05/19/2010 12:00AM

Top French farm handed down


Famed French trainer, jockey, and breeder Alec Head has turned over the reins of Haras du Quesnay, a top French breeding farm and training center, to his four children, his daughter Criquette Head-Maarek has told France Sire TVs.

Head s children are Head-Maarek, the trainer, her sisters Martine and Patricia, and brother Freddie, the retired champion jockey.

While attending the recent St. Cloud sales, Head-Maarek told the French racing channel that her father has left management of Haras du Quesnay to the four of us, but daily management of the horses and staff is still led by Vincent Rimaud.

Alec Head bought Le Quesnay, near Deauville, in 1958 and had almost immediate success when he bred champion Le Fabuleux just three years later. The farm has stood such important sires as Riverman, Anabaa, Highest Honor, Sir Gaylor, and Green Dancer.

Head said she is at the stud weekly and added: We will have to make changes in the operation of the stud because we can no longer afford to maintain the stud as Dad did. The death of Anabaa in the summer of 2009 was a jolt.

Le Quesnay also lost another leading stallion, Highest Honor, last June, and Head said Bering is standing his last season this year.

Head said that the farm will accept outside boarders and handle yearling sales preparation in addition to breeding and raising its own horses.

The farm currently stands the stallions Gold Away, Kentucky Dynamite, Panis, Sevres Rose, Dunkerque, and Mr. Sidney, and also has first-season stallion Full of Gold at Haras de l Abbaye near Limoges.