The farm was pulsing with activity
28 May 2018, Haras De Thouars, France ~ Recently we had the opportunity to visit one of the premier Arabian stud farms in France, the Haras de Thouars. Located north of Agen, about 115 kilometers north from Toulouse in the south of France, the Haras claims 130 hectares (321+ acres) in a region of gently rolling hills where the bountiful spring rains have created a sea of grass and flowers.
Spring is one of the best times for a trip to the stud farm, as some of the top racing stallions are in residence. On a typical day there are over 200 horses on the farm, many have come for breeding.
On the day we visited, we were welcomed warmly by Anthony Cessac, Mathieu Postis, Marie Laulom and Flora Labau, all of whom took turns showing us around.
There is an exciting menu of champions stallions on the premises from which to choose including: 2011 Kahayala Classic winner, Seraphin Du Paon (Akbar), Dahess (sire of Al Mourtajez, etc), AF Albahar (Amer), Mister Ginoux (Amer), and the Persik son, Sadepers.
Although the farm serves other breeds of sport stallions, we had come to see and photograph the Arabian stallions, specifically the ones that were not in residence when we visited last fall. These were 2010 Kahayala Classic winner Jaafer (Amer), Al Mourtajez (winner 2016 Qatar Arabian World Cup), Dammar (Darike), and Aim South (Burning Sand).
After viewing the stallions, we wandered through paddocks and pastures to see a few of the mares – some with foals by their sides, some with foals recently born, others waiting to be bred, porteuses (recipient) mares, and mares heavy with foals they would soon deliver.
The farm was pulsing with activity as it is breeding season. Besides the general care and feeding of the large equine population, the staff are busy taking care of the 60+- mares and foals, collecting stallions and making certain that all protocols are rigorously applied, then packaging and sending out semen for insemination to Arabian horses near and far.
Collection, proper storage and packaging are one part of the process, and making certain of timely transportation and delivery is an entire different category. Also, already in 2018, there have been more than 400 mares inseminated on the property.
Besides the breeding center, the Haras boasts a veterinary clinic for pregnancy testing, general treatment, and injuries. The farm also prepares horses for sale and shipping, and assists in all levels of transportation and delivery. In 2015 the center added the collection and transplantation of embryos. The Embryo Transfer (ET) unit is the responsibility of Anthony Cessac.
The Haras de Thouars was founded in 2000 by Emmanuel Cessac as an SCEA (civil farming company – société civile d’exploitation agricole) under the French Department of Agriculture. In 2009, in association with Mathieu Postis, the Haras was registered as an EARL – private limited liability farm corporation – exploitation agricole à responsabilité limitée,). It has developed into one of the most well know centers for insemination in France as well as a breeding farm for Arabian race and sport horses.
2018 May Statistics:
Onsite: 200+ horses
12 Arabian breeding stallions
Jaafar only Arabian stallion for live breeding
60 Mares and Foals
400 mares inseminated
130 Embryos collected