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Nicolas & Filip Norman, Knokke-Heist… 100 years of pigeon sport at top level!

The ‘Maspalomas’ colony from the Norman family will soon be putting on its party clothes for its hundredth birthday. Enough reason for a party then… although on a sporting level Filip, Nicolas and carer Gilbert Van Parijs will also do their best to make this jubilee year something ‘special’!

The fairy-tale of a success story… call it what you will… started sometime in 1902 by grandfather Norman, although it was his son Norbert who put the modern Norman pigeon on the world map. The winning of the  ‘Gouden Vleugel’ (with ‘Jules’) and the ‘Euro Diamond’ in one and the same year (1978), the 1° National Ace pigeon Long Distance ’82 (with ‘Thurau’), the title of 1° National Long Distance champion ‘84, in addition to a few ‘national victories’… are just a few ‘exploits’ out the richly filled career of Norbert Norman, which gradually drew son Filip more and more to the pigeon sport. Filip would later, after father Norbert passed away, take over the torch for definite… and build further on the empire, the rich ‘history’ which the Norman pigeons had managed to put to paper over these 100 years! The succession also seems to be guaranteed since Filip’s son Nicolas has now joined the pigeon team. Add to this a ‘top carer’ of the calibre Gilbert Van Parijs and his team assistants… and you immediately have an entire ‘team’ hiding behind the current chains of successes! Food enough then to take a look behind the scenes of the Norman colony, how the will soon, within a few weeks, step into the 2011 sport season .

Accent on the ‘National long distance races’ 
On a sunny, but quite cold morning, due to the wind we visited Maspalomas, where Filip, Nicholas and carer Gilbert Van Parijs were waiting for us in their 'cosy pigeon office’ next to the breeding lofts. When we made the opening remark that there was a strong wind… Flip replied that it is common here, because for almost the whole year there is a ‘sea breeze’ from the west to north-west… and when the wind goes to the westerly sector for the entire country, then it goes up a ‘notch’ here. That’s why it’s almost impossible to really shine in the races with the youngsters at provincial and national level… there has to be a lot of south or east in the wind to have any chance of success here, and then… says Filip. However, this used to be our preferred field, the ‘specialist work’ of carer Gilbert. That’s why over the last few seasons they have concentrated more and more on the ‘national competitions’ with old birds… this is also their greatest ‘challenge’ for the future. How greater the distance, the less this problem will play a decisive role … although this can never be ruled out. The youngsters however are anything but spared… they are basketted nearly every week up to Gueret, and are raced with the sliding door! Gilbert is a real ‘racer’, would, in a manner of speaking, race the pigeons every day of the week, says Filip… yet the ‘youngster’s game’ is seen more and more as a necessary ‘schooling’, to give them the necessary ‘race routine’. But it is not a real ‘selection norm’… because experience has taught them that several of their later real ‘cracks’ in the long distance, were just ‘average’ racers as youngsters… and it was only when they became yearlings or 2 year old that they showed what they were worth! That’s why the real selection doesn’t take place here until they are 2 years old, says Filip. They have to race 5 national races, they are given enough chances to prove themselves! A racing career in the Norman lofts is usually until they are 4 or 5 years old, unless they show earlier that they have exceptional breeding capacities… then we dare to stop them sooner ! !

For 2011 there are in total about 140 widowers ready (o.b. + yearlings) to take on the battle, and a loft of hens will also be tested. These hens are coupled with a stay-at-home partner… so for the time being no ‘total widowhood’ in Knokke-Heist . As many old birds and 2 year olds as possible are entered for the national Limoges (at the beginning of June), and from there they are divided up to complete the complete ‘national long distance calendar’. The ‘provincial races’ are used as a ‘run-up’ for the pigeons to the nationals, or sometimes as an in between race… these races now belong more to the scope of the yearlings. No set pattern is followed in the preparation for the season. About 1/3 of the racing team raised a youngster for the season, usually yearlings to make them used to their box after their change of loft. The majority of the o.b. are allowed to brood once… they come together again by the training for a few days, normally at the end of March. This has the advantage that in bad weather conditions they can skip a week, says Gilbert. Seeing as how the pigeons have had enough routine as a youngster, the training of the pigeons takes place in 2 steps… after racing Ruddervoorde (20 Km) and Rekkem they are ready to begin the season with the ‘big basket’ of society. The yearlings are shown their partners before being basketted, a matter of learning the ‘craft’. The old birds don’t get their hens until the basketting for the national Limoges (formerly Brive) at the beginning of June. In the beginning this is limited to ten minutes, but as the season progresses it becomes longer, sometimes up to an hour. The daily training is the ideal parameter for the condition of the pigeons. For an optimal condition of the extensive racing team regular visits are paid to the vet… his advice is then closely followed, ‘blind’ cures are not for them. Starting in June the pigeons train 2 x day. At 7am Gilbert is already busy with the morning training, in the afternoon they have sometimes already completed their training at 15 or 16h00. Gilbert finds this ideal so that on the day of basketting they have enough time to eat before being basketted .

