FRANCE (by Adriana van Tilburg) Patrice Boureau: “My method for breeding horses is not to win money, it is my passion. I already understood a long time ago that we only live once. Most important for me is to make a visit around the stables when everybody is gone to see the mares and foals and I look at them and I think maybe, maybe this will be one for the future. I am happy!”
In France it is becoming more and more common that breeders are breeding with Thoroughbreds and with Selle Français horses. The financial crisis was cited as a key reason why many breeders sold a lot of their Warmblood mares. Patrice Boureau (58), owner of Haras de La Gisloterie, is one of those breeders who thinks that he will in the future only have Thoroughbreds to breed racehorses. He is quite outspoken about why, saying: “I learned my job forty years ago, back then it was still a job, now it is like breeding cows with showjumping horses. It has nothing to do with breeding, I don’t like that. That is the reason I never had or wanted to have a lot of broodmares. Maybe four, five or six mares because it is impossible to keep the quality with too many mares. I visited Wiepke van de Lageweg several years ago, I saw there a hundred two year olds and hundred three year olds. I thought if this will be the future, it will not be the future for me.”
Boureau’s Haras de La Gisloterie is located in Sainte- Margeurite d’Elle – a commune of the Calvados region in Normandy, France.
Q When did you start breeding?
I started breeding in 1992, with the motherline of Hors la Loi II (Papillon Rouge - Ariane du Plessis II x Joyau d’Or A). I bought Ariane du Plessis II as a two-year-old from Haras du Plessis to become my first broodmare. There it started, the people of Haras du Plessis are my friends and I still work with them. Then later I bought the grandmother of Orient Express, Loripierre (Foudre de Guerre - Floralie x Kalmiste). She was already very old and I was told she would never have another foal. I was lucky in 1997 as she produced two offspring by Ryon D’Anzex AA (Massondo x - Hera B x x Dandy du Verger x). In 1997 I made one transfer with Le Tot de Semilly (Grand Veneur x Venue du Thot x Juriste) and that would become the mother of Orient Express, Kamtchatka.
Loripierre was the first mare I rode. The first place I started to work when I started to work with horses was at the farm where Loripierre was. My first job was to tack up the horses for the riders. The first horse was Loripierre and I still remember this mare very well because she was strong with blood. Then I left and Loripierre was French champion of seven-year-olds with Gilles Bertrán de Balanda. Then one day the sons of my first boss called me and wanted to let me know that their father wanted to give me Loripierre as was written in his will. I said that is okay but I want to pay. I like to do things the right way. When I was there with the truck my wife and a friend, he said to me leave the mare there because she is too old to travel. I said to him, I know her and she will be able to do the traveling, and so it came that I am the breeder of Kamtchatka who is now 18.