Because the least we can say is that our host was succesfull in the management of this move. Most of the racers from the team were actually placed into the breeding loft. A normal fancier would have needed a few years to get back up to his previous level. A fancier from the top only needs a few months. That's why Stéphane is a fancier from the top. Because with a such a young team of pigeons (most of them were 2 years old), he didn't think that he would shine so soon in the marathon races, something that became his speciality. Careful as he is, he logically decided to link the useful to the enjoyable when racing his cocks in the long distance races so that he could give them more experience. The hens would have to struggle in the international races. Now, let's have a look tat the highlights of the season:
Limoges Zone C 5.269 old: 23, 39, 96, 122, 132, 221, 259, ... 20/37 Barcelone National 12.170 old: 67, 219, 276, 293, ... 8/20 Tarbes National 4.818 old: 63, 301, ... 3/4 Marseille National 3.179 old: 68 & 1/6 Souillac Zone C 1.379 old: 33, 43, 69 & 3/4 Souillac National 5.667 old: 52, 87, 159 & 3/4 Narbonne National 6.428 old: 41 & 1/6 Narbonne Intern 12.605 old: 87 & 1/6 Tulle Zone C 2.107 old: 78, etc Tulle National 6.345 old: 144, etc
So, 14x in the national or zonal top 100! It could have been worse for a new begining!
We've got to say that if he doesn't have (at this moment) anymore 'cracks' in the racing loft, he doesn't had to get rid of his basis and so he mainly built his new team with her, something which gave him the opportunity to produce 'marathon racers' of a superior quality. Pigeons like 'The Frazette' (born in '93 and still fertile), 'The Turbo', 'Adrien' or again 'Di Stephano' are now famous world wide and their descendants continue to make the Depasse name famous in the eyes of the long distance fanciers. The proof is brought to you when you know that champion lofts like Dieter Ballmann from Amel, true national specialist of the long distance, or Jos Joosen from Brecht, multiple international winner, didn't hesitate to make a few exchanges with Stéphane. Admit it, it could have been worst...
Since his start in the pigeon sport, Stéphane has been fascinated by the ultimate classic of the international pigeon sport : Barcelona. Since his childhood, he always dreamed of adding his name in golden letters to the palmarès of this mythic race. And so it became an objective. He succesfuly achieved it in 2006 when he won the 4th, 22th, 143th, 162th, 183th, 224th & 285th prize at national level and so against 11.802 pigeons. So in total, 7 pigeons in the national top 300 and 25 prizes from 28 basketted at provincial level! In 2007, it was 'bulls eye' again and he won another top 10 with the 9th national price against 12.612 pigeons. In 2008, it was the 53th national prize against 11.484 pigeons and in 2009 again very early with the 11th national prize against 13.503 pigeons. Who, in Belgium or abroad, can show this kind of regularity in this race of international fame ? Only true specialists like Etienne Meirlaen, Nouwen-Paesen, Scheurs-Hauben, etc. There is no more doubt about this, Stéphane is a specialist of the catalan race. But the Depasse-Lardenoye loft also became one of the best deliverers of marathon pigeons, and particulary for Barcelona. The proof was brought to us during the 2010 edition. Stéphane didn't have a pigeon in the national top 100 but other fanciers took care of this. With his pigeons. In Belgium, the 15th national but also the 19th national prize from Barcelona against 12.641 pigeons were coming for 50% from Depasse (great grandchild & grandchild 'Frazette'). But it's not finished: in the Netherlands, the 7th national of 7.016 pigeons is also a 50% Depasse (great grandchild 'Frazette'). Convinced ? We are!
As soon as the first weekend of July approaches, it's a true rush at the Depasse's house. Barcelona is without a doubt THE biggest race of the year. After his new begining, Stéphane was forced to basket a new team of hens aged 2 or 3 years. Important detail: it was their first Barcelona race. Needless to say that our host was anxious. But quite excited too. Finally, 20 pigeons left for the Catalonia. Saturday, Stéphane woke up early in the morning and he had to be directly on the go: just after 6 o'clock, his fifth nominated pigeon (the '240/08') landed on the loft to be clocked at 6h16. Less than one hour later, the '208/08' (fourth nominated) was clocked at 7h12. Then at 7h22 & 7h25, it was the turn of the second and first nominated to be clocked. If you can clock all your first nominated in a race like this, then you can be considered as a true specialist. It was a sensational firework display in the sky of Moignelée! Finally, the Depasse-Lardenoye colony won 8 prizes from 20 basketted with 5 per 10. At national level, it gives:
Barcelona National 12.170 old: 67, 219, 276, 293, ... 8/20 Au
'When you are entering this kind of race, everything must be prepared perfectly and you can't do it with half mesures. Any error is paid for in cash. And then, you will never know if you have lost a good pigeon, if an accident will happen like it was the case from Marseille & Perpignan where I lost a few pigeons. And Barcelona, it's still another thing. I decided to basket 20 hens and most of them were only 2 years old. As usual, they left for Spain with a small youngster. At the basketting, they were just perfect but they still had to fly 1.000 kilometres, which is not an easy task. Finally, I think I can be satisfied of the result.'