The ‘domination’ of stock bear  ‘Zorro’
Let us say that the success train which pulled the Norman successes over the years, was difficult to stop. The current ‘performance wave’, seasoned with a real ‘tsunami’ of top performances…has reached a new ‘top’ since the 2004 sport season, according to Filip, when the 1° National Pau 2.180 p. (2° Intnat 8.116 p.) was won with ‘Robinson’ B01-3140008. He didn’t get it from a stranger… on father’s side he is grandson of both the 1° Nat. Brive 18.416 p. ’91 as the 1° Nat. Argenton 24.300 p. ’89… whilst on mother’s side he is grandson of the 1° Nat. Brive 24.052 p. ’93! He is then ‘grandson’ of 3 different 1° National winners! This ‘Robinson’  then played an important role in the breeding loft, so is he a.o. grandfather of ‘Contador’ B07-3153136… a clapper with 7 x 1° prizes to his name from Arras, Orleans, Tours and Limoges, to Souillac! He was also 1° Prov. Ace pigeon in the Bruges Championships! This ‘Contador’ is via his mother also a grandson of the ‘Zorro’…  the central figure by far in the breeding lofts in the Natiënlaan, in other words the ‘golden stock bear’! Whoever checks the performance list of this ‘wonder pigeon’ and his direct descendants in a direct line… can do nothing but join us in coming to the conclusion that this is one of the best breeding lines of our country over the last 15 seasons. Phenomenal, almost unbelievable the exceptional racing and breeding material that this ‘Zorro’ has produced! (see below )

winner 1° Nat Pau 2004

-‘Zorro’ B94-3160128

Let us first take a look at his most predominant exploits, which he managed to put down on paper before being moved to the breeding loft, where he was used as a ‘Bull' '' 

  10° Internat. Dax        6.491 p.
 11° National Limoges   16.854 p.
 14° National Cahors    11.090 p.
303° National Montauban  7.764 p.
311° National Perigueux  6.981 p.
  7° Provinc.  Limoges    4.189 p.
 13° Provinc.  Tours      1.237 p. etc … 

But then as a breeder… up to and including 2010 he had already produced 40 different pigeons with at least one 1° prize to their names… this in direct sons, daughters, grandchildren and further descendants.
In total some 80 x 1° prizes have already been achieved by these descendants of ‘Zorro’ divided as follows :

 About 60 x 1° Prizes regional
14 x 1° Prize Provincial
 2 x 1° Prize National  

Very impressive… and nobody knows where it will all end, because this ‘Zorro’-line is still full of possibilities! Let us illustrate with 2 of the current toppers of the Nicolas and Filip Norman colony :

-‘Dalai’ B08-3153056

2° National Ace pigeon  ‘Belgische Verstandhouding’ 2010
6° National Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB  2010

