Quesnay Dispersal Features Trevise's Last Foal And More

Vincent Rimaud | Sue Finley photo

by Sue Finley & Katie Petrunyak

Since 1958, the Head family has been raising champion Thoroughbreds at Haras du Quesnay, just a few kilometers from the Arqana sales ring. But now, with the passing of the family patriarch, Alec Head, and the sale of the historic nursery, the family's colors will fly for the last time at the December Breeding Stock sale, with the complete dispersal of the Heads' bloodstock interests.

Le Quesnay will offer 48 broodmares, fillies and foals during the sale.

“It's a big bunch of horses, and it's sad to see them going,” said Vincent Rimaud, Quesnay's Stud Manager. “On the other hand, it's nice to look after them. A decision was taken to sell them in Arqana because we're here, we're in France. We're 10 miles away from the site, and we've always sold there. And while a lot of these horses will stay in France, a few of these mares will attract international clients.”



In fact, the first through the ring, lot 31, Perle d'Auge (Fr) (Le Havre {Ire}), figures to be one of the stars of the dispersal. She is a half-sister to the 2022 G3 Prix Minerve winner Eternal Pearl (GB) (Frankel {GB}). Her third dam Pearly Shells (GB) was the G1 Prix Vermeille winner, who produced the dam of G1 Matron S. Winner Pearls Galore (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}). Her 2022 filly by Intello (Ger) is also being offered as lot 329.

“Three years ago, we bought Perle d'Auge as a maiden in Arqana and we got her in foal to Intello (Ger) and she gave us a beautiful filly that we would sell. And the pedigree has moved a lot since we bought this mare with Eternal Pearl and with Pearls Galore.”

An emotional sale figures to come with the last foal from Trevise (Fr), the dam of two-time G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Treve (Fr), who died during this foaling. The filly by the late Le Havre sells as lot 166 on Saturday.

“Of course, we have Treve's family,” said Rimaud. “We have the sister to Treve by Le Havre and she's a very nice filly. She's a good mix of Le Havre and her dam. The mare died this year, giving birth to this filly, so she was raised under a nurse mare, and of course, Le Havre died also. So, it's a bit of a sad story, but there's also very beautiful potential there as a broodmare and hopefully a nice race mare before that.”

Treve's half-sister Toride (Fr), who has already produced the black-type runners Lady Day (Fr) and Maximus (Fr), is offered on Saturday as lot 197 in foal to Zarak (Fr), Europe's leading second-crop sire, who stood this year at Haras de Bonneval for €60,000.

“We have Toride, which is a sister that has already produced two black-type horses and she's in foal to Zarak, and it is the right time to be in foal to that stallion to go to the sales. She's a nice mare. And we are also taking down her fifth foal, which is a Persian King (Ire) colt, a very nice colt, and we've been very fortunate with this family.”

The exact future of Quesnay remains unclear; part of the land has been sold off to create the new Haras de Beaumont across the road from the main section of Quesnay, and Rimaud says that there will still be Thoroughbreds raised on the remaining land. But after 20 years of working for the Head family, he admits there will be more than a bit of sadness when the hammer falls on the final lot through the ring on Tuesday.

“There are plenty of people working here and some of them have been working here for a very long time,” he said. “And I think that we will have two different feelings. If they sell well, if they go with nice breeders into good hands, we will be happy about the job done. And I guess at the end of Tuesday night, when we sell the last number, we will feel a bit sad, of course. That will happen. All of these horses that are going to the sales, they were born here in those foaling stables over there,” he says, waving his hand across the iconic Quesnay yard. “And I was there for most of them.”

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