We could find little information about this team on the internet, so instead we decided to travel to Nottuln, a town to the west of Münster. We were surprised by what we saw there, but one thing at a time.
Manfred (l) and Franz-Josef (r) Irmer
Irmer & Sohn
The first member of the team is father Manfred Irmer, now 76 years old, who used to run a butcher shop until just a few years ago, and who kept pigeons as a pastime. His son Franz-Josef Irmer is now running the bucher shop, which he took over from his father. He prepares fine meats and sausages, which his wife Frau Brigitte sells in their shop. Franz-Josef is still a true craftsman, the kind which is increasingly difficult to find these days. He does not have a lot of spare time, but luckily his then 23 year old son got involved not only in the butcher shop but in his pigeon loft as well.
Pigeon fancier Franz-Josef Irmer
Franz-Josef Irmer is now 49 years old and he became a pigeon fancier as well, following in the footsteps of his father. He started at the age of 10, and he has learned quite a lot over the years. He got to meet some of the very best fanciers in Belgium, The Netherlands and of course Germany. He has also obtained some exceptionally talented pigeons from them, which were given a spot in the large breeding loft, to breed some equally talented descendants. But more on that later. He has an entire row of pigeon lofts in his garden, where he keeps a racing team and of course a team of breeders. We were quite surprised about the size of his accommodation. His exceptional collection of breeders has enabled him to achieve some impressive results over the years.
His father was forced to spend less time in the loft due to a health problem, and this is why Franz-Josef now has a lot more responsibilities in the pigeon lofts.
And there is more: Franz-Josef has always been on good terms with Nikolaas and Thomas Gijselbrecht, and a few years ago he decided to become a PIPA agent. His main responsibility is to maintain good contacts with the PIPA clients in Germany, and this has become a time-consuming task. The number of PIPA auctions has increased significantly over the years, and one of Franz-Josef's tasks is to visit each of these German clients. In other words, he has to look after his butcher shop, his considerable pigeon collection and his racing team, as well as looking after the interests of PIPA. Franz-Josef eventually realised he could not keep up. The only solution was to reduce the number of pigeons in his collection. He will be getting rid of some of his most valuable breeding pigeons, which was obviously a tough decision to make.
Despite being pressed for time trying to run a butcher shop, maintaining a pigeon collection and visiting clients for PIPA all in once, he has still managed to achieve some impressive results. We think it is safe to say that Franz-Josef has not even reached the full potential of his invaluable pigeon family, simply due to lack of time. Let's have a look at his achievements in 2014 and 2015.
B 09-4114886, Marcel's Favoriet, a son of Bak 17 of Marcel Aelbrecht
Some of their results in 2014
04.05.2014 Fulda (217 km) 918 p.: 10th, 12th, 16th, 16th, 19th, 24th, 25th, 33rd, 45th, 47th, 61st, 70th, 70th, 73rd, 74th etc. (31/55) 10.05.2014 Bad Brückenau (243 km) 896 p.: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 23rd, 27th, 41st, 52nd, 61st, 70 etc. (28/56) 24.05.2014 Wiesentheid (315 km) 808 p.: 3rd, 10th, 22nd, 31st, 31st, 33rd, 36th, 37th, 39th, 47th, 51st, 58th, 59th etc. (25/52) 31.05.2014 Forcheim (358 km) 719 p.: 4th, 7th, 13th, 15th, 24th, 26th, 30th, 34th, 54th, 63rd, 65th etc. (26/49) 14.06.2014 Wiesentheid (315 km) 562 p.: 1st, 13th, 15th, 22nd, 36th, 49th, 50th etc. (21/45) 21.06.2014 Parsberg (434 km) 551 p.: 6th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 18th, 25th, 27th, 29th, 31st, 41st etc. (22/40) 28.06.2014 Osterhofen (538 km) 449 p.: 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 25th, 28th, 31st, 31st, 35th etc. (23/38) 06.07.2014 Parsberg (434 km) 431 p.: 2nd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 10th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 30th, 33rd etc. (22/37) 12.07.2014 Parsberg (434 km) 340 p.: 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 14th, 20th, 22nd, 24th etc. (19/37)
6th German Union Champion Regionalverband 409 3rd Union Championship Yearlings Regionalverband 409 3rd Best Cock in Regionalverband 409 07364-12-107 7th Ace Cock in the Union in Reg.-Vb. 409 07364-12-230 9th Ace Cock in the Union in Reg.-Vb. 409 07364-12-125 10th Ace Cock in the Union in Reg.-Vb. 409 07364-12-107 1st Championship „Die Brieftaube“ 1st Ace Cock in the Union RV Dülmen 07364-12-230 3rd Ace Cock in the Union RV Dülmen 07364-12-125 4th Ace Cock in the Union RV Dülmen 07364-12-107 5th Best Cock in RV Dülmen 07364-12-273 8th Best Cock in RV Dülmen 07364-12-225
DV 07364-11-600 New Maxima, inbred to the renowned Kleine Dirk
Some of their best results of 2015
10.05.2015 Bad Brückenau (232 km) 2,121 p.: 22nd, 25th, 38th, 58th, 58th, 60th, 60th, 65th, 76th, 79th, 91st, 93rd, 93rd,93rd etc. (33/52) 17.05.2015 Schweinfurt (278 km) 2,014 p.: 7th, 8th, 21st, 64th, 94th, 94th, 100th etc. (29/53) 06.07.2015 Fulda (206 km) 931 p.: 4th, 16th, 35th, 38th, 46th, 47th, 89th etc. (19/24) 26.07.2015 Wels (622 km) 300 p.: 5th, 7th, 12th, 23rd, 28th, 35th, 44th etc. (9/14)
5th Championship Union (Intern) 4th German Union champion Union 409 4th Best Cock in the union 07364-12-230 7th Best Cock in the union 07364-13-588 1st Champion Cocks RV (best 3 cocks) 1st Best Cock in RV Lüdinghausen 13/13 Prizes 07364-12-230 2nd Best Cock in RV Lüdinghausen 13/12 Prizes 07364-13-588
The Irmer family has continued to play an important role: Franz-Josef won many great results, despite being unable to spend much time in the loft.