 ’08 Ablis         1.022 p. 5
’08 Ablis          348 p. 31
’08 Blois          493 p. 41
’08 Tours          247 p. 5
’08 Tours          312 p. 28
’08 Gueret         237 p. 4
        Prov     2.241 p. 33
        Zone A   5.166 p. 176
’09 Ablis          121 p. 12
’09 Bourges Nat 22.499 p. 1494
’09 Argenton       452 p. 34
’09 Limoges YL     534 p. 1
        Prov     3.326 p. 13
        Zone A   7.586 p. 33
        Nat     16.893 p. 114
’09 Tulle YL       185 p. 6
        Prov       718 p. 14
        Zone A   2.030 p. 27
        Nat      7.467 p. 30
’10 Clermont       454 p. 19
’10 Chateauroux    364 p. 19
       Prov      4.093 p. 285
’10 Brive          510 p. 5
       Prov      2.868 p. 15
       Zone A    6.470 p. 24
       Nat      16.815 p. 37
’10 Limoges        314 p. 6
       Prov      1.929 p. 34
       Zone A    4.765 p. 60
       Nat      10.448 p. 72
    Limoges Derby  179 p. 5
       Prov      1.104 p. 22
       Zone A    2.786 p. 35
       Nat       5.607 p. 42
’10 Souillac       269 p. 9
       Prov      1.568 p. 34
       Nat       7.045 p  54 

In 2010 he also won Cahors Nat 8.651 p. 2007, and Tulle Nat 6.695 p. 1567. A real ‘long distance crack’, with a lineage that doesn’t lie :

Father: ‘Salome’ B02-3217114
Self winner of Brive Nat 19.777 p. 43, Brive Nat 20.310 p. 837, Limoges Nat 21.409 p. 279, Limoges Nat 13.502 p. 622 etc…
He is self a son of stock bear ‘Zorro’ B94-3160128 x the ‘Aske’ B01-3140003, self 1° Ace pigeon FC Gistel, 1° Argenton 249 p., 1° La Souterraine 197 p. (and daughter of ‘Nicolas 269/96’ x ‘Daughter Plezanten 690/95’… ‘Nicolas’ is self son of the 1° Nat Narbonne 5.848 p. ‘91).
Mother: ‘Daughter Nicotof’ B05-3129273
She is then daughter of ‘Nicotof’ B01-3264670, grandfather of the winner 1° One Million Dollar Race ‘Sun City’ Z-Africa 2008 and full brother of the ‘Aske’ (so out ‘Nicolas’ x ‘Daughter Plezanten) x ‘Malvina’ B02-3217002, an extra racing and breeding hen (out the ‘Zorro 128/94’ x ‘Aske 003/001 )

-‘Dullen’ B08-3153084

3° National Ace pigeon ‘Belgische Verstandhouding’ 2010

 ’08 Ablis          348 p. 33
’08 Blois Prov   2.401 p. 63
’08 Blois          493 p. 6
        I.Prov   5.035 p. 77
’08 St.Junien      346 p. 5
        I.Prov   1.857 p. 6
’08 Tours          312 p. 23
’08 Gueret         237 p. 11
        Prov     2.241 p. 127
        Zone A   5.166 p. 461
’09 Bourges        273 p. 4
        Zone A   5.738 p. 73
        Nat     22.499 p. 89
’09 Argenton       498 p. 34
        Prov     5.251 p. 388
’10 Ablis          387 p. 3
’10 Chateauroux    364 p. 18
        Prov     4.093 p. 271
’10 Brive          510 p. 9
        Prov     2.868 p. 31
        Zone A   6.470 p. 54
        Nat     16.815 p. 86
’10 Limoges        314 p. 5
        Prov     1.929 p. 25
        Zone A   4.765 p. 43
        Nat     10.448 p. 52
    Limoges Derby  179 p. 4
        Prov     1.104 p. 18
        Zone A   2.786 p. 29
        Nat      5.607 p. 33
’10 Souillac       269 p. 17
        Prov     1.568 p. 53
        Nat      7.045 p. 88
’10 Tulle          296 p. 12
        Prov     1.081 p. 74
        Zone A   2.571 p. 167
        Nat      6.695 p . 301 

The ‘Dullen’ scored a first-rate 5/5 in the national races in 2010… because from Cahors he also made his presence felt with Nat 8.651 p. 1631. We also find a few of the very best in his lineage .

Father: ‘Casius’ B07-3153015
A full brother of the super crack hen ‘Wonder Zhora’ B08-3153001 which won 1° Prov Ace pigeon ‘Grand Middle Distance’ and 6 x 1° prizes!
He is self son of stock bear ‘Zorro’ B94-3160128 x ‘Daughter Mozes’ B06-3201435 (out ‘Mozes 251/99’ x ’t Rap 028/01’… this ‘Mozes’ is self son of the top couple ‘Nicolas x Daughter Plezanten’, ’t Rap’ is then again a daughter of, yes indeed… ‘Zorro’!) 


