Jo Lardenoye, Stéphane & Alex Depasse.
The combination Depasse-Lardenoye is mainly formed by Stéphane Depasse (42 years), manager of the loft, and his father Alex who always helps him in case of need. Jo Lardenoye, old glory of the marathon races in the Netherlands, is the man through who it all began. If he is not really involved in the daily cares of the pigeons, his expertise and advices are always taken in consideration and you can always see him on his chair waiting for the arrivals of the most important races of the season. Moreover, it’s his own pigeons that you can find at the basis of the current stock. Pigeons such as 'Frazette' or the descendants of his ‘Glenn’ (1st national Barcelona NL 1995) left their mark on this loft. Nowadays, almost fifteen years after the first big success on the national and international scene, you can consider this loft as being one of the most regular on the most mythical race of the international pigeon sport: Barcelona. Stéphane never hided his ambitions: he never won a national victory in his life but if it has to start, let’s start directly with the biggest win possible. We must agree that his performances on this race are quite impressive:
2005: National - 12.998 p. : 87-96-271-320-354-378-... (23/35) 2006: National - 11.802 p. : 4-22-143-162-183-224-285-354-... (only top 500 available) 2007: National - 12.612 p. : 9-185-272-570-... + Bronze Wing (10/24) 2008: National - 11.484 p. : 53-327-... (only top 500 available) 2009: National - 13.003 p. : 12-276-325-431-591-... (14/18) 2010: National - 12.641 p. : 199-285-403-408-669-... (13/26) 2011: National - 12.170 p. : 67-219-276-293-575-... (6/20) 2012: National - 11.590 p. : 84-112-... (8/18) 2013: National - 10.542 p. : 39-60-126-334-468-499-505-569-... (13/24) 2014: National - 8.764 p. : 322-670-... (12/22) 2015: National - 7.791 p. : 118-296-326-368-423-581-617-690-... (14/30) 2016: National - 7.693 p. : 62-125-155-230-256-320-435-442-520-637-667-... (15/21) 2017: National - 7.874 p. : 9-30-132-142-145-149-447-490-... (11/15) 2018: National - 7.438 p. : 63-77-191-197-216-416-547-638-... (14/24)
'Di Stefano' shows the way
It’s in 2006 that the combination Depasse-Lardenoye was really put for the first time under the international spotlights. That, 'Di Stefano' became the best pigeon on the extreme long distance in Belgium as he won the title of 1st National Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Distance KBDB thanks to two amazing performances booked into the top 25 national on the two biggest races of the calendar: Barcelona (993 m/min) & Perpignan (844 m/min).
22. Barcelona nat - 11.802 p. '06 102. Internat - 22.887 p. 25. Perpignan nat - 6.765 p. '06 73. Internat - 14.900 p. 51. Perpignan nat - 6.489 p. '04 114. Internat - 17.570 p. 96. Barcelona nat - 12.998 p. '05 224. Internat - 25.815 p. ...
At the time, Stéphane, Alex & Jo didn’t knew it but 'Di Stefano' was only the first of their pigeons to shine in such a way! The year 2006 will stay unforgettable in the career of 'Di Stefano' because in addition to his national title, it’s also the year that he became father of one of his best descendants:
- 'Son Di Stefano 128/06'
At the dawn of his 13 years, this pigeon was born the same year as the performances booked by his father 'Di Stefano' and he is now one of the leading pigeons in the breeding loft. He became father of no less than 4 different national top 100 classifications on races such as Narbonne, Pau, Soustons or Jarnac. But it is mostly with the next generation that his skills as a breeder came to the fore, especially with pigeons such as 'Mistral' (7th Narbonne nat 4.113 p. & 13th international 10.836 p.) or 'Miss Perpignan' (see next).
- 'Miss Perpignan'
This marvellous hen attracted the interest of its manager during the race of Perpignan in 2016 where she won the 4th national. His grandfather is the 'Son Di Stefano 128/06' then coupled with a direct daughter of 'Frazette' (basic pigeon of the loft) while her mother is a Ballmann.
