Creative Breeding for Exceptional Horses in France at Haras De Monlau

The first feeding came as morning touched the river

2 June 2018, Montauban, France ~ Haras Du Domaine De Monlau was begun in 1989 near Montauban, France, by Robert and Marie-Ange Bourdette. Escaping from the city life of Paris, they found the ideal horse farm property in this corner of southwest France dominated by an old farm house with connecting barns and outbuildings (dépendence).

For the past 25 years the Bourdettes, with the help of son Aretzki, have made improvements to the farm, first with fenced pastures, paddocks and run-in shelters, then completing a total renovation on the home to transform it into a comfortable manor house. In the past few years they have continued to expand guest quarters, making additional living apartments where some of the attached stables had been located.

Aretzki, Robert & Steve

Aretzki, Iban, Robert & Steve

Here by the river Tarn on 30 hectares of pastures green and verdant, the Bourdettes raise premier Arabian horses for racing and endurance. The temperate climate and the forgiving terrain encourage the young horses to develop stature and musculature as they gambol and gallop on this excellent first training ground for their future careers.

Having the benefit of the river soil to grow their own hay (foins), the Bourdettes are able to give the horses under their care the benefit of fresh and nutritious feed. And the most important part of any young horses’ training for life is the hands-on care given by the three Bourdettes.

Stable from the yard

Stable from the yard

It was here, in a spacious apartment attached to the main house, that the Bourdettes welcomed my husband Steve and I following our journey to Spain in May. Waking up on this peaceful farm surrounded by mares and curious foals each morning provided a serene backdrop to our days, and we were treated with the same privileged care afforded the horses.

Marie-Ange prepared wonderful meals which included the deep red just picked tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, lettuce,

and other produce from the local markets. We finally tasted the North African egg dish called Borek or Brick, a dish that I am determined to learn how to make. Each morning we welcomed fresh baguettes and jam (confiture), and other fresh fruits including apples, pears and kiwis, and we dined together each evening when the day’s work was done.

We got to know the horses on the farm by name, often accompanied by Iban, the gentle watch dog and assistant manager of all work and play on the farm.

Lawaha (Ezil x Lubna ) and foal, Massinissa Monlau (No Risk Al Maury) at one month

Lawaha (Ezil x Lubna ) and foal, Massinissa Monlau (No Risk Al Maury) at one month

The first feeding began just as morning light touched the river, and the mares and youngest foals were brought into stalls to eat undisturbed. All other horses remained segregated in pastures by age, gender and temperament, and were fed, groomed, and examined outside daily while eating. It is at this time that foals learn that humans can give marvelous head rubs and all babies are halter and lead trained from the earliest days. This personal treatment is experienced by every horse, every day, while the Bourdettes maintain pristine stables. It is a labor of love that does not end until 8 or 9 pm after the last feeding and after the horses are all back in the pastures for the night.

Far – 2 yrs – Slatan De Monlau (Al Mamun Monlau x Manzana by Guytout); Near – 1 yr – Namous De Monlau (Al Mamun Monlau x Dalia by Tahar de Candlon )

1 Yr - Namous De Monlau (Al Mamun Monlau x Dalia by Tahar de Candlon )

1 Yr – Namous De Monlau (Al Mamun Monlau x Dalia by Tahar de Candlon)

Aretzki and foal

Aretzki and foal

On the Stud Farm (Haras) the Bourdettes now have 30 mares and 10 young foals, and the 2004 stallion, Runner (Tahar De Candelon x Farida Du Bac).

Over the years, the Stud Farm has produced some incredible athletes and the Monlau name has often been seen in racing headlines.
Winners include:

Al Mamun Monlau – 2008 (Munjiz and Salalah de Monlau), Multiple Group 1 winner
2013 Dubai Kahayla Classic Gr 1, UAE
June 2013 The President of the UAE Cup Gr 1, 2000m
Over €300,000 earnings – Now standing at stud – inquire.

Al Hantar Monlau – 2013 (Burning Sand and Salalah de Monlau)
Winner, January 2018 Race Muttrah Gate Championship Cup,(1600m) Muscat Oman

Aicha De Monlau – 2013 (No Risk Al Maury x Lawaha)
Winner, July 2016, Race Razzia III, Gr.3,(1800m) La Teste
Winner, May 2016 1600m Toulouse

Rachidia De Monlau – 2011 (Calin du Loup and Osaka Domenjoi)
Winner, January 2017, Al Jinan Handicap, 1600m Muscat,Oman

Sniper De Monlau – 2012 (Calin de Loup and Clairvoyant)
Winner, the HH President Cup Prep February 2018
Third – March 2017 Dubai Kahayla Classicm 2200m –

Ali Baba Monlau – 2008 (Tidjani and Osaka Domenjoi)
Winner, June 2013 Race Prix AOUCHICHE ABDELMADJID,
2000m Caroubier Algeria

More Winners:

Inquiries on Horses:

Article and 2018 Photos: Pamela Burton