Norbert and Stefan Ally
Norbert and his son Stefan Ally are two fanciers who have earned their stripes in this sport. After their sunt from Souillac in 2010 (1st, 2nd and 4th national) and their national first prize from Montauban in 2015, Nobert Ally now gets to add a third national victory to his palmares from Angoulême: their winning bird ‘Den Angoulême Vooruit’ (BE17-3011637) even exceeds the achievements of Neymar, who claimed victory in the national race from Montauban with a 10 minute lead, in tropical temperatures. Angoulême Vooruit took the win with an impressive 17 minute lead of a total of 9,555 pigeons (5030 yearlings and 4525 old birds), in what was perhaps the most difficult one day long distance race of the past season, with temperatures well above 30°C in France, combined with an increasingly strong northerly wind.
'Angouleme Vooruit', 1st national Angoulême
This Angoulême Vooruit showed his potential already as a young bird, winning a 3rd Provincial Tours of 3478 pigeons. He completed his first ever national race this season in Argenton I Yearlings, where he won a 178th National of 19,858 pigeons. Two weeks later he also claimed a 90th National Limoges II of 7236 pigeons as first basketed. Angoulême Vooruit was deliberately kept at home for the races from Libourne and Tulle, due to unpredictable weather. Instead, he did a training flight of just under 200km, after which he spent several hours with his hen. And he ended his campaign in style winning the race from Angoulême with an unprecedented 17 minute lead. It was a fantastic victory from a particularly strong racing bird!
The eye and the wing of Angoulême Vooruit
Besides this national victory, Norbert Ally saw a great performance from the entire team in Angoulême:
5-36-48-57-108-417-847-944 of 4525 old birds (8/12) 1-151-154-358-499-773 of 5030 yearlings (6/12)
Among the first eight pigeons to arrive home, we have the first four basketed old birds and the first two nominated yearlings!
The pedigrees of each pigeon can be found below:
A look at the lofts of Norbert and Stefan Ally
A prelude in Jarnac
A national victory never happens just like that, although Norbert and Stefan had had some very successful weeks prior to Angoulême, indicating that they were a force to be reckoned with. Their team of one year olds did particularly well in Jarnac, winning some national top prizes in high temperatures and a hard northerly wind:
2-19-73-120-122-1025 of 4940 yearlings (6/14)
Here are the pedigrees of the first two pigeons to arrive home:
BE17-3011653: 1st prov. and 2nd national Jarnac yearlings
BE17-3011652: 19th national Jarnac yearlings, ‘Neymar Junior’, won the title of 3rd national ace pigeon shorter middle distance as a young bird in 2017
Pigeon racing: not an exact science
"We have had some bad luck in our widowers' season, causing quite a bit of stress", says Stefan. "But we are very happy now; this victory from Angoulême makes it all worthwhile. Nonetheless, we did not manage to get the widowers in peak form in one of our three lofts, the loft where many of our best pigeons are kept. We have also lost some important racing birds in the first half of the season, which made things a lot harder for us. We are already looking towards the next season, since we are still guessing as to what might have caused that one loft loft to perform below average."
But that is perhaps what typifies a true champion: they never rest on their laurels. They are always looking for possible improvements, even after a national first prize. Although they should not forget to enjoy this victory, many congratulations!