The Rothschilds: Haras de Meautry
By Patricia Erigero ©2007|
|Haras de Meautry in the late 1880s|
"One would be wrong to suppose that the administration of the stable is left to anyone else; they [Barons Alphonse and Gustave] are the Masters who direct and order in an absolute way."
Haras de Meautry, located in the ancient horse-breeding area of Calvados in lower Normandy, is the oldest thoroughbred nursery continuously owned by a single family in France. Situated near Deauville, at the edge of the village Touques, it encompasses level fields and rolling meadows that have nourished generations of winners.
The extended Rothschild family -- including those based in England -- raced horses in France beginning in the 1830s. But the French Rothschild family first came to prominence when Baron James de Rothschild purchased a number of horses at the 1842 dispersal sale of Lord Henry Seymour's racing stable and stud, and secured the services of the grand patriarch of English-born French trainers, Thomas Carter, who had trained for Seymour. In succeeding decades James' sons, Alphonse and Gustave continued racing both homebreds and horses bought from various sources, including Carter's Haras de la Morlaye and from Great Britain.
|Meautry's Norman Revival cottage
||In 1873 they purchased about 20 acres at Meautry, which included a 16th century manor house that had supplanted a castle, then in ruins, dating to the era of William the Conqueror.
The French architect. M. de Jouy was hired to design stables and attendant structures that were based on English trainer Joe Dawson's Bedford House stables at Newmarket; Bedford House had been built a decade earlier and was, for its time, considered the model of a modern establishment. The huge Meautry stable was clad in red brick with stone quoining and door trim, and roofed with red tile. At the end of each block were dwellings for grooms and stable hands. Contemporary writers referred to the stables as "almost too Princely" for the horses. The Norman Revival "cottage" was used as a pied-â-terre by the Rothschilds and their managers when visiting Meautry.
In the over 130 years of its existence, Meautry, like long-lasting bloodstock farms world-wide, has cycled through both highs and lows, but was dealt what seemed to be a death-blow in 1940, after the German army marched through France to occupy Paris in June. By the end of the year Meautry's pride and joy, Brantôme, the promising young stallion Bubbles and his son, the 1938 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Eclair au Chocolat, had been seized by the Nazis and taken to Germany; Brantôme and Bubbles apparently went to Heresgestut, the German army stud at Altefeld (previously the German National Stud) in Hesse, and Eclair au Chocolat to the state stud at Graditz. Worse, virtually all of Meautry's remaining bloodstock was seized and shipped to Germany or sold in France. Also, Rothschild horses of racing age were confiscated; in 1941 one sale of 28 of Edouard de Rothschild's (former) horses in France realized seven million francs at auction, but not for the Rothschilds. The promising Cranach (1938) was hustled off to Germany as well, winning eleven races there for his kidnappers, and Brantôme's confiscated youngsters were winners there in 1942, '43, and '44. For over 4-1/2 years Rothschild breeding at Meautry ended. |
In 1946 Baron Edouard and his son Guy were able to recover most of their pillaged bloodstock and successfully rebuilt Meautry. In 1949, the year Edouard died, Guy's colt Ciel Etoilé (Cranach-Voûte Céleste), who had been bred in Germany from pure Meautry stock, and born in France when his dam was restored to Meautry in 1946, won the Prix Royal-Oak (French St. Leger), just three years after the Rothschilds began to reassemble their missing animals. The next year Vieux Manoir (Brantôme-Vieille Maison) won the Grand Prix de Paris for Guy. After the war, Rothschilds headed the leading owners list in 1951, 1965 and 1966, and Meautry was at the top of the leading breeders list seven times.
All of the masters of Meautry were hands-on breeders. Both Gustave and Alphonse were, according to contemporary accounts, heavily involved in the administration of the stud and breeding decisions. They were both well-known figures at Deauville, Longchamp and Chantilly, as were their wives. Alphonse's son, Edouard, and his son, Guy, were also intimately involved in all aspects of the operation at Meautry.