What are the preparations for Barcelona ?
'I never basket a cock of 2 years for Barcelona. I prefere to give them experience while flying a one day long distance race. Then, they will end their season with Marseille or Narbonne. I want to stress that despite my geographic situation, I'm not a 'Rhône Valley' fan. At the age of three, they can struggle for my main objective. On the other hand, my hens leave for Spain at the age of 2 and most of them will end with Perpignan but it's not always the case. The yearling cocks are raced in the heavy middle distance program and end their season with Limoges or Jarnac, never further. But the yearling hens sometimes flying Bordeaux. A few years ago, it was Souston or St Vincent. You can write that, in general, the hens are advanced by 1 year over the program of the cocks.'
Let's take a look at the pigeons which were best during the 2011 season. We will logically start with 'The 240', the first pigeon clocked from Barcelona:
- 'The 240/08' (BE 08-9061240)
2nd Barcelona - Provincial 929 old '11 4th Barcelona - Noyau 1000 1.854 old '11 16th Barcelona - CFW 3.630 old '11 67th Barcelona - National 12.170 old '11 66th Barcelona - Internat hen 7.303 old '11 172th Barcelona - Internat 26.068 old '11 199th Pau - National 2.183 old '10 664th Tarbes - Internat hen 3.270 old '10 Prize from Soustons '09
When you look at her pedigree, you know that this head prize won from Barcelona was far from a surprise. Judge yourself:
Father: 'Blue 160' (BE 06-8013160), direct son of 'Adrien' who won the 4th national Barcelona 11.802 pigeons in '06 (himself a grand-child of the 'Frazette') coupled with 'La Pau', 12th national Pau '06 and full sister of the 'Di Stefano' who was crowned 1st National Ace Heavy Long Distance '06 with 4x in the top 100 national during his entire career (2x Barcelona, 2x Perpignan). Let's quote that their father is a half-brother of 'Glenn', 1st national Barcelona NL in '95.
Mother: 'The Ballmann' (BE 06-1043675), product of an exchange with Dieter Ballmann from Amblève and daughter of the '943/04' who is a direct son of the 'Titan', 1st national Perpignan '05 at Ballmann and half-brother of the 1st national Brive '01 from Joseph Schmitz. Her mother is the '555/05', grand-daughter of the 'Donkere Barcelona' from Van Wanroy by the father and of the 'Titan' by the mother.
(If you want to see her full pedigree, click here)
A mix of pigeons which displayed good skills in the marathon races like Barcelona and Perpignan and you obtain 'The 240'. Good blood doesn't lie!
- 'The 802/09' (BE 09-9031802)
8th Narbonne - Provincial 593 old '11 15th Narbonne - Noyau 1000 1.299 old '11 19th Narbonne - CFW 1.919 old '11 41th Narbonne - National 6.468 old '11 87th Narbonne - Internat 12.605 old '11 26th Jarnac - CFW 2.086 yearlings '10 86th Jarnac - Semi-National 3.714 yearlings '10 276th Montauban - CFW 1.681 old '11
Without any doubt the favourite number 1 for the next season. A pigeon that will probably shine from Barcelona. That's what his pedigree infers anyway:
Father: 'Son Di Stefano' (BE 06-9056128), the name speaks for itself, a direct son of the National Ace Pigeon '06, the famous 'Di Stefano' (later bought by Eric Limbourg himself), and so crossing of the lines 'Lardenoye x Simons from Maaseik'. His mother is a daughter of the 'St Vincent hen' coupled with the '660/01', another descendant of the line of the 'Glenn' Lardenoye x Van der Wegen. Only the top of the Netherlands for the marathon races!