The pigeon breed
Where should we begin? This is quite a collection of invaluable pigeons, and we did struggle to try and do justice to each important bloodline and breeding bird. There is one exceptional breeder that really stands out: an original C&G Koopman with ring number NL 04-1389769. His name? Amoré's Dirk 769. His sire is the world famous Kleine Dirk NL 98-5821416, and his dam is the equally renowned Amoré, NL 00-5063949. This is one of Koopman's exceptional breeding pairs. It is worth noting that Kleine Dirk stems from Gentil paired to Golden Lady; she is in turn a daughter of Dirk Van Dyck's famous Kannibaal. In other words, the NL 04-1389769 has an exceptional pedigree. His sister NL 05-1936558 is the dam of Harry (NL 07-2007621) of Jan Hooymans, which was an exceptional racing cock with a 1st Blois 37,728 pigeons, a 1st Châteauroux against 22,340 pigeons and a 3rd Châteaudun against 21,520 pigeons on his palmares. Harry developed into an exceptional breeder later on.
Amoré's Dirk 769 bred numerous talented descendants with several different partners but some of these pairings deserve a special mention, including his pairing with Weibchen Raketje (NL 01-5150236) of Kees Bosua. This hen represented The Netherlands in the Porto Olympiad in the middle distance with a 34.07 coefficient. Her sire is Ballerini NL 96-5666043, winner of a 1st National Orléans against 15,670 pigeons. Her dam is Châteauroux Duifje NL 96-5665986, one of Kees Bosua's best hens, and winner of a 1st from Châteauroux against 9,337 pigeons.
Amoré's Dirk 769 was also paired to Maxima NL 00-1211110 of Gerard Koopman. She is a full sister of Kleine Dirk and she is a hen with remarkable breeding value. She comes from Gentil paired to Golden Lady, and needless to say, she combines really well with many different breeding cocks. Her sire Gentil was in fact an Olympiad Pigeon in 1997 in the Basel Olympiad. Maxima has often been paired to Blauwe Hertog NL 05-2110115, a cock from a Van Loon and Koopman combination with an excellent palmares.
Pigeons of Heremans-Ceusters have played a crucial role in this loft as well, take for instance 426, B 00-6141426. He was an outstanding racing bird with many top results on his palmares: he won 5 first prizes and he finished in the top 10 36 times. The 426 was mostly paired to hens of Leo Heremans.
One of those really special pigeons in the collection of Irmer & Son was Royal Blue B 02-6175731, an Original Flor Vervoort, and a son of the world famous Fieneke 5000 (B 97-6162118). Fieneke 5000 was 1st Olympiad Pigeon 1999 in the Blackpool Olympiad, and she played an important role in the lofts of Flor Vervoort. Royal Blue was one of her last sons.
Another interesting pigeon in the Irmer breeding lofts is a son of the Bak 17 pairing of Marcel Aelbrecht called Marcel's Favoriet B 09-4114886. He is a top class breeding bird that bred numerous talented descendants.
A daughter of the world famous Figo of Antoon & Hilde Reynaerts is kept here in Nottuln as well. Her name is Witstaartje Figo B 09-3021785. She is one of the last daughters of Figo, winner of nine first prizes.
B 09-4189883 Wondere Chipo, full brother of the world famous Chipo of Benny Steveninck
A full brother and a full sister of Benny Steveninck's world famous Chipo are also part of the pigeon collection of Irmer & Son.