The fortunes of breeding at Haras de Meautry can be roughly assessed by looking at the chart of Rothschild winners of the principal classic races over the years since its founding. There was a spurt of success following the purchase of Henry Seymour's bloodstock in 1842, which provided the Rothschilds with many winners in the 1840s. After Alphonse and Gustave teamed up to establish Meautry in the ealry 1870s, they began to add to the homebred mares by Boïard, Stracchino, and Enchanteur by purchasing many English mares by stallions such as Blair Athol and his brother Breadalbane (both by Stockwell and out of Queen Mary), Newminster, Hermit, Beadsman, Parmesan and his son Cremorne, and Gladiateur (at stud in England), and French mares by Monarque and Vermout, establishing the first of the long-lived Meautry families and leading to many triumphs in the 1880s and '90s, but big success generally eluded the farm in the first decade and a half of the twentieth century. When Edouard assumed active management of the stud in 1905, another round of English-bred mares were brought to Meautry during the following fifteen years, and he regularized a system of sending mares across the channel to England to breed to the top English stallions; this began to pay off after the first World War, in the 1920s and '30s. While there were many high class homebred stallions over the decades, the regular use of outside stallions -- English and French -- constantly refreshed the old Meautry lines.
When Guy assumed management of Meautry in 1949, the stud had recently experienced something no world-class bloodstock establishment had ever suffered, the complete forced dispersal of its mares. Guy and his ailing father tracked down and retrieved almost every mare, and most of the progeny that had been produced by them in Germany. Meautry rose from the metaphoric ashes to triumph within a few years. Under Guy's aegis, and utlizing the same strategy of combining old Meautry families with outside stallions, and Meautry-bred stallions with newly purchased mares, the stud rose to the top of French breeding many times over.
In a stud farm so long-established, one would expect to see a great deal of in-breeding. However, at Meautry this was seldom the case, certainly very infrequently within three, and even four generations. There were in-bred winners (and losers) issuing from Meautry, such as the 1938 Grand Prix de Paris winning filly Crudité, the 1938 champion three-year-old colt Eclair au Chocolate, and the unbeaten Ocarina (1947), all in-bred to Sans Souci, but given the size and duration of the stud and its long-lasting female families, nothing like what might have been expected.
Rothschild Winners of Important Races
Italic= non-Meautry horses owned by Baron Maurice de Rothschild and the later James Rothschild, who was based in England
|Poule d'Essai (Guineas)|
|1842||Annetta (Ibrahim-Miss Annette)||James|
|1864||Baronello (The Baron-Annette)||Nathaniel|
|Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (1,000 Guineas)|
|1914||Diavolezza (Le Sagittaire-Saint Astra)||Maurice|
|1921||Nephthys (Sans Souci-Nectarine)||Edouard|
|1925||La Dame de Trèfle (La Farina-Dame d'Atout)||Edouard|
|1932||Ligne de Fond (Belfonds-Ficelle)||Edouard|
|1938||Féerie (Massine-Fairy Legend)||Maurice|
|1955||Dictaway (Honeyway-Nymphe Dicte)||Guy|
|1960||Timandra (Court Martial-Brief Candle)||Guy|
|Poule d'Essai des Poulains (2,000 Guineas)|
|1894||Le Nicham (Tristan-La Noce)||Alphonse|
|1910||Siflet (Codoman-Sea Change)||Maruice|
|1922||Mont Blanc (Predícateur-Beauté de Neige)||Edouard|
|1966||Soleil (Major Portion-Aurore Polaire)||Guy|
|Prix de Diane (Oaks)|
|1854||Honesty (Gladiator-Effie Deans)||James|
|1878||Brie (Parmesan-Highland Sister)||Alphonse|
|1889||Crinière (Robert the Devil-Crinon)||Alphonse|
|1921||Doniazade (Sardanapale-Belle Vue)||Maurice|
|1932||Perruche Bleue (Biribi-Blue Pill)||Edouard|
|1933||Vendange (BelfondsTreille du Roi)||Edouard|
|1938||Féerie (Massine-Fairy Legend)||Maurice|
|1957||Cerisoles (Tourment-Paix d'Ecosse)||Guy|
|1960||Timandra (Court Martial-Brief Candle)||Guy|
|1961||Hermières (Sicambre-Veille Pierre)||Guy|
|Prix du Jockey Club (Derby)|
|1876||Kilt (Consul-Highland Sister)||Alphonse|
|1911||Alcantara (Perth-Toison d'Or)||Edouard|
