in a great overall performance in La Souterraine, with 9 pigeons in the national top 100 and 35 prizes per 10:
La Souterraine Nat 6,205 YL: 3-10-21-42-63-66-68-93-98-112-116-132-133-136-188…
The Norman pigeons have been doing great in other lofts as well: they have an impressive list of references both at home and abroad. We take a look at the most remarkable achievements outside of Belgium:
- Mr. Takao Kimura won the Igo-one-loft-race in Japan (with a 50% Norman pigeon)
- Mr. Catalin Chireac won the Balkanic Fair Play one-loft-race 2015 in Romania, and the title of 1st Ace Pigeon with Only One (a pigeon bred by Vlasin Petru; the dam is a 100% Norman hen)
Only One: winner of Balkanic Fair Play OLR Romania and 1st Ace Pigeon, a 50% Norman pigeon (see pedigree)
A pigeon breed with a rich history
Zorro's descendants have excelled across the world, and his bloodlines can still be found in many of today's racing birds of Norman: 'Florian' (1st Prov. Ace Pigeon), 'Glamour' (2nd Prov. Ace Pigeon and top class breeding hen), multiple national ace pigeon 'Dalai', Provincial Ace Pigeon 'Wonderzohra' (a daughter Zorro), the star of 2015 'Impact Florian' (4th Nat. Ace Pigeon) and of course Olympiad Pigeon extreme long distance 'Gazpacho'. They are all directly related to the exceptional breeder Zorro. This is an invaluable bloodline that will continue to write history in the future.
Basically every prestigious championship title has been won by the Norman pigeon breed, along with 13 national first prizes. This is something the fanciers from Knokke-Heist can be proud of. They are proud but humble. Well done!