The report from the Englishman Ronny Bigwood is a one-and-only paean of praise on "Sumo". In the article, he highlights the great class of superstar "Sumo". It is quite comprehensive, so we'll present an excerpt from the article here.
"Sumo" - a super unique breeding bird
The whole world confirms that the crown-jewels of the pigeon racing sport sit in the lofts of Jos Thoné. One of the "diamonds" sparkled more than all the others, and thus played a leading role in the world of pigeon racing and conquered a spot in the history of pigeon sport for ever to keep. We are talking about the world-famous "Sumo" of Jos Thoné.
In the lofts of Jos Thoné the most precious breeding pigeons are those whose direct offspring bear winners and much more precious super breeding than they themselves are. For Jos super breeding birds are, the genitors of super breeding birds again. Super breeding birds are those whose various victorious sons, don't have the same mother. The super breeding bird bears winners with many hens. And if someone plays with females like Jos Thoné does, then it is certain that they also step into the shoes of their numerous successful brothers, half-brothers and sisters. Super breeding birds also possess an outstanding natural vitality. They are never ill, extremely fertile and have a long life.
When the article about "Sumo" was written, the bird was still alive. So nowadays we can take him for the greatest breeding bird that ever lived in this world. His father "Speedy" (BE84-2558479), won 14 first prizes on the short distance. A brother of "Speedy" won 20 real first prizes and another borther, 24 real first prizes. The father of "Speedy" and grandfather of "Sumo" won 20 real first prizes.
"Speedy" was also father of the older half-brother of "Sumo", "Superman II" (BE88-5100722) who won the 52nd national Bourges against 10.922 pigeons and also was a grand bearer of heritage and father, grandfather and great-grandfather of winners in the whole world.
"Sumo" himself can show up with a short but impressing racing career with 5 first prizes, but Jos didn't hesitate putting him in the breeding loft. Mother of "Sumo" (BE92-5000929), also laid golden eggs and beard phenomenal racing pigeons with different males, amonst others "Het Fenomeentje", 1st. National Ace Pigeon of the Netherlands in 1997.
She is also the mother of the 6th. National Bourges against 39.119 pigeons. One can find over 25 direct offspring from "Sumo" in Jos Thoné's lofts, who flew first prizes, but one doesn't recognize the true value of Jos Thoné's "Sumo"-line until one has a look at the national and the international level. Many years ago, Jos sent four youngsters to England. Amongst them was also a small steel blue bird, a firsthand son of "Sumo". A friend of Jos wanted to offer those four pigeons to the British audience at a public sale. At the end of that weekend in the Birmingham NEC-complex which had been organized by an English pigeon-magazine, the small steel blue son of "Sumo", was still sitting there. Apperently nobody wanted him. Jos' friend took him along and let him sit in an aviary uncoupled till he was two years old. At last, Jos' friend took him to Blackpool to sell him there at the British association-exhibition.
The British pigeon sport was about to experience a turning point, when a small English breeder, named Brian Sheppard, discovered the small steel blue son of "Sumo" in his basket, and bought him. The first son he bore in the lofts of Brian Sheppard was to make history in the English pigeon sport, as he won the 6th prize of Saints in the English National Flying Club against more than 5000 pigeons only two years later. A few weeks after that he took part at the international flight of Dax and won the 1st International against 20.000 pigeons. Even in his wildest dreams, Brian hadn't believed in such a success.
In that time, one believed that it was impossible to win an international flight in Great Britain. After all, one had to cross the British Channel where the weather could change totally at a moment's notice. The pigeon needs a lot of courage, motivation and self-confidence to cross the English Channel by itself. But the grandson of Jos' "Sumo" made it and was named "Legend", while his father, the small steel blue bird, son of "Sumo" was christened "Emperor". They had confirmed the quality of Jos Thoné's pigeons and especially that of the great "Sumo".
At Brian Sheppard's loft there was a small late-youngster half-brother of the "Legend", one more grandson of "Sumo", but from a differend mother. Brian prepared the small late-youngster half-brother of his Dax-winner for the same flight in the following year. If there would be similar weather conditions as in 2003, Brian was sure, that the small late-young grandson of "Sumo" would come on the same day. When he came, like Brian had predicted, the garden was, different from the year as "Legend" had made history, full of people watching. The small late-youngster excitingly flew rounds for almost 15 anxious minutes over the garden, till he finally could be stated and win the 2nd. national and 2nd international of Dax 2004 against more than 17.000 pigeons. For that he got the name "Super Sumo". Thus "Sumo" was now, over his son, the small steel blue bird who now is known as "Emperor", grandfather of a 1st. national, 2nd national, 6th national, 1st international, 2nd international plus divers 1st prize-flyers.
But that was just the beginning. A few weeks after Brian Sheppard had accomplished that historical achievement in 2003, Jos Thoné himself took part at the Belgium national flight of Vichy on which "The Artificial Jutta" won the 2nd national. She is, over her mother, whos mother is a complete sister of the "Emperor" from Brian Sheppard, a great granddaughter of "Sumo".
In 2004, Jos Thoné selected two daughters of the "Sumo" and put them together with two exquisite birds of the "Poco-Diego" lineage. The results were two females which in 2005 took part at the international Narbonne flight as yearlings. On a distance of about 515 miles (892km) both landed side by side and won the following prizes: 1st national, 2nd national, 1st international and 2nd international. With that they wre also the fastest of more than 10.000 other pigeons (old ones and yearlings) national. These two females ar now known as "Sedna I" and "Sedna II". Both are granddaughters of "Sumo". "Sedna I" also won the 7th semi-national of Jarnac against 5.000 pigeons in 2005, the 98th semi-national of St. Vincent against 3.320 pigeons and that 206th national St. Vincent against 10.000 pigeons. With that she got to be provincial Acepigeon on long distance.
"Sedna II" (BE04-5026055) won the 134th national La Souterraine against 16.000 pigeons, the 29th provincial of Nanteuil against 1.222 pigeons and many other prizes.
Artificial insemination with frozen semen of "Sumo"
Jos Thoné selected several females whose eggs were fertilised with the sperm of "Sumo". All the offspring which emerged in that way were brought to Great Britain to be sold at an auction by Mark Evans. That was in December 2004 and it was in the first place the fairest and only way how Jos Thoné could meet the great demand and in the second place it was Jos' gratitude towards Brian Sheppard for the victory of the 1st and 2nd international Dax. Most of those direct offspring were males and not long before that auction I expressed my apprehension to Jos that there would be a scarcity of females at the auction of the offspring of "Sumo". Thus Jos Thoné, a man of quick decisions, at once sent several young females across the Channel and with them a female named "Brittania", a complete sister of "Emperor" and mother of nobody less than "Sedna II". Another example to show that Jos Thoné is proud of himself at all times and that for him quality stands over quantity.
I have contacted many breeders, who had the luck being able to get offspring from "Sumo" and who at that sale bought other pigeons, too. Almost everyone bred winners who got top-prizes in the union an on higher levels. In addition to that, every pigeon sold on that day got a DNA-guarantee with them. I want to conclude my report with these words: "One will hear still more on "Sumo", because there hasn't been anyone like him before!"
- Ronny Bigwood
From the book: "The Idea of Jos Thoné"