|1977||Crystal Palace (Hermières)||Guy|
|Grand Prix de Paris|
|1898||Le Roi Soleil (Heaume-Mlle. de la Vallière)||Nathaniel|
|1907||Sans Souci (Le Roi Soleil-Sanctimony)||Edouard|
|1919||Galloper Light (Sunstar-Santa Fina)||James|
|1925||Reine Lumière (Antivar-Reine Victoire)||James|
|1935||Crudité (La Farina-Vitamine)||Edouard|
|1950||Vieux Manoir (Brantôme-Vieille Maison)||Guy|
|1964||White Label (Tanerko-Alba Nox)||Guy|
|1979||Soleil Noir (Exbury-Skelda)||Guy|
|1982||Le Nain Jaune (Pharly-Lady Berry)||Guy||The Stallions|
Many of France's most influential stallions were bred at Meautry and later stood at stud there. These included Prix du Jockey Club winner Heaume (1887, by Hermit), from the British-bred mare Bella, who was one of Meautry's foundation broodmares with descendants bred there through the twentieth century. Other stallions bred at Meautry, raced by the Rothschilds and serving as stallions at the farm were Grand Prix de Paris winner Le Roi Soleil (1895), leading sire Sans Souci (1904), La Farina (1911) and La Farina's staying son and leading sire Bubbles (1925), all direct sire-line descendants of Heaume and all out of Meautry matrons that either had deep roots in the stud, or established long-lived female lines there. The great racehorse Brantôme (1931), Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Exbury (1959), Brantôme's Grand Prix de Paris winning son, Vieux Manoir (1947), Prix du Jockey Club winner Crystal Palace (1974), the multiple leading sire Luthier (1965), and sprinter and multiple leading sire Kenmare (1975), and a number of other good colts that became successful stallions were also Meautry products.
Another line of stallions from Meautry included the unraced Bacteriophage (1929, by Tetratema) that at Meautry got the short-lived mare Biologie, dam of Prince Bio, and Téléférique (out of a mare from the Meautry Bella family), a good juvenile and fairly successful stallion whose son, Alizier (1947, from a family tracing back five generations at Meautry) was a very good runner and sire at Meautry, particularly of broodmares. Le Haar (1954), a son of Vieux Manoir from the same female family as Alizier, bred at Meautry, won the Prix Jean Prat and some other races and was later a leading sire in France.
The great multiple classic winning crack Boïard (1870, Vermout-La Bossue), bred and raced by Henry Delamarre, was purchased at age five for the incredible sum of 150,000 francs by Baron Alphonse and installed at Meautry as a stallion, where he got some good runners and broodmares, but he didn't quite reach expectations and was sold to Russia. Practically his only legacy -- and it was a good one -- was getting Mlle. de la Valliere, that became the dam of Le Roi Soleil, who was a good sire at Meautry. Another comparative failure at stud at Meautry was Baron Alphonse's Stracchino (1874, Parmesan-Old Maid) that won the Coupe and some other races.
Although the masters of Meautry bred, raced, and then stood at stud successive generations of stallions in sire-line descent, they frequently bred mares to outside stallions to replenish their bloodstock. Baron Alphonse's grand classic winning filly Brie (1875, a half-sister to the baron's Prix du Jockey-Club winner Kilt from the imported mare Highland Sister, by Stockwell), for example, was bred to the English stallion Galopin, producing Prix de Diane winner Brisk (1872), and to the cover of the great English horse Hermit, favored by the Rothschilds, she bred the Poule de Essai des Poulains winner Brio (1884).
Another outside stallion used to good effect by Baron Edouard decades later was the enormously successful leading English sire Blandford: his wonderful son Brantôme, from the Meautry mare Vitamine (later annexed by the Germans) was one such product. Edouard also used Blandford with success by crossing him on Sans Souci daughters. Reine Isaure (1931, Oriane by Sans Souci), a winner of Longchamp's Prix Vanteaux and runner-up in the Prix Vermeille produced the stayer and later successful sire Cranach and three other winners. Prix Royal Oak winner Bokbul (1932, Buanderie by Sans Souci) and Blue Skies (1927, Blue Pill by Sans Souci), a more than useful stallion, were other products of the Blandford-Sans Souci cross.