4. Perpignan nat - 4.191 p. '16 2. Internat fem - 2.915 p. 7. International - 12.689 p. 53. Limoges nat zone - 1.736 p. '14 ...
- 'Big Bird'
Another star of the current racing team is the famous 'Big Bird'. In 2018, this chequered cock born in 2012 won his fourth prize in a row on Barcelona, which lead him being the 6th best Belgian pigeon on Barcelona with 4 prizes (PIPA Rankings 2015-2018) and 9th best European pigeon on Barcelona (4 prizes PIPA Rankings). With such a regularity, we can already bet that he will be one of the top candidates for a nice classification in the famous Primus Interpares in 2019!
132. Barcelona nat - 7.874 p. '17 296. Barcelona nat - 7.791 p. '15 442. Barcelona nat - 7.693 p. '16 547. Barcelona nat - 7.438 p. '18 ...
This 'Big Bird' was bred from a line built for Barcelona as both his father and his mother booked a national top 15 position on Barcelona !
His father, 'L'Espoir', won the 9th national Barcelona against 12.612 pigeons in 2007 as well as the 162th national Barcelona against 11.802 in 2006.
His mother, 'Camie', won at her turn the 12th national Barcelona against 13.503 pigeons in 2009 and confirming the same year with the 81st national Perpignan against 7.364 engagés, ending as 7th National Ace Pigeon Extrem Long Distance KBDB 2009!
On the very tough edition 2017 of Barcelona, the combination Depasse-Lardenoye booked its third national top 10 position on that race thanks to 'Amby'. A remarkable feat: her father ('Dark Barça') is both half-brother to 'Adrien' (4th national Barcelona 11.802 p. '06) but also of 'L'Espoir' (9th national Barcelona 12.612 p. '07 and father of 'Big Bird', see previously)... so, the 3 pigeons from the loft who booked a national top 10 position on Barcelona, all booked in 12 editions of that race, were all related to each other!
'Dark Barça', half-brother of the 4th & 9th national Barcelona and father of 'Amby' (9th national Barcelona).
A 3rd national top 10 on Barcelona thanks to 'Amby'
If everybody is still reminding the 2017 edition of Barcelona, nobody knew at the time that it was only the starter of what was going to follow the next year. During the second day of the race of the 2017 edition around 15h15, 'Amby' landed on the roof of her loft under a terrible sun and offered to her boss his third national top 10 position on Barcelona.
9. Barcelona nat - 7.874 p. '17 19. Internat fem - 5.336 p. 40. Internat - 17.026 p. 340. Narbonne nat - 4.113 p. '16 805. Internat - 10.836 p. 291. Libourne nat - 5.195 p. '16 ...
'Amby' is also bred out of a family of winners: we already talked about her father, 'Dark Barça', but not yet about her mother, 'Zoé'. She is the hen who won the 1st international Tarbes against 3.270 hens (9th national 4.576 p. & 18th international 15.034 p.). Once again a proof that the champions are breeding new champions. Moreover, 'Zoé' is also grandmother of 'Mistral', 7th Narbonne nat 4.113 p. & 13th international 10.836 pigeons.
Displaying such a regularity on a demanding race as Barcelona is quite a feat. At the same time, Stéphane always made sure to never disapear of the screens while he really put his focus in only three races: Barcelona, Perpignan & Narbonne who are always set as goals. The other international races are not really his cup of tea despite the fact that he already booked some top results on it, while the shortest distances are only helping him to make his birds gaining some experience or to built their condition for the three races we’ve just talked about. The results on these shorter distances are never taken in consideration. His ultimate goal has always been to shine on Barcelona and to reach it, you need experienced pigeons whose longevity as a racing bird is guaranteed. As he just turned up to be 42th years, we think he is already one of the big names of the 21st century from this golden race. With all the future ahead, guess how will look his balance at the end of his career?