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'Seeing homebreds win good races is a drug'

Henri Bozo the latest industry figure to answer our questions

Henri Bozo: 'We mustn't forget it is a sport, and should be a show'
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Age 43

Occupation Director at Ecurie des Monceaux

How and when did you become involved in racing? I was born and bred at Haras du Mezeray, where my father has been manager for 30 years. Two winners of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe were bred there: Trempolino (1987) and Subotica (1992). I have some wonderful memories of a happy youth, around horses and nice people. 

Who has been the greatest influence on your career? And why? My dad Antoine. He is a proper horse lover and a man with a lot of bon sens. I also learned much from the late Robert Griffin, a great breeder and friend of mine. Robert managed his stock so well, and had great relations with his clients. I've always been impressed by the way he managed his farm and his horses.

He paid great attention to detail and had a great strike-rate with stakes winners. He also had the will to do things properly, on a long-term basis. 

What aspect of your job do you most enjoy, and why? Feeding in the morning. That's Nature – and there are no phone calls...

And least enjoy? Attending meetings. I am very bad at that...

Best day in the business? Seeing Charm Spirit, who we bred and sold as a yearling, win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot three years ago. We since bred a number of yearlings and foals from him, and used him again this year. He is coming back to France, so we will surely be using him again next year.

That was a wonderful time and gave me great sense of pride, and I was there for it and got to speak to the Queen on that occasion.

We bought L'Enjoleuse as a yearling, raced her and then bred from her. Seeing homebreds win good races is a drug. 

Who do you most admire in bloodstock? Andre Fabre. He is so gifted and consistent.

What would you like to see change in the industry? I would like to see our sport become the ultimate fun thing to do for a younger audience and newcomers. I think they can make racing a bit more consumer-friendly. We should keep with tradition, but at the same time make racing a little bit more modern. 

Young people should be coming into racing, with family or friends, and enjoying it and perhaps sharing that passion through racing clubs. 

We mustn't forget it is a sport, and should be a show. Just keep things simple. Good music, good food, affordable and good facilities and less times between races, and perhaps fewer races per day. I would like to see plenty of new owners and syndicates attending races in a most exciting new Longchamp.

What has changed most during your time working in the bloodstock industry? Globalisation and the development of huge, powerful syndicates in the US.

Globalisation is a very positive change and makes racing more enjoyable and exciting; to have horses being able to race in France, America and Australia is great. We have a syndicate, with a few clients, with three horses in South Africa, and the South Africans come racing in France. My wife is also a small part-owner in the Global Glamour syndicate. 

The big players joining together to acquire stallions, you now have these very powerful consortiums. 

If you weren't working in bloodstock, what would you be doing? Anything to do with rugby. I might not have been good enough to be a player, but I just love the game. My club is Toulouse. I managed to start a syndicate with trainer Josephine Soudan, which the Racing Metro and France player Henry Chavancy is a part of.

How has the female jockeys' allowance worked out in France this year? It seems to be going well. The more opportunities they get to ride, the better they will be.

Advice for someone hoping to get into the industry? I would encourage young people to go for it! And to follow your ideas.

I would like to see our sport to become the ultimate fun thing to do for a younger audience
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