Mother: ‘Daughter Jerome’ B02-3250697
A daughter of the overnight topper ‘Jerome’ B96-3200362, self 1° Prov Marseille (and coming out the ‘Narbonne 071/87’, 1° Nat Narbonne 5.848 p… x ‘Daughter Wittenbuik 073/93’ Vandenabeele) x ‘Daughter Voske’ B98-3180060 (line ‘Didi’ Etienne Devos x ‘King’ 

These are just two examples of ‘super cracks’ out the ‘lengthy list’ of wonder pigeons produced by wonder pigeon ‘Zorro’… a real ‘breeding legend’, and without doubt one of the most famous breeders in the history of our national pigeon sport! You can find a concise overview of his most prominent descendants at the bottom of this article! At the moment the colony is formed for more than 60% out this ‘Zorro line’, from the 36 breeding couples, 16 direct children of his are breeding !

In the previous lines we mentioned the ‘Zorro’ and the ‘Robinson’… but at the moment the ‘Budha’ B06-3206856 (grandson ‘Zorro’) and ‘Abraham’ B05-3129113 (direct son ‘Zorro’) are demanding a leading role in the rich breeding stable, and we can consider them both as the successors of their grandfather and father respectively !

-‘Budha’ B06-3206856
is amongst other things father of the long distance crack ‘Duvalier’ B08-3153059, and he won a.o .


 1° Prov. Ace pigeon Long Distance Yearlings KBDB West-Fl 2009
1° Prov Libourne 1.503 p. ’09 (and 11° National 8.723 p.)
5° Prov Argenton 3.251 p. ’09 (and 304° National 21.092 p.)
227° Nat. Bourges 22.499 p. ’09 etc … 

-‘Abraham’ B05-3129113


He won self a.o. :

  55° Nat Cahors         5.894 p.
 56° Prov Tours         2.501 p.
 86° Prov Tours         3.152 p.
 93° Prov Tours         3.320 p.
183° Nat La Souterraine 3.607 p. etc ... 

But in particular he is ‘father’ of ‘Abrahamia’ winner 1° One Million Dollar race ‘Sun City’ South-Africa ‘08 

The descendants of the ‘Zorro’ haven’t only caused furore in their own loft… many sport companions have already discovered the added value of this superior bloodline in their own loft. We are thinking of Jozef Devriendt from Aartrijke who, out a ‘Daughter Premier’ (and so granddaughter ‘Zorro’) bred his 1° Nat Chateauroux 20.330 o.b. in 2010, namely the ‘Maxim’ B05-3226207. Also in the province Limburg there is a ‘super pigeon’ in the lofts of Harry Raemaeckers, which is ‘grandson’ of Zorro, which won 11 x 1° prizes regional, namely the 

-‘Limburgse Supercrack’ B04-5142908

 1° Provincial Souillac
1° Provincial Montélimar
1° Provincial Jarnac
1° Provincial Ace pigeon Fond 2005
1° Provincial Ace pigeon Marathon 2007
2° Provincial Ace pigeon Fond 2007
4° Provincial Ace pigeon Fond 2006
5° National Ace pigeon ‘Route du Rhône’ CFW… etc . 

The Nicolas & Filip Norman colony seems in all aspects ready to make their ‘jubilee year’ a real celebration year, hopefully seasoned with a record number of 1° prizes... if possible up to provincial and national level! That they will do everything in their power there in Knokke-Heist… seems more than clear to us. The knives are being sharpened, the pigeons are being cared for to perfection, and the ‘class’ is abundant in the lofts to later close the ‘100 years Normand pigeons’ in as grand a way as possible. We are keenly looking forward to the ‘last chapter’ which will complete the ‘century of pigeon sport’ by the Norman family, something which at the end of the year will be casted in ‘book form’ and beheld! Success !

The ‘Zorro’ of the best breeding lines at international level !

