France’s popular stallion showcase, the Route des Etalons, returns on Saturday with studs across Normandy showcasing the talented sires that have bolstered the French breeding ranks in recent years.
Twenty-six studs will participate in the trail, now in its eleventh year having celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2019.
Newcomers to the country’s ranks in 2020 include the high-class sprinter City Light, who will stand his debut season at Haras d’Etreham alongside established names Almanzor, Wootton Bassett and Saint Des Saints.
The leading French stallion resides at the Aga Khan’s Haras de Bonneval in the shape of Siyouni, whose fee has rocketed from €7,000 in his debut season in 2011 to €100,000.
Siyouni is joined on the Bonneval roster by Prix Ganay winner Dariyan and Zarak, the Group 1-winning son of Dubawi and the Aga Khan’s outstanding mare Zarkava.
Dual Group 1 scorer Shalaa heads the stallions at Al Shaqab’s Haras de Bouquetot. It will be an exciting season for the son of Invincible Spirit as his first two-year-olds will hit the track later this year.
The Route des Etalons offers bloodstock aficionados the chance to travel the beautiful Normandy countryside and stop in at some of the picturesque studs, such as the Head family’s Haras du Quesnay.
Among the other operations open across the weekend is Haras de Montfort et Preaux, purchased by Hesmonds Stud owner Nurlan Bizakov in November.
There are only two stallions on its roster but one of them is Le Havre, who has risen through the ranks to become a leading sire, standing alongside the Queen’s homebred Recorder, who will have his first yearlings at the sales this year.
Don’t forget Darley’s French contingent – Cloth Of Stars, Manduro, Ultra, Bow Creek and Hunter’s Light – all of whom stand at Haras du Logis and are available to view as part of the route.
To find out more about this year’s Route des Etalons and the participating studs, visit www.laroutedesetalons.com