Two other highly talented pigeons of Koopman deserve a mention: NL 08-2048714, bred from Mighty Man NL 98-1933559 (a full brother of Kleine Dirk), and NL 10-1109643, bred from Magic Man NL 04-5430805 paired to Raffaella NL 04-2248600 (a daughter of Kleine Dirk x Golden Lady). These two pigeons stem from some of the most renowned bloodlines of Gerard Koopman.
And the list of highly talented pigeons does not stop there. We were particularly impressed with a chequered cock of Günter Prange, a pigeon with an exceptional pedigree: Son 261 (02098-12-566). His sire is none other than the world famous 261 (02098-07-261), winner of 10 first prizes against large numbers of pigeons. The dam of the 566 is 02098-06-900, a daughter of the legendary Ringlose.
We could go on and on about the many top class breeding pigeons that Franz-Josef obtained thanks to his excellent relations with many renowned pigeon fanciers, but we are limited in space. Instead we will take a closer look at some of the champions of Franz-Josef that have excelled in other lofts.
Flanders Collection (Liedekerke, B) was successful with the following Irmer descendants: BE13-4011443 Iron Fondman, 1st pigeon from Brive 2015-2016 in Belgium, a grandchild of DV07364-08-88 Bred by F. J. Irmer and in turn a grandchild of Kannibaal (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon middle distance 1996 for Dirk Van Dyck). BE12-4073176 Magnum, 13th pigeon from Brive in Belgium, a youngster of DV07364-08-210 Bred by F. J. Irmer and in turn a grandchild of Kannibaal (1st Nat. Ace Pigeon middle distance 1996 for Dirk Van Dyck) and of Fieneke 5000 (Flor Vervoort).
BE10-5154120 “Klein Raketje”, bred and raced by Stefan Steenbergen, Belgium The sire is DV07364-09-699 of Irmer, Son “Raketje” NL01-5150236 1st Ace Cock Cat. G Pre-Olympiad FCI Continental Cup Budapest 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon longer middle distance KBDB 2011 3rd Western-European Ace Pigeon long distance 2011 5 first prizes 1st Prov. Châteauroux 1,963 p. – 30th Nat. 25,263 p. 4th Prov. Gueret 775 p. – 127th Nat. 13,885 p. 5th CFW Nevers 2,205 p. 8th Prov. Argenton 1,259 p. 32nd Nat. La Souterraine 3,562 p. BE07-5056507 “Iron Man”, bred and raced by Stefan Steenbergen, Belgium The sire is DV07364-01-795 of Irmer, great racing bird and a son of “Schonen Floor” (Brother Fieneke 5000) 3rd prov. Ass-Taube KBDB Limburg 2010 13th Nat.Ass-Taube KBDB long distance 2010 1st Prov. Montauban 771 p. 2010 1st Nat. Zone Montauban 2,179 p. 2010 5th Nat. Montauban 6,654 p. 2010 5th Prov. Brive 2,177 p. 2010 27th Nat. Zone Brive 5,934 p. 2010 4th Prov. Brive 2,338 p. 2009 27th Nat. Zone 6,567 p. 2009 8th Prov. Montauban 900 p. 2009 122nd Nat. Montauban 7,203 p. 2009 24th Prov. Jarnac 2,335 p. 2008 DV07364-10-220, Son Maxima NL00-1211110 is grandfather of: “Victoria”, 1st NPO Nanteuil 3,926 p., bred and raced by André and Bert Leideman “Enzo”, 1st Prize 10,314 p., bred and raced by André and Bert Leideman BE09-9020159 (bred by Bernard Bonte) 1st National Argenton 23,921 p. 2009 for Dany Dusausoit, Belgium (fastest of 35,340 p.) The dam is DV07364-06-1202, bred by Irmer & Sohn.
Dominik Ortner (Wesseling) has a number of talented descendants from a pigeon bred by Franz-Josef Irmer: DV 07364-07-446 (from son x grandchild Maxima NL00-1211110, a sister of Kleine Dirk):
Son "6413 "Domi" wins 30 prizes in the past three seaons, including 6 first and 2 second prizes. "Domi" was an Olympiad Pigeon in Budapest in category G. Son "1419" "Superman" wins 37 prizes in three seasons And becomes 1st Best cock in 2014 in the RV and the FG. Son "1330" wins 47 prizes in three seasons, including a 1st of 2,700 p. Daughter 6412 "Nati" (Nest sister Domi) wins 30 prizes in 3 seasons, including a 1st of 3,094 p. Daughter 06367-13-102 wins 11 prizes as a yearling. Granddaughter "369" (a daughter of Olympiad cock Domi) wins 13 prizes in 2015 and she is 1st best yearling in the RV and the FG.