The size of the broodmare band at Meatury, with the exception of the World War II years, appears to have ranged around four dozen plus mares. The Rothschilds were remarkably persistent with their old female lines, many of which lasted more than seven generations before petering out. But the Meautry band was never a closed herd, and there were frequent purchases of outside mares, almost always from England, to replenish and supplement long-standing lines, and to cross with Meautry-bred stallions. Many of these purchased mares themselves became foundation mares at the stud. It isn't possible to review all of these long-lasting lines in this essay, but a few will be covered to illustrate how faith in a particular female line paid off over the generations.
|Family Descending from Bella|
Bella (1873), from the Buccaneer daughter Armada, and by Breadalbane, was a Cobham Stud product, and bred an 1879 Adventurer foal there before being purchased by the Pound Stud, where she produced four youngsters. After two barren years she was covered by Peter, and in 1886, age thirteen, was purchased by Alphonse de Rothschild, who bred her to the great English stallion Hermit. Heaume was the result of that breeding, and he did not disappoint, winning four races in England as a juvenile, including the Hastings Plate, and in France at age three winning the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and the Prix du Jockey Club.
A Meautry Family: 7 generations (Family #20-a)|
|Bella (1873, Breadalbane)|
| Heaume (1887, Hermit) Prix du Jockey Club etc.|
| Sardoine (1894, Le Sancy)|
| | Sardonise (1906, Perth)|
| | Sandaraque (1911, Sans Souci)|
| | Stearine (1916, St. Just) Prix Royal Oak|
| | Stratosphere (1932, Blenheim) Prix Robert Papin|
| Belladonna (1896, Fousi Yama)|
| Bellezza (1907, Laveno)|
| Beaute de Neige (1912, St Just)|
| Mont Blanc (1919, Predicateur) Poule d'Essai des Poulains|
| Brenta (1920, Sans Souci)|
| | La Furka (1927, Blandford)|
| | | Terka (1942, Indus)|
| | | | Tantième (1947, Deux pour Cent) Arc (twice), etc.|
| | | Chesterfield (1944, Admiral Drake) Pr. Greffulhe, etc.|
| | Taxodium (1928, Bay Cherry) G.H.I.d'Ostende, etc.|
| Mont Bernina (1923, La Farina) Jockey Club Cup, etc.|
| Téléférique (1934, Bacteriophage) Grand Critérium, etc.|
Red=Not bred by Rothschilds. Edited chart only includes significant winners.
|Mont Bernina won the Jockey Club Cup in England and six races in France, including the Prix Edgard Gillois, the Prix Roi Herode, and the Prix d l'Elevage at Saint Cloud.
||Tantième, probably the best horse in the world in 1951, was a member of Bella's family
||At stud at Meautry Heaume established a strong branch of the Hermit sire line that lasted over five generations, all the sons bred at Meautry and raced by Rothschilds. They included Heaume's son, the Grand Prix de Paris winner and grand stayer Le Roi Soleil (1895); his son Sans Souci (1904), also a winner of the Grand Prix de Paris and a leading sire in France; his grandson, the elegant and fast La Farina (1911), and La Farina's son Bubbles (1925), also a champion stallion in France.
Bella's filly Sardoine (1894), by Le Sancy, established one branch of this foundation Meautry family that led to Stearine (by the Meautry stallion St. Just), a winner of the Prix Vermeille and the Prix Royal-Oak, that, as a broodmare at Meautry, produced seven winners, including Stratosphere (1932), winner of the Prix Robert Papin (1200 meters). There were still tail-female descendants of this branch at Meautry in the mid-1950s.
Belladonna (1896), born when Bella was 23 years old, established another long-lived branch at Meautry. Her grandaughter, Beaute de Neige (1912, by Meautry-bred stallion St. Just), bred thirteen winners, including Mont Blanc (1919), winner of the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, and Mont Bernina (1923, by La Farina), who was his best as an older horse, when he won the Prix Edgard Gillois and, in England, the Jockey Club Cup.
Beaute de Neige's daughter, Brenta (1920, by Sans Souci), was third dam of the great runner Tantième (1947, bred and raced by Francois Dupre), two-time winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe , the Coronation Cup, the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, the Prix Lupin, and many other races. Téléférique (1934, by Meautry stallion Bacteriophage) was another son of Beaute de Neige; he won the Grand Critérium, the Prix Eugène Adam, and other good races and was later a fairly successful stallion at Meautry. |
A branch of Bella's family went to Argentina in the teens with Sardonix (1900, by Galeazzo), with classic winning descendants in Argentina and Uruguay.