-‘Castro’ B07-3153019 (son): 3 x 1° prize
-‘Amor’ (son): 1° Narbonne 2009
-‘Dries’: 1° Bourges yearlings
-‘Bloisduivin’ B98-3180062: 1° Blois 1.186 p. ‘98
-‘Blauwe Zorro’ B99-3201216: 1° Ruffec ’01 + 1° Ruffec ‘02
-‘Pinokio’ B00-3022011: 1° region + 12° Nat. Montauban 6.711 p. ‘02
-‘Pele’ B00-3022015: 1° Tours o.b. + 1° Tours Yearlings 2001
-‘Premier’ B00-3022143: 1° Blois 2001
-‘Piëtro’ B00-3022143: 1° Blois 2001
-‘t Rap’ B01-3140028: 1° Tours 737 p. ‘01
-‘Nantesduivin’ B02-3217102: 1° Nantes 2002
-‘Duo duivin’ B02-3217008: 1° Clermont + 1° Dourdan 2002
-‘Fifi’ B02-3140081: 1° Prov Vichy 2003 + 8 x per 10
-‘Serge’ B02-3217249: 1° Chartres 2003
-‘Roosje’ B02-3217167: won 16 x per 10
-‘Lisette’ B03-3028089: 2 x 1° Tours, 2° Blois, 2° Tours (Sister ‘Roosje’)
-‘Petra’ B02-3217108: won 12 x per 10
-‘Malvina’ B02-3217002: won 11 x per 10
-‘Argenton Hen’ B05-3129008 (daughter): 1° Prov Argenton + 4° Provincial
-‘Totty’ B03-3003493: 1° Brive 675 p. ‘05
-‘Trado’ B03-3028094 (grandson): 1° reg Montauban 221 p. + 10° Nat 7.303 p. ’05, 91° Nat tarbes 4.660 p. ’08, 195° Nat Cahors 6.654 p. ’06… etc.
-‘Tovenaar’ B03-3228082 (grandson): 1° Nat Zone A + 2° Nat limoges 12.266 p. ’05, 43° Nat Cahors 9.275 d…
-‘Robina’ (granddaughter): 1° Nantes 2005
-‘Vicky’ (granddaughter): 1° Vichy 2005
-‘Dina 08’ (granddaughter): 1° St.Junien, 35° Nat Tulle 7.467 YL ‘09
-‘Youngster’ 3146048 (granddaughter): 1° Tours
-‘Don Juan’ (son): 2 x 1° prize winner
-‘Ballan’: 1° Bourges
-‘Dalton’: 1° La Souterraine
-‘Ericson’ (grandson): 1° Tulle
-‘Contadora’ B09-3146093 (granddaughter): 1° Ablis 386 p., 1° Ablis 176 p.
-‘Caruso’ (grandson): 4° Nat Tulle 5.676 p. ‘09
-‘Chico’ (grandson): 81° Nat Tulle 5.676 p. ’09
-‘Andes’ B05-3222446 (grandson): 2° Chateauroux 365 p., 2° Clermont 193 p., 3° Ablis 227 p., 4° Intprov Montauban, 4° Souillac 266 p. ’08, 4° Souillac 197 p. ’07, 6° Chateauroux 394 p...
-‘Budha’ B06-3206856: 84° Nat Brive 17.456 p., 73° Prov Tours 2.791 p. Etc.. but moreover father of the crack ‘Duvalier’!
-‘Botaro’ B06-3201487 (son): 122° Nat Tulle 5.676 p. ‘09, 225° Intnat Narbonne 12.201 p. ’08, 228° Intprov Chateauroux 4.293 p. ’09, 192° Intprov Chatearoux 5.174 p. ’07 etc…
-‘Buddy’ B06-3206857: 1° reg + 3° Nat Zone A La Souterraine 874 o.b. ’07, 4° Brive 362 p. ’09, 10° Tarbes 223 p., 10° Montauban 157 p. ’09 etc...
-‘Salomé’ B02-3217114 (son): 43° Nat Brive 19.777 p. ’04, 279° Nat Limoges 21.709 p. ’03, and already father of a.o. ‘Dalai’
-‘Danna 08’ (granddaughter): 6° Nat Tulle 7.467 YL ‘09
-‘Damien 08’ (grandson): 11° Nat Tulle 7.467 YL ‘09
-‘Domenic 08’ (grandson, son Abraham): 26° Nat Tulle 7.467 YL ‘09 

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