By Adriana van Tilburg
Photography: Peter Llewellyn
In the September 1998 edition of Breeding News, a ‘bloodline’ feature was published profiling Narcos II (Fair Play III - Gemini x Tanäel, breeder: Jean Brohier) which stated that he had, ‘little by little, compelled recognition as the leading Selle Français sport sire, at a national level as well as internationally....
‘At the end of 1997, his CSI winning progeny placed him seventh in the sires’ world ranking list, with nine of his sons and daughters being winners at this level.’ Over 20 years later, in the 2020 Breeding News Worldwide Sport Horse Stallion Directory, Narcos II still ranks in the top 50 sires of dams (35th).
Breeding for generations
The success of Narcos II leaves nothing to chance. It’s the result of the enduring work and commitment of a family of breeders and riders which, through several generations of men and horses, has succeeded in selecting, testing, and getting the best out of bloodlines. Today, they flow into many studs well beyond the Manche region – which is situated in the most renowned breeding area of France: Normandy.
It is interesting to mention that both Narcos's sire (Fair Play III) and dam (Gemini x Tanäel) were born at Jean Brohier's stud farm. Brohier himself belongs to this wave of breeders' children who immediately after World War II made it their duty to introduce the horses bred on their farms into the breeding scene. They included the generation of well-known families like Levallois, Leredde, Navet, Pignolet, etc.
As a rider, Jean Brohier became a member of the French showjumping team and he took part in many Nations’ Cups riding, among others, the good Krishna, a mare that had been bred by his father, Alfred Brohier. Krishna belongs to the bloodline about which this article has been written as being connected with Narcos II. It pays hommage to Jean Brohier, who passed away in July 2020, although he will be remembered for the vital role he played in making Selle Français breeding what it is today.
The legacy begins...
Alfred Brohier purchased Vergonne, Gemini's grand-dam, after noticing one of her first offspring, Foudre de Guerre, then competing with the rider and breeder Philippe Henry. Foudroyant II, the sire of Foudre de Guerre, a contemporaneous horse and a rival to Furioso with whom he shared the lead in the sires of winning horses list, was not as prolific as the latter, but also very much appreciated at that time by the young breeders and riders of Normandy, as he used to produce amazing jumpers.
His best offspring was probably Kenavo D, an Olympic team silver medallist in Tokyo 1964 with Janou Lefebvre (alongside Guy Lefrant, and individual gold medallist Pierre Jonquères d’Oriola). Vergonne was covered several times by Foudroyant and proved to be an exceptional broodmare. Her second offspring, Garcon Manque, became an ‘elite’ showjumping mare, best four-year old, exported to Spain, and returned to Alfred Brohier as a broodmare to produce Quenotte B, dam of Altesse, herself a dam of many sires, as well as Bolero I (ISO 134/72), Cyrano V, a good winner in three-day events, and Foudre de Guerre, a National Stud sire.
Garcon Manque is also the dam of Rush – CSI winner, Ulmaire – a very good winning showjumper, and Krishna – five-year old champion, whom we mentioned previously, and who later gave birth to Deesse II (by Uriel), French champion with Alain Hinard... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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