|Family Descending from Quenouille|
Quenouille (1916, by Prestige) was bred by Maurice Ephrussi from his mare Queenie, by War Dance. War Dance had been purchased by Ephrussi as a yearling and won eighteen good races for him, mostly at classic distances and beyond, and then stood at Ephrussi's Haras du Gazon in Normandy, where he got the champion runner Perth, Prix du Jockey Club winner Mordant, Roxelane (the dam of Roi Herode), and a number of other winners.
|A Meautry Family: 7 generations (Family #10-e)|
|Quenouille (1916, Prestige) Prix de Diane|
| Ficelle (1923, La Farina)|
| Ligne de Fond (1929, Belfonds) Poule d'Essai des Pouliches|
| Vieille Canaille (1930, Zionist)|
| Vieille Mason (1936, Finglas)|
| Bicoque (1944, Téléférique)|
| | Coquelin (1950, Brantome) P. Maurice de Nieuil|
| Vieux Manoir (1947, Brantome) Grand Prix de Paris|
|   Vieille Pierre (1951, Blue Peter)|
| Hermières (1958, Sicambre) Prix de Diane|
| Crystal Palace (1974, Caro) Prix du Jockey Club|
Red=Not bred by Rothschilds. Edited chart only includes significant winners.
|Classic winner Hermières, later dam of Crystal Palace
||Grand Prix de Paris winner Vieux Manoir, later a stallion and great favorite of Baron Guy de Rothschild
Edouard de Rothschild purchased Quenouille as a yearling, and she won the Prix de Diane for him in 1919, and later she became a significant foundation broodmare at Meautry, with more than seven generations of winners, many of the highest class, bred at the stud farm. Grand Prix de Paris winner Vieux Manoir (1947, by the Meautry-bred champion Brantôme, after his recovery from Germany), from this family, was bred by Edouard and raced by Edouard's son, Guy; he was later syndicated, with Guy a principal member.
Quenouille's grandaughter, Ligne de Fond (1929, by the Prix du Jockey Club winner Belfonds (by Edouard de Rothschild's good grey colt Isard II) was a good filly for Edouard, winning three races in a row, including the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, and was second by a short head to her stablemate, Perruche Bleue (1932) in the Prix de Diane. Belfonds, raced and owned by Argentinian Edouard Martinez de Hoz, was also the sire of two other Meautry-bred and Rothschild-owned Prix de Diane winners, Vendange (1933) and Péniche (1935). Hermières was Baron Guy's second Prix de Diane winner; her dam, Vieille Pierre won the Prix Yacowlef at age two and the Prix de Courteilles and Prix Ridgway at age three.
Also in Quenouille's family bred at Meautry was Coquelin (1950, by Brantôme), a good stayer that won the Prix Maurice de Nieuil, and was second in the Grand Prix du Printemps and the Prix Royal Oak, and in England, third in the Jockey Club Stakes. |
Quenouille's family persisted through the 20th century at Meautry with Tryptophane, the dam of Pharisien (1987), who ended up as a stallion in California. Marly River (1983), a good steeplechaser whose victories included the Grand Steeple-Chase de Haies and Baby Turk (1982), winner of the Grand Prix de Deauville and Prix d'Hédouville, were descendants of this family, although not bred at Meautry.
Family Descending from Justicia
This famous and long-lasting family is sometimes referred to as the "Queen Mab" family, since the principal winners all descend from Justicia's daughter Queen Mab. Justicia, a bay mare born in 1896, was by the outstanding stallion Le Sancy and out of The Frisky Matron, by Cremorne. She was bred by the Comte La Marois and purchased as a yearling by Edouard de Rothschild. Running between the ages of two and four, she proved a very good race filly. As a juvenile she easily won the Prix des Deux Ans (later Prix Morny), and was second in the Deuxième Critérium at Longchamp. At age three she won two races at 1,000 and 1200 meters at Maisons-Laffitte and was third in the Prix de la Forêt. At age four she won two races at Maisons-Laffitte over 1200 and 2000 meters, out of six starts. At Meautry she bred three good offspring.
