Home Breeder Profile “Welfare is paramount” – Gérald Martinez / Haras de Malleret

“Welfare is paramount” – Gérald Martinez / Haras de Malleret

Flinstone (Fidertanz x Abanos) – sire of several French champion offspring

By Marc Verrier
Photography: Cédric Vlemmings, Hannoveraner Verband, Haras de Malleret

In 2019, Gérald Martinez, general manager of the Haras de Malleret – a dressage breeding farm near Bordeaux – issued a statement announcing his decision to cease embryo transfers after noticing problems with his donor mares, including depression and psychological unwellness.

Three years later, Gérald Martinez justifies his decision to World Breeding News.

Q What motivated your decision to stop embryo transfers with your mares ?
I did two seasons of embryo transfers with mares that had never previously been inseminated. I knew my mares perfectly as I’d bought them when they were very young, so I know how they behaved at work and on a daily basis. After the embryo transfers, I could see that the mares had changed in character and were depressed. Out of five, two of them started to twitch when they were supported, and one of the two I almost lost. Out of the other three, I also saw problems with depression. So, I figured I couldn’t ignore that and so I decided to stop embryo transfers in light of what was going on.

Hanoverian Köring winner Faszination (Fürst Belissaro x San Remo)

Q Three years later, how are the mares doing ?
The mares are back to normal and doing very well. I have few mares, only six, but they are of very high genetic quality. So, when I see the foals from these dams it would be more profitable to have more of them. But I have a certain philosophy and I privilege the well-being of the horse before economic profitability. I would like to prove that it is possible to breed very high level horses while respecting them as much as possible, whether it is at the level of breeding or training and the way of doing things on a daily basis. Because I am convinced that we can do it. But it’s certain that when you add it all up, my profit is lower than those who have many foals from a very high level mare.

Q At the Haras de Malleret, you breed foals, but you also have more and more stallions...
I have a stallion who is quite well known, his name is Danciano (Dancier x Rotspon). His first offspring are eight years old and are starting to prove their quality by approaching the top level. I also have Flinstone (Fidertanz x Abanos), born in 2009, who has several French champion offspring, like First Lord de Malleret (out of Farouche de Malleret [Oldbg] x Fürstenball [Oldbg]) and First Lady de Malleret (out of Sadira de Malleret [Oldbg] x Sir Donnerhall [Oldbg]), champions of the two-year-olds at Saumur, or Filosophie de Malleret (out of Filarmonie de Malleret x Fürstenball), and Farrenball de Malleret (out of Dancelia de Malleret x Danciano), champions of the foals. This year I invested in several young stallions, like Faszination (Fürst Belissaro x San Remo), who won the Körung in Verden. I left him this year in Germany to breed, because there are many more interested breeders than in France. I have invested in eight stallions this year and it is likely that by next year Malleret will have its own breeding station... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber