Norbert Ally (Aarsele, BE) wins 1st Nat. Montauban against 3,990 olds - a landslide victory

His national winner is called Neymar. He is a talented pigeon that only just missed a national first prize last year, settling for second nat. in Brive against 3,850 pigeons. He eventually took his first national victory in the race from Montauban 2015, as the fastest of a total of 6,119 pigeons with a 10 minute lead!

Earlier than expected - a good sign

Good luck is often a matter of detail, and there is quite an interesting story to the national victory of Norbert Ally.
Norbert had expected his racing birds for Montauban to arrive home by 5:30pm. He assumed that five hot days in the basket would take its toll and would have an influence on the average speed in the race. His son Stefan saw on the PIPA website that the first pigeon from Montauban had arrived in Wallonia at about 4:45pm, and it got him thinking. In order to take a very early prize from Montauban, his pigeons would have to be back by 5:15pm. His father Norbert was still at ease, watering the flowers in the garden. Stefan insisted on installing the electronic clocks. At exactly that moment, the first pigeon landed on the roof. The fanciers thought that it was a late arrival from La Souterraine, so they did not pay too much attention. The pigeon then flew to the sputnik of the pigeons from Montauban but the two fanciers still had no clue. The reason was that the website of the Inter-West Flemish union did not mention any arrivals yet, even though these lofts were 30km closer to the release site than Aarsele. Norbert then switched on the clocks of the sputnik, and he watched the pigeon fly up before landing back on the board of the loft for Montauban. The clock said beep, and displayed the ring number of his first nominated Neymar, the star of this loft. It was quite an exciting moment. The clock showed a time of 16:47’56”, which implies a velocity of 1277.53 m/min over a distance of 789.426km. This super class pigeon had put in an amazing performance, taking a 10 minute gap over the entire field of 6,119 pigeons.

Neymar, one of a kind

You cannot give the name of Neymar to just any pigeon. The famous football player from FC Barcelona is one of the most talented players in international football. That means this name should only be given to a pigeon that is exceptionally talented as well, a pigeon that really stands out. That is definitely the case for the champion of father and son Norbert and Stefan Ally.

This crack was very close to a national first prize in 2014, but had to be satisfied with a 2nd national from Brive, finishing about 45 seconds after the national winner. He also finished in the top 54 national from Limoges and Tulle as a one year old. This made him the 2nd best yearling of Belgium over three national races (PIPA ranking). He also finished as 6th national Ace Pigeon long distance yearlings KBDB 2014 as well. We take a look at some of his most important achievements so far:

-Neymar BE13-3126093

2nd Best yearling of Belgium 2014 over 3 Nat. long distance races (PIPA ranking)
6th Nat. Ace Pigeon long distance yearlings KBDB 2014 (2 races)
 1st  Nat Montauban 3,920 p. ’15 (fastest of 6,119 p.)
 2nd  Nat Brive     3,850 p. ’14
39th  Nat Tulle     5,735 p. ’14
54th  Nat Limoges   6,907 p. ’14
177th Nat Limoges   8,303 p. ’15

Click here for his full pedigree

Sire: Schalie Souillac BE10-3075514
An outstanding racing bird and winner of a 6th Nat Souillac 7,760 p., a 14th Prov Tours 1,052 p., and a 171st Nat Chateauroux 16,479 pigeons. He is a son of Speedy Boy BE99-3046705 (1st Tours 117 p., 2nd Chateauroux 668 p., 4th Blois 519 p., 46th Nat La Souterraine 14,957 p.) x Super Bliksemgirl BE08-3081268, a super class breeding hen and granddaughter of the iconic Bliksem of Gaby Vandenabeele (a daughter of Super Bliksem BE01-3031277 x Supergirl BE05-3083743, 3rd Prov Ace Pigeon KBDB West Fl.). Schalie Souillac was sold on PIPA.

Moeder: Daughter Provincial Poitiers BE11-3050244
A direct Marc Pollin (Snellegem). She is a full sister of the 1st prov. and 3rd nat. Bordeaux YL 2012. She is also a daughter of Provincial Poitiers BE07-3080116, winner of a 1st prov. Poitiers, a 25th Nat. Limoges, a 36th Nat. Souillac. He is also the sire of a 1st prov. St.-Junien, a 1st prov. Souillac, a 3rd Nat. bordaux, and a 4th Nat. Libourne (he is a son of the outstanding breeder Nai BE04-3003112 x Mother Asterix BE04-3003075) x Dochter Cadel BE08-3090037. Daughter Provincial Poitiers was sold on PIPA.
Click here for the full pedigree of Neymar

Norbert and Stefan had basketed 6 pigeons for Montauban, 5 of which have managed to win a prize at national level:

Montauban club 76  olds: 1-6-7-21-25 (5/6)
    Provincial 784 olds: 1-24-35-106-138 (5/6)
    National 3,920 olds: 1…

Their first and second nominated took the lead. The second nominated 801/12 had already won a 36th prov. Cahors 888 p. three weeks ago, as well as a 21st Nat. Poitiers in 2014.

Great motivation leads to a national win

Neymar’s loft has three stacked rows of four boxes; his living box is the leftmost box in the lowest row. There is some space between his box and the window, where a tilted board has been installed. Neymar had claimed this spot in the course of last year, which might have explained his results as a one year old. However, he lost his spot to two one year old rival this season. It was decided on Monday that Neymar would be basketed for Montauban, and Stefan wanted to try to get him really motivated. He decided to lock the two yearlings in their boxes, and Neymar did not hesitate to reclaim that part of the loft. An additional feeding tray and two extra portions of feed were used to further increase the rivalry between him and his two loft mates. The results were amazing.

High temperatures had been predicted, and Norbert and Stefan hesitated about which pigeons and how many of them they should basket for Montauban. It was eventually decided to basket a few pigeons that had raced Cahors, as well as two pigeons that had been basketed for Limoges II two weeks earlier. One of them would be one of their three stars Aäron, The 341 or Neymar. The remaining two would be basketed for Brive instead. They decided to basket Neymar for Montauban, the reason being that he had won a 2nd national from Brive last year in similar weather conditions. It proved the right choice: Neymar took home a national first prize.

Great form leads to great results

Neymar was paired on 1 December, just like the 65 other widowers. The eggs of the best three widowers (including Neymar) were taken away, so that they could start brooding a second round of eggs right away. This time the pair was allowed to brood the eggs themselves. This means Neymar raised one youngster after they had been ringed, the other was raised by a different pair. His hen was taken away in time, to prevent her from laying another egg. All pigeons were reunited before the season, on 20 March, and all pigeons started widowhood after brooding for one to two days. The hens are never shown before a race.

The pigeons had shown in previous races that they were in excellent form. For instance, a team comprising their best old widowers and a selection of yearlings did really well in the race fom Limoges on 20 June:

Rekkem 372 olds:
1-3 (Den 341)-4 (Aaron)-8-11-12 (Neymar)-16-22-26-37-56-86 (12/16)
Provincial 1,906 olds: 2-13-15-52-63-64-97-142-149-194-278-428
National 8,303 olds: 
3-47 (3° nom)-53 (1° nom)-158 (4° nom)-176-177 (2° nom)-285-420-439-592-849-1299 (12/16)

Rekkem 264 YL.: 1-3-17-22-26-30 (6/8)
Provincial 1,364 YL.: 6-12-75-101-115-140
National 6,272 YL: 15 (1° nom)-39 (2° nom)-235-301-338-401

these are just a few of many top results that have been won this season. This shows that Norbert and Stefan are having a brilliant season, with a national victory from Montauban as the crowning achievement. Congratulations!