|A Meautry Family: 9 generations (Family #12-e)|
|Justicia (1896, Le Sancy) Prix des Deux Ans (Prix Morny)|
| Sly Fox (1903, Flying Fox) Prix la Rochette|
| St. Just (1907, St. Frusquin) Prix de Conde|
| Reine Mab (1912, Rabelais)|
| Oriane (1920, Sans Souci)|
| | Reine Isaure (1931, Blandford)|
| | Cranach (1938, Coronach) races in Germany|
| Lanette (1923, San Souci)|
| | Nanaia (1929, Kircubbin)|
| | Nymph Dicté (1935, Diolite)|
| | La Dame Blanche (1943, Biribi)|
| | | L'Exile (1947, Werber)|
| | | Dragon Blanc (1950, Brantôme) Grand Criterium|
| | | Alba Nox (1951, Coaraze) Prix des Chênes|
| | | White Label (1961, Tanerko) Grand Prix de Paris, etc.|
| | | White Paper (1966, Honeyway)|
| | | Carwhite (1974, Caro) Prix d'Ispahan, Pr. Daru, etc.|
| | Omphale (1948, Brantôme)|
| | | Marella (1967, Alizier) Critérium St. Cloud, etc.|
| | | | Servanne (1970, Yours) Prix Chloé|
| | | | Courtroom (1982, Kenmare) Prix Eugene Adam|
| | | Celadon (1959, Krakatao) Prix Kergorlay twice, etc.|
| | Dictature (1950, Tarstevere)|
| | | Dictavelle (1956, Vatellor) Pr. de la Porte de Passy|
| | | | Cassette (1962, Fric) Prix Penélope, Pr. Royallieu|
| | | Dicta Drake (1958, Phil Drake) Coronation Cup, etc.|
| | Dictaway (1952, Honeyway) Poule d'Essai des Pouliches|
| | Diatome (1962, Sicambre) Washington DC Int, etc.|
| Brocéliande (1925, La Farina)|
| | Foulaubin (1951, Filibert de Savoie) G.Pr. de Bruxelles |
| | Maurépas (1937, Athelstan) Prix de Trois Ans, etc. |
| Ygerne (1926, La Farina)|
| | Anath (1932, Massine) Prix des Cars, etc.|
| | Lady Macbeth (1944, Téléférique)|
| | Yorik (1951, Sunny Boy)|
| | Brief Candle (1950, Brantôme) |
| | Timandra (1957, Court Martial) Prix de Diane, etc.|
| Fée Esterel (1929, Cadum)|
| Asheratt (1935, Sunny Trace) Pr. Lagrange, La Rochette, etc.|
| Aganippe (1943, Mieuxcé)|
| | Romney (c. 1948, Blue Peter) Pr. Bois Roussel etc.|
| Ashleen (1956, Alizier) Prix de Villiers etc.|
| Princeline (1966, Princely Gift) Prix Morny etc.|
Red=Not bred by Rothschilds. Edited chart only includes significant winners.
|Reine Isaure and her son Cranach (right) were stolen and then repatriated from Germany
||Cranach, later a successful sire at Meautry
|Stakes winner Alba Nox was later dam of Grand Prix de Paris winner White Label for the Rothschilds
||Coronation Cup winner Dicta Drake, later a stallion for an English syndicate at Aston Park Stud
|Classic winner Dictaway was later dam of Diatome
||Excellent racehorse Diatome was later a stallion at Meautry
||Justicia's son Sly Fox (1903) won three races as a juvenile, including the Prix la Rochette. He was a modest stallion at Meautry, but got some good winners. Her next son, Saint Just (1907, by St. Frusquin) won the Prix de Condé as a juvenile and the Prix St. Cloud at Deauville at age three, but wasn't a really successful racehorse. He was, however, a good stallion at Meautry, and got a number of winners, including Prix Royal-Oak winner Stearine, Prix de la Forêt winner Jus de Raisin, but more importantly, his daughters were excellent matrons. Saint Just was dam's sire of the Meautry-bred classic winner Mont Blanc, of the Grand Critérium winners Téléférique and Godiche, of the grand stayer Foxlight (Prix du Cadran), and of Jonicole, dam of Jocrisse and l'Olivete.
Reine Mab (by leading sire Rabelais), born in 1912, ran smack into the wartime restrictions on racing. At age two she ran second by a length to Gioconda in the Prix la Camargo (for juvenile fillies over 1000 meters); in Belgium she was unplaced in the Grand Critérium International d'Ostende. Due to wartime restrictions she did not run at age three; at age four she ran twice, placing fourth in the Critérium d'Essai at Caen and also in the Prix de Nonancourt (out of five runners). Despite this rather dismal record, she went back to Meautry as a broodmare, and proceeded to produce winner after winner, eleven in all, for Edouard de Rothschild, all by Sans Souci or one of his sons.