Mother: 'The 039/06' (BE 06-9056039), again a daughter of 'Adrien' (and so coming from the line of the 'Frazette'!), already introduced above because he is the grand-father of 'The 240' ! This time, he was coupled with the '091/03', a direct daughter of the 'Turbo', a super breeder at Jo Lardenoye and himself grand-children of the 1st national Pau NL. The 'Turbo' is a father of the 'Petit Turbo' that classified himself as following : 58th national Perpignan '05, 320th national Barcelona '05, 143th national Barcelona '06, 185th national Barcelona '07 and 165th national Perpignan '07 !
(If you want to consult his pedigree, click here)
The top of the top from Lardenoye crossed with the best pigeons of Stéphane in second generation: there is no doubt, this '802' will cause havoc in the future!
- 'The 739/09' (BE 09-9031739)
6th Souillac - Provincial 520 old '11 21th Souillac - Noyau 1000 762 old '11 29th Souillac - CFW 1.446 old '11 87th Souillac - National 5.667 old '11 577th Limoges - CFW 2.939 old '11 882th Bordeaux - National 4.866 old '11
Let's specify that from Souillac, this pigeon was clocked 15 minutes after his arrival because he remained on the roof. He is then missing a place into the national top 15.
Sometimes, you doesn't need to go into further explanation. It is the case with the pedigree of this pigeon! Judge for yourself:
Father: 'The Frazette' (NL 93-1538779), so the one and only basis pigeon of the Depasse-Lardenoye colony! A golden pigeon breeder that will soon be19 years old and who is still fertile at the time of writing these lines. I never saw a pigeon of this age with such flexibles muscles. This phenomenon turned out to be an incredible breeder and his blood lies more or less in most of the racers of the Depasse-Lardenoye loft. The 'Frazette' is coming from the '069/91', direct son of the famous 'Barça' from Jo Lardenoye, a pigeon that won the 4th national Barcelona '87 as well as the 17th national Marseille '86 before becoming the father of the 1st national Marseille NL. The mother of the 'Frazette', the '307/92', is a daughter of the '40' Van der Wegen while his mother, the 'Blue 87' from '83, is a little tribute to the pigeon sport in the Hainaut area because it's a 100% Raymond Cobut hen, a legendary fancier who won a bunch of national victories!
Mother: 'Emerald Perpignan' (BE 04-2118423), a direct Van de Poel from Geetbets who flew the 205th national Perpignan '06, daughter of the 'Tornado 617/97' a pigeon that won the 5th Interprovincial Vierzon 16.828 and son of the 'San Sebastian', 89th International San Sebastian 8.864 pigeons. Her mother is the 'Emerald Lady', 41th national Barcelona '99 and descendant from the legendary 'Smaragd', one of the best pigeons in the world in the heavy long distance races in the 80's.
(To look at the pedigree, click here)
You can learn a lot from looking at his pedigree. The biggest point is even more than clear: at the age of 17 years, the 'Frazette' is still able to produce racers that can win a top 100 national. Simply wonderfull!
- 'The 272/08' (BE 08-9061272)
91th Soustons - National 9.442 yearling '09 49th Pau - National 2.183 old '10 293th Pau - Internat 8.170 old '10 386th Tarbes - Internat fem 3.270 old '10 164th Pau - CFW 674 old '11 293th Barcelona - National 12.170 old '11 762th Barcelona - Internat 26.068 old '11 27th Barcelona - Internat fem 7.303 old '11
A flying machine that seemed to mature at the age of 4. The top to shine from Barcelona. In addition, it's a true jewel in the hands!
Father: 'Son Di Stefano' (BE 06-9056128), already introduced above because he is the father of the '802/09'! When you look at his rendering at the breeding loft, this pigeon appears to be the designed successor of the 'Frazette'. One youngster per year with already 2x into the top 100 national... anything to say ?
Mother: 'Daughter of the Frazette' (BE 00-9145341), a golden nugget... we are talking here of the mother of 'Adrien' that we won't introduce anymore. Nothing to add on the father but you should know that her mother is also a super breeding hen because she is mother and grand-mother of a few top 100 national winners !
(To have a look at it, click here)
An exceptionnal hen in the hands with a prize list as exceptionnal as the pedigree... unusual !
The most attentive readers will have noticed an important detail when analyzing these pedigrees: of the 8 parents of these 4 pigeons, 5 were born in 2006! This is the kind of detail that doesn't lie! And when you know that the heavy long distance pigeons, and particulary Stéphane's pigeons, develop slowly, you can just end to this conclusion: the best is yet to come! The head on the shoulders, being mature in his ambitions and his racing talents, Stéphane will probably become one of the biggest sensations of the international heavy long distance over the next 10 years. The only thing we can do is to wish him good luck for the next deadlines! Our congratulations !