The Northern Roller Club

Affiliated to the NPA

The Ideal Show Roller ....




Breed Standard
for the

 Show Roller

Standard Defining Authority : Great Britain



Over a period of 45 years, dedicated NRC members drawn from all parts of the UK have transformed a utility dual purpose flying Roller into today’s unique Show Roller.  The ‘show standard’ as agreed by the active NRC members in 2002, is set out to maintain a pigeon of size, body type, shape and plumage, suitable for kit flying – in fact a show pigeon which can fly with style and endurance. It has been over the past 25 years that the Show Roller has become a standardised show bird. This is manifestly evident when Show Rollers are viewed though the wires at any NPA Championship Show. Type is paramount – the head and neck qualities are unique amongst pigeon breeds. Uniformity of type is quite evident when a class of Show Rollers is viewed.


Overall Impression:

A small to medium sized pigeon with balance and symmetry, short and wedgy in shape, giving the impression of “designed for flight”.


Group : Tumbler


Recognised colours:

Blacks, Blues, Reds in Ash and Recessive, Browns; the dilutes of these basic colours and with most of the autosomal modifiers, dominant Opal, toy stencil, indigo, and particularly Grizzle and Bronze. These two influences play a very significant role in all strains of Show Rollers (for example Tortoiseshell and Bronzed Blues).



Chequers, Bars, Self Colours and Tortoiseshells in every shade from the darkest to almost White. Bals heads, Badges, Beards, Saddles, Oddsides, White flights, Dark flights, White tails, Dark Tails and mixed colours in both flights and tails.


Although fanciers do have personal preferences, the overall dictum of outr members is “good type” is of far more importance than colour or markings.



Short legs, wings that are carried on the tail and wing butts should blend well with the body.



A firm apple body is required, with keel of medium depth, sweeping up to meet the vent bones. The flesh and muscle gives the body the ideal feel.



Should be bright with pinhead sized pupils (in good light conditions). Eye colour varies from pearl to deepest orange – orange or yellow without blemish are preferred.  Bull eyes are a disqualification in the showpen. The eye cere should be hardly visible.


Eye Faults – Large pupils or pupils that appear off centre. Eyes that are blemished or stained should be faulted.


Beak :

A fine spindle beak is of vital importance. It should be medium length and set square off the bird’s face. Clean flesh-coloured beaks are preferred on Bald head or Badges. Dark headed birds with dark coloured or stained beaks are the norm and perfectly acceptable.


Beak Faults – A thick or coarse beak is a bad fault, as are beaks angled down from the face (ie down-faced). Again this is regarded as a serious fault.


Wattles :

These beak appendages should be small, neat and white in colour.


Wattle Faults – Large coarse wattles, or any sign of discharge from the wattles.


Skull and its plumage :

The Show Roller frontal is vital to its expression. Ideally it is nipped in behind the wattle from where it rises in a slightly widening arc to its zenith above, but just in front of, the eyes. The frontal plumage also arcs out in a slightly smaller radius into the birds face. From above the eye the contours of the head plumage should fall slowly in a sweeping arc into a strong back skull that blends into the thick dense neck plumage.  The neck itself should be short and blend into the body above the wing butts.  Cock birds should exude masculinity while hen birds should show their femininity.


Faults – Snipey, narrow frontals are to be avoided. But conversely, so is over-wide frontal plumage which obstructs the bird’s frontal vision. The whole head should please the beholder and be free of any corners. Round heads like golf balls are regarded as a serious weakness.


Plumage :

The body plumage should have a rich silky texture and be as dense as possible. Back cover should be likewise dense and should extent onto the middle of the tail, providing a waterproof rump. A spread open wing should have strongly sprung primary and secondary flights, with no gaps. The 12 tail feathers should be similarly endowed. When closed the tail should be no more than 35mm wide.


Feather Faults – Frets in flights, tail or body plumage must be faulted. Missing flights, secondaries or tail feathers incur a penalty, as do pinholes. Feather lice or mites must also be faulted.


Station :

At best, a Show Roller should be low on the legs, with  legs nicely spaced. The wings should be carried on the tail and the short tail angled down and carried about 25mm above the floor. The head should be carried some 70mm in front of the axis on a short thick neck, giving an impression of alertness, and designed for flight.


Faults – Long cast  birds with long tails are a major fault, as are wings not carried correctly on the tail (ie wings which constantly droop below the bird’s tail).



Judging to a points system :

A class of Show Rollers should be assessed by the judge initially through the wires. In this way the bird’s overall qualities are ascertained and faults in type are easily seen.  After initial inspection each bird should be handled, giving each half a minute to settle in the hand before the critical assessment begins. Body type and condition are the first points the judge will assess, followed by feather quality and cleanliness.  After this, the all-important head qualities are examined in great detail and given an appropriate score.  At this stage in the judging, it is most important that the pigeon in the hand is as relaxed as possible. In a relaxed state state the bird will show it’s best or, conversely, its worst qualities.  In Show Rollers, head and neck qualities amass 50% of the total points.




 Beak   10
 Frontal     8
 Back Skull     8
 Face     8
 Eyes     8
 Neck     8
 Body   10
 Feather   10
 Overall Type   12
 Condition & cleanliness   10
 Colour & Markings     8

 Total Points   




Ring Size : A (7mm)


Standard first published in 2002 by the NRC

Revised 2012

Awaiting approval from the EE