Cauviniere becomes Montfort et Preaux in notable name change
Sylvain Vidal explains reasons for leading stud's new identity
One of France's most successful stud farms has a new identity. The former Haras de la Cauviniere in Normandy – home of the country's most expensive stallion, Le Havre, as well as Rajsaman, who has supplied dual Classic winner Brametot in his first crop – will now be known as Montfort et Preaux.
Sylvain Vidal, who ran the stud with his ex-wife Elisabeth, explained to the Racing Post the reasons behind the change.
“You will have read in the press of my divorce from Elisabeth, who retains the 30-something hectares of her family's original farm. I have kept everything else - the Haras de Montfort and the Haras de la Touques – and I had the opportunity to purchase the Haras de Preaux, which had belonged to the late Jean-Louis Lucas, and which is right next to Montfort.
“In all, I have gained 30 hectares because Preaux is 60, whereas La Cauviniere and its annexe was about 30.”
Vidal said it would be business as usual at the stud.
“Everything is the same in terms of operations: the same personnel, the same management,” he added. “The only difference is that the foaling unit was at La Cauviniere but is now at Preaux. But that really is the only change.
“Obviously I couldn't keep the La Cauviniere name; that belongs with the original farm and with Elisabeth's family. But Montfort, where the stallions are based, was a widely renowned stud farm in the past, while I also wanted to keep the name of Preaux alive as well. One for the stallions, one for the breeding.
“Gerard Augustin-Normand has been my principal partner all along. We shared in the broodmares, the stallions and the racehorses at La Cauviniere and we remain partners now.”
The stallion boxes at Montfort et Preaux currently contain Le Havre, Rajsaman and Air Chief Marshal, but with Augustin-Normand owning shares in several leading colts – including Brametot – Vidal indicated there may be changes afoot, though he played his cards close to his chest.
He said: “I think you will see a change at the end of the year or at the beginning of next year, and I expect that we will stand some new stallions. It's too early to cite names but we remain open to changing the line-up and potentially increasing the number.”