Four of Reine Mab's daughters established successful sub-branches of her family at Meautry. Oriane (1920-1931) won a couple of small races at Tremblay and Saint-Cloud, and was second in the Prix Fille de l'Air and two other races. At Meautry she bred Elgire, a winner for Pierre Berrier, and in 1931 Reine Isaure, her last foal, by the English stallion Blandford. Good at both ages two and three, Reine Isuare won the Prix Vanteaux at Longchamp and was second to Mary Tudor in the Prix Vermeille. She and her 1938 son by the Epsom Derby winner Coronach, Cranach, were both seized by the Nazis and taken to Germany, where she produced some foals and where Cranach ran forty times between the ages of 3 and 5, winning 11 races and placing 22 times. Both Reine Isaure and Cranach were restored to Meautry.
Cranach served as a Meautry stallion and a source of stamina, getting Flûte Enchantée (Grand Prix de Deauville and second in Grand Prix de Paris, later dam of Luthier), Ambiax (Prix Daru), Pont Levis (Prix Kergorlay), and Ombrette (Grand Prix de Vichy), among others. Three of his youngsters, bred in Germany, were born in 1946 at Meautry when their dams were recovered after the war: they were Violoncelle (Grand Prix de Saint Cloud), Ciel Etoilé (Prix Royal-Oak and Prix du Cadran), and Pas de Calais (Grand Prix de Marseille).
Reine Isaure had several foals in Germany, including La Table Ronde (1943, by the stolen Rothschild stallion Bubbles), that did not run but later had some foals in Germany and later at Meautry: Foxlove (1954, 14 wins), Gueridon (1950, 2 wins) and The Rack (1952, 11 wins on the flat and over jumps) were some of her descendants. Another Reine Isaure foal born in Germany, Reine des Fées (1944, by Marcel Boussac's confiscated stallion Pharis) was brought back to Meautry. After the Rothschild's struggle to get her (and other foals by Pharis bred in Germany out of Rothschild mares) accepted into the stud book (finally listed as by "X" in the French Stud Book), because Boussac refused to sign registration certificates for Pharis foals born in Germany, Reine des Fées had several daughters that produced winners and bred on. |
Reine Mab had two sons, Ariel (1921, 6 wins, including Prix de Lutèce, later sold to Hungary where he was a winner), and Calagrenant (1922, 4 wins, including Prix Vermout), and then produced Lanette (1923). Lanette did not run, but bred two successful broodmare daughters: Britomartis and Lanette. Britomartis ran unsuccessfully and was bought by Hervé Céran-Maillard, so her descendants, which included the wonder horse -- stayer and then steeplechaser -- Romantisme (1950, by Caldarium (a Meautry stallion that won over fences, including the prix du Président de la République and second in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, and a descendant of Justicia), were not bred at Meautry.
Lanette established the most successful branch of the Justicia family through her daughter Nanaia, by Irish St. Leger winner Kircubbin. Nanaia was a high class runner, but she only won one good race, the Prix de Lutèce at Longchamp, and three small races, but she was second in the Prix de Fontainebleau, in the Prix de Pomone, and in the Prix Vermeille (by a neck). Nanaia also spent four years in exile in Germany, producing a winning colt named Napoleon (by Brantôme) there. Back in France she bred Nessir (1937, winner of 3 races on the flat and seven over fences, and also second in the Prix Murat and the Prix Président de la République).
Nanaia's two good daughters born at Meautry were Nymphe Dicté (1935, by Two Thousand Guineas winner Diolite) and Reine Shub Ad (1939, by Brantôme). The latter, in Germany, won three races and had a foal that could not be traced when the Rothschilds recovered her. Back in France, she bred four winners, one of them, Reinarch, bred by Louis Champion after she was sold at auction in 1955. Of Rein Shub Ad's foals born at Meautry, Reine Martiale (1953, by Court Martial) won the Prix du Bois and had some good placings, and later produced Prix Robert Papin winner Reine du Chant (1970). Reine Shub Ad's other daughter born and bred at Meautry was Lucky Shoe (1954, by U.S. Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Pot O'Luck). Lucky Shoe was sold as a juvenile to Guy de Mola, and her best race was a second in the 3,000 meter handicap Prix de la Goutte d'Or at Longchamp. She later produced A Tempo (1963), a good winner of the Prix de Code and Prix Edmond Blanc, and placed in some high class races.
