Pigeon racing - a family affair
The success story started around 1902 with grandfather Norman, although it was his son Norbert who really created the modern-day Norman racing bird. Among Norbert's most important achiements are his title of 'Gouden Vleugel' (with Jules) and Euro Diamond in a single season (1978), as well as his title of 1st National Ace Pigeon Long Distance '82 (with Thurau), his title of 1st National Long Distance Champion 1984, and a number of national first prizes. Norbert's son Filip got increasingly involved in the sport as well, and he would eventually take over the loft after his father's passing. He continued to work on an iconic pigeon breed, and today the Norman pigeon family stands for more than 100 years of top level racing!
Several new super class birds emerged over the years, including Robinson (1st Nat. Pau in 2004), Dalai (2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Entente Belge and 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2010), Abraham (sire of the winner of Million Dollar Race South Africa 2008), Wonder Zhora (1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Longer Middle Distance KBDB) and the invaluable stock breeder Zorro. These pigeons in turn led to new successes, and today we see Filip's son Nicolas co-running the team of Mas Palomas, as the acting manager that pushes this breed to new top results.
Confidence in race winners and super class birds
There is one thing that really caught our attention when looking at the Norman pigeon breed: their best racing birds tend to stem directly from their most successful race winners (often national first prize winners) and their best ace pigeons. And when taking a look back at 20 years of pigeon racing, there is one breeder bird that really played a defining role for team Norman: stock breeder Zorro.
The Norman fanciers soon discovered that the Zorro bloodline served as a fantastic foundation. Today, (Magic) Florian, a grandson of Zorro, is set to become the team's new stock breeder. Magic Florian won himself a 4th Nat. Souillac and 2 Interprovincial first prizes, and he is now about to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, as you can tell from his descendants (see below).
Magic Florian, following in the footsteps of his grandfather Zorro
The Norman family has always had a clear take on pigeon racing, with their main focus being the national classics in the long distance and the extreme long distance. We are talking about fanciers that are eager to win races.
It can be quite a challenge to strike a proper balance between being successful in races and breeding talented youngsters. On the one hand, you need your best birds to excel in the big classics, and that is when the team from Knokke-Heist use their big guns. On the other hand, the long distance can put quite a burden on your team. The longer the distance, the greater the risk of losing some of your most precious birds. And team Norman has had this happen as well: they lost a number of four or five year old racing bird over the years, which had the potential to become a great breeder later on. They did learn from their mistakes though.
As a fancier, you always have to think about the future development of your pigeon breed. In other words: sometimes you have to transfer your best birds to the breeding loft. The team had some lengthy discussions about Magic Florian. Gilbert Van Parijs, the team's caretaker at the team, consider this bird indispensible in the racing loft, whereas Filip Norman wanted Magic Florian to be transferred to the breeding loft as quickly as possible, after his fantastic results in 2012. And Filip and Nicolas won the debate. It was a smart move with profound results: Magic Florian followed in the footsteps of his grandfather Zorro, breeding numerous very talented racing and breeding birds later on. And one of his grandchildren has already won an Olympiad nomination. We take a brief look at the champions of today that stem directly from the Florian bloodline. And we begin with the maestro himself:
-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. A total of 7 first prizes!
This bird took part in 20 races, winning 15 x top-13, 12 x top-10 and 10 x top-5.
Sire: Son Nationaal II BE08-5116150
He stems from Jos Thoné (Niel bij As, BE) from the winner of a 1st Nat. Limoges 12,743 p. in 2004: Nationaal II BE01-6182211. He was paired to Daughter Narbonne BE07-5067196, a daughter of a st Nat. Narbonne 6,423 p.
Dam: Daughter Zorro BE05-3222414
As her name suggests, she is a daughter of stock breeder Zorro BE94-3160128 x Kristine BE03-3003480 (from Gaby Vandenabeele). She is a full sister of Abraham, which is the sire of the winner of the 2008 One Million Dollar Race South Africa.
Click here for his full pedigree.
The full list of achievements of Magic Florian can be found here.
Like father, like son: Impact Florian
Magic Florian showed his breeding potential in his very first year in the breeding loft, giving birth to superclass bird Impact Florian. This pigeon became the superstar of team Norman in 2015, and he is the living proof of the successful breeding strategy of the Norman family. This bird is also the result of their more recent approach, in which they transfer their best racing birds to the breeding loft more quickly. Impact Florian became a breeder right after delivering some excellent results:
-Impact Florian BE13-3096012
4th Nat Ace Pigeon Long Distance Olds 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
Impact Florian stems straight from stock breeder Zorro: both his sire and dam are a grandchild of Zorro.
