FRANCE (by Sophie Levallois – translated by Jean Llewellyn) The sport horse breeding world has lost another of its pioneering icons, Germain Levallois, from Normandy, France, who passed away on December 28 at the age of 81. His name will always be associated with the superstar stallions Le Tot de Semilly, and his son Diamant de Semilly – one of the team of four Selle Français stallions who won gold at the 2002 World Equestrian Games.

Germain Levallois’ story is not only the history of a horse… it is much more than that! It’s the history of a family who has dedicated their lives to horses. The history of horsemen who endlessly gave their time and energy to the animals sharing their daily lives, and who received in return the most beautiful rewards.

It all started a long time ago, because horses have been the pillars of the Levallois family for several generations. More than a passion, it is the very essence of their lives. Born amongst horses, they know and understand them, respect them, and adjusted the rhythm of their lives to that of the horses.

"My grandfather was a horse merchant”, Richard Levallois explains. “He had a good eye for the essential qualities of a horse. My father learned a lot from him and it is with the same passion for the profession that he took over the business.” Times have changed and the business has evolved. After World War II, farm work was increasingly mechanized, making horses redundant. However, the conversion to sport horses accelerated, especially under the leadership of the Director of the Haras National of Saint-Lô, Paul Lauren de Saint-Martin, and the beginning of the SHR (rural horse societies). Germain Levallois had no trouble adapting to the new situation, maintaining the essential qualities of the working horses – solid character, strong, powerful, easygoing and brave – by combining them with the new qualities required for jumping: energy, balance, flexibility and respect...

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