Nymphe Dicté was a flyer, with speed inherited from her sire Diolite. She won her debut, the Prix du Trocadéro, won over 1,000 meters at Deauville, and was second in the Prix d'Ermenonville and in the Grand Critérium behind Canot. At age three she won the Prix des Etangs (1800 meters), and was second several times, including in the Prix de Malleret. Like the rest of the Meautry mares, she was taken to Germany, as was her first foal, Nimrod (1940). She, and her daughters, bred in Gernmany and at Meautry, were responsible for many good Rothschild-bred winners.
In Germany Nymphe Dicté produced Nimburger (1941, by Téléférique, bred at Meautry but born in Germany), that won four races in Germany and after he was brought to France was a good winner over jumps. Her daughter born in Germany, La Dame Blanche (1943, by Biribi, a French-bred son of Rabelais, also taken by the Nazis), did not run; recovered for Meautry, La Dame Blanche bred six foals, the first, appropriately named L'Exile, was bred in Germany, but born at Meautry in 1947. He won the Prix du Prince de Galles and the Pont de Flandre at Longchamp, and was later sold to Chile, where he was a useful sire. La Dame Blanche's son Dragon Blanc (1950, by the recovered Brantôme), was the champion juvenile of his year, winning the Grand Critérium by a decisive six lengths. Injured before he could run at age three, he was sold to Brazil, where he was successful as a stallion.
La Dame Blanche's 1951 filly, Alba Nox, by Coaraze, won two races as a juvenile, including the Prix des Chênes at Longchamp, but could not place at age three. At Meautry she produced six foals, the best of which was White Label (1961, by Tanerko), winner of the Grand Prix de Paris, and at age four the Prix de Barbeville and the Prix Jean Prat, running second in the Prix du Cadran; he was sold to Haras de la Tuilerie as a stallion. Alba Nox had four daughters that were broodmares at Meautry: one, White Paper (1966, by Honeyway), a winner, later produced the stayer Carwhite (1974, by Caro), winner of the Prix d'Ispahan, Prix Daru, and the Prix du Prince d'Orange.
In France, Nymphe Dicté produced three more good daughters that stayed at Meautry, and one, Nymphe Ménalippe, that was sold to England and then to the U.S., where she got some winners. The Meautry daughters were Omphale (1948, by Brantôme), Dictature (1950, by Trastevere), and Dictaway (1952, by Honeyway). Omphale won over 2800 meters at Tremblay; she was a prolific broodmare, two of her best were Marella (1957 by Meautry-bred Alizier), winner of the Critérium de Saint-Cloud, the Prix Cléopatre,, and the Prix de Pomone, and Celadon (1959 by Krakatao), a grand stayer that won the Prix Kergorlay twice, the Prix Jean Prat, and the Prix Berteux. Celadon was sold to Germany as a stallion.
Dictature (1950, by Trastevere) ran at ages two and three, winning a minor race at Longchamp, and was purchased by the widow of Léon Volterra. She produced some nice horses for Mme Volterra, including Dicta Drake, who won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, and in England the Coronation Cup, running second in the Epsom Derby and third in the St. Leger. Dictature's daughter Dictaville won the Prix de la Porte de Passy, and in the stud got the good three-year-old filly Cassette, that won the Prix Penélope and Prix Royallieu for Mme. Volterra.
The third good Meautry-bred daughter of Nymphe Dicté was Dictaway (1952), winner of the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches for Guy de Rothschild, who, upon assuming management of the stud after his father's death in 1949, sent some of the Meautry mares to England in an attempt to infuse speed into the old staying lines. Dictaway's sire was Honeyway, basically a sprinter, who won the Champion Stakes, the Victoria Cup and the King George Stakes, among other races. Dictaway later produced Diatome (1962, by Sicambre) at Meautry; he won six races, including the Washington D.C. International, and was second to Reliance in both the Prix du Jockey Club and Grand Prix de Paris; he later stood as a stallion at Meautry.
Reine Mab's daughter Broceliande (1925, by La Farina) was sold to the Comte de la Rochefoucauld and the duc d'Estissac, and so passed from Rothschild ownership. She bred Foulabin (1931), winner of the Grand Prix de Bruxelles and second behind