It has been 10 years since I started working at Haras du Barquet. First I rented some boxes at Benjamin Ghelfi and then, with Benjamin and Rudy Cock, we set up the project to expand the facilities and create Jump Alliance – and it has been working for 3 years. We enjoy beautiful, comfortable facilities, a club house that allows you to spend a pleasant warm time during the cold winter. For us it is important the comfort of the horses and also of the human who takes care of them.
THE QUESTION OF DOING SOMETHING ELSE HAD NO SENS FOR ME
My parents were farmers in the Manche region, my father was a horse enthusiast, he also bred and competed. He started Flambeau C! He had to stop his riding career by taking over the family farm. And I was seduced since when I was little …
I had the chance to enjoy the teaching and advice of good riders of the time. I took riding lessons with Jacky Angot, the father of Angot brothers and then with the father of Julien Epaillard to perfection my equitation. Subsequently, with good horses from the family breeding, I was able to benefit from the coaching of Eric Navet, Hervé Godignon and I had the chance to work with Gilles Bertrand de Balanda.
WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE TO DO WHAT WE LOVE
We have been trough hard times but I have never thought to stop riding. When I arrived here, for example, after coming back from Michel Hécart, I found myself with 2 horses and it was necessary to rebuild everything. But life it’s like that, the hard knocks make us gain experience. It’s a privilege to do what we love, even if it’s non-stop 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. When we have good horses, we remain motivated without problems.
Today my goal is to be at the highest level but we must always keep a foot in young horses to train the next generation. When you do not have a sponsor to buy quality horses you have to make them. I enjoy all aspects from the horse life: breeding, young horse training, high level competitions. The high level however brings complications … At the level of 2 * or 3 * we can bring a lot of horses to the show so it’s manageable, but at the 5 * level only two horses are allowed, the organization becomes difficult.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO TAKE YOUR TIME, ESPECIALLY WITH YOUNG HORSES
My method of working with young horses is pretty simple – but you have to do it right, and it’s not that easy. Everything is based on the daily rigor, the repetition of things to do or not to do. And they end up accepting this way of working. This is done naturally, but they need time to learn, to get in shape, to build muscle … And they do not all learn at the same speed, we must really adapt the training to each horse and make sure that the owner is happy. I am lucky to have owners like B Lecourtois or Mr. Poitau who follow me for ten years, so in general, the atmosphere is good. At the stable I currently have 4 to 5 horses per age group. The final at Fontainebleau is for them a goal of training, not a goal of victory. We try to prepare them well and we bring them when we think they are ready. Obviously, when we win, it’s a very nice moment but I do not set this goal from the start.
I have been training young horses for years and I was lucky to see some of them evolve at the highest level. Nasa, a mare that we bought from Michel Hecart and who became a champion with Steve Guerdat in Calgari and Aachen.
Kalaska de Semilly was given to me and I rode her at 5 and 6 years old. He had already been the champion at age 4 and showed potential from the start. He was easy, brave and powerful and she jumped the Olympics Games with a amateur rider. It’s still nice to have trained the horses that made the Olympics thereafter, like Maestro Saint-Lois for example.
PARTICIPATING AGAIN IN THE BEAUTIFUL SHOWS
My goals is to jump properly the horses and do again the beautiful shows. The dream would be to join the team of France and jump the Nations Cups. I can currently count on Ciento my head horse that I ride since he was 4 years old. He has a lot of blood, he is a very sensitive horse who was afraid of everything and we had to build him physically and psychologically. Vertige de Galarzac, 8 years old, arrived this year in my stables and we started jumping well 145 m classes.I also count on the coming up of Stella Lyght who was born in the family breeding which was champion of Six-year-old, third of the seven-year-old, who jumped Nations Cups and won one – she was stopped for an injury and she starts jumping again at 140-145m. There is also Amant du Château GFE who returns after his breeding season and we are preparing him for the Championships of 7-8 years in Bordeaux. Chacco Rouge I used to ride him, he has recently trusted to me by the Megret family, so I am very well equipped with quality horses.
But to make beautiful shows, even those of 5 * is not a goal in itself, I already have some experience. I want to go there only if I have a chance to do something right with my horses …