Sire: Magic Florian BE10-3113328
Himself a 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2012 (see earlier).
Dam: Rickky BE09-3186311
A daughter of top breeder Jonge Zorro BE01-3140119 (a son of Zorro) x the world famous Marieke BE08-30337512 of Rik Cools (herself 1st N.Zone Gueret 5,166 p., 1st Reg Blois 362 p. and 14th Prov. Blois 5,035 p. and 191st Nat. Bourges 41,783 p. - from the lines of Bliksem Gaby Vandenabeele).
Champions breed champions. It has been one of the most often heard phrases in pigeon racing, and Florian and Impact Florian seem to confirm this idea. In fact, Magic Florian is in turn the sire of another promising Norman racing bird: Lord Impact. He finished in the top 5 percent (well inside the prizes per 20) in the five national races that he completed this year, four of which were national long distance races. This is the palmares of this talented bird:
-Lord Impact BE16-3010148
26th Nat Jarnac 5,371 p. ’18 133rd Nat Tulle 4,169 p. ’18 139th Nat Brive 9,278 p. ’18 217th Nat Angoulême 4,525 p. ’18 755th Nat Chateauroux 18,799 p. ’18
Sire: Impact Florian BE13-3096012
4th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2015 (see earlier)
Dam: Dochter Arinze BE08-5061499
A direct Jos Thoné. She is a nest sister of the dam of a 1st Intnat. Ace Pigeon Narbonne 2012-13 (27th Intnat. Narbonne 11,000 p., 42nd Intnat. Narbonne 11,442 p.). She is a daughter of supercrack Arinze BE04-5026010 (4th Nat. La Souterraine 16,297 p., 28th Int. Narbonne 5,870 p., 95th Nat. Argenton 23,078 p.) x golden stock dam Sedna I BE04-5026055 (winner of a 1st Intnat. Narbonne 5,870 p.).
Meanwhile, the Florian bloodline continues to leave its mark on the norman breed. Impact Florian was the first talented descendant of Florian, and several other birds were to follow soon. Here are the pigeons that played a leading role in 2018, along with Lord Impact:
-Legendary Florian BE16-3010048
3rd Nat Cahors 6,356 p. ’18 - 1st club 143 p. 79th Intprov Chateauroux 5,904 p. ’18 197th Prov Limoges 3,128 p. ’18 – 787 Nat. 15,789 p. 772nd Nat Chateauroux 26,695 p. ’17 1081st Nat Limoges 10,554 p. ’17 33rd Fontenay 1,658 p. 35th Clermont 1,813 p.
Sire: Florian BE10-3113328
1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2012 (see earlier).
Dam: Jong Marieke II BE11-3172379
A direct Rik Cools. A daughter of Schone Bliksem BE04-3001609 (a son of Bliksem BE98-062 - Vandenabeele x super class breeder of stock dam Frieda BE99-770 Cools-Blancke) x Marieke BE08-3037512 (1st Prov. 2,241 p. and a 1st Nat. Zone Gueret 5,166 p., 14th Prov. Blois 5,035 p.).
Click here for the pedigree of Legendary Florian
Another son of Florian, Legacy Florian, managed to win three national top prizes over the course of a demanding 2018 season, which shows that he is quite a talented bird as well:
-Legacy Florian BE16-3010060
4th Nat Cahors 6,356 p. ’18 - 2nd club 143 p. (behind Legendary Florian) 52nd Nat Limoges 15,789 p. ’18 - 15th Prov. 3,128 p. 73rd Nat Libourne 3,176 p. ’18 223rd Nat Limoges 7,274 p. ’18 197th Nat Libourne 3,950 p. ’17 Etc.
Sire: Florian BE10-3113328
Dam: Daughter Salome BE10-3174621
A full sister of Dalai: 2nd Nat. Ace Pigeon Belgian Entente, 6th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB. She is a daughter of Salome BE02-3217114 (son of Zorro) x Daughter Nicotof BE05-3129273 (Nicotof is a grandfather of the winner of the SAMDR Million Dollar race te Sun City, South Africa).
Click here for Legacy Florian's pedigree.
You can tell from the numerous granchildren of Florian that this bloodline will continue to breed success. Miss Universe (a granddaughter) and Lamborghini (a grandson) underline the exceptional breeding value of Florian:
-Miss Universe BE17-3028674
1st Ace Pigeon Long Distance Yearlings 2018 Fondclub Steenbrugge 12th Nat. Ace Pigeon Long Distance & Extreme Long Distance Yearlings KBDB 2018 19th Nat. Limoges 7,236 p. ’18 – 1st Club 195 p. 21st Nat. Jarnac 4,940 p. ’18 211th Nat. Brive 4,384 p. ’18 455th Prov Chateauroux 5,904 p. ’18 566th Nat Bourges 19,133 p. ’18 10th Argenton Club 359 p. ’17
Sire: Goorus BE14-3127683
A supercrack for team Norman, and winner of a 46th Nat. Limoges 14,937 p., a 53rd Nat. Limoges 6,492 p., a 95th Nat. Jarnac 5,134 p. and a 98th Nat. Brive 5,952 p. He comes from the loft of Jos Thoné from Goor BE05-5148796 (35th Int. Barcelona 27,669 p.) x Lundi BE10-5031937 (the dam of a 1st Prov. Argenton, and a daughter of Toendra, a sister of Avril).
Dam: Daughter Florian BE15-3107033
A daughter of stock breeder Florian BE10-3113328 x Giselle BE11-3148136 (winner of a 3rd Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB).
Click here for Miss Universe's full pedigree.
83rd Nat Tulle 4,169 p. ’18 136th Nat Brive 9,278 p. ’18 154th Nat Bourges 20,284 p. ’18 204th Nat Angoulême 4,525 p. ’18 380th Nat Jarnac 5,317 p. ’18 925th Nat Limoges 10,554 p. ’17
Sire: Injection BE13-3096011
A nest brother of Impact Florian, bred from Florian BE10-3113328 x Rickky BE09-3186311.
Dam: Dochter Barcelona BE11-3148041
A full sister of Gazpacho, Olympiad Pigeon Cat. E 2015, 4th Prov. Ace Pigeon Long Distance KBDB 2013. She is a daughter of Barcelona BE03-4316031 (purchased from Marcel Aelbrecht) x Daughter Limoges BE09-3146100 (a daughter of a 1st Nat. Limoges 6,617 p. x Daughter Zorro).
Click here for Lamborghini's full pedigree.
Such top results as a 1-2-3 from Bourges, a 1-2-3 from Cahors and a 3-4-12 National, as well as top prizes or victories from Limoges, Jarnac and Argenton; it does not just happen overnight. It takes a top quality breed to accomplish this in a single season. These results were won mainly with descendants of the unparalleled Florian.
Florian dynasty excels in numerous other lofts as well
The Florian bloodline was not only fantastic in its home loft in Knokke-Heist: it has led to victories and national top results in quite a few other lofts as well, including most notably:
-PL0408-14-3049: Olympiad Pigeon Allround YBs Budapest 15 (granddaughter Florian)
-BE17-3024954: 1st club and 8th Prov. Argenton 1,146 p. for Paul & Nancy Bellaert (grandchild Florian)
-BE17-3080565: 32nd Nat. Libourne 2,893 YLs, and 34th Nat. Angoulême 5,030 YLs in 2018 for Gerard & Jozef Van Pamel (grandchild Florian)
-BE15-3107300: 1st club and 18th Nat. Narbonne 3,697 YLs in ’16 for Bert Vandenberghe (son Impact Florian, and another grandchild of Florian).
Click here for an overview of the best results of the Florian dynasty.
The Norman pigeons have claimed the following national first prizes and ace pigeon titles in other lofts:
-1st Nat. Jarnac 5,134 p. ’17 for Jos and Jan Loobuyck: a grandson of Norma (a direct Norman and a granddaughter of Zorro).
-1st Nat. Brive 9,123 p. ’17 with Mariano for Team Freddy De Jaeger. This is a great racing bird heavily based on Norman bloodlines. The sire is a grandson of Sister Wonder Zhora (Norman), whereas the dam is a granddaughter of Crayonnee Zorro (son of Zorro).
-1st Nat. Ace Pigeon Allround KBDB 2018 for Marc De Cock with Rockefeller, bred from Daughter Gazpacho BE15-3148748 (a direct Norman).
-Wolverine BE09-3181936 developed into one of the top breeders of Mike Ganus (USA), giving way to several first prizes and top results in one loft races across the globe. Wolverine is a half brother of the 2008 Million Dollar Race winner, being a son of Abraham 113/05 (himself a son of Zorro).
You can only give what you have
Taking the lead and winning races is all in the genes. We were surprised to see the Florian dynasty develop into a new leading bloodline over the course of just five seasons, breeding several new generations of prize winners over the years. This is a bloodline that the Norman team can rely on in the future. In fact, this team has won top prizes in almost all the prestigious championships, and they have 13 national first prizes to their name. This breed has all it takes to deliver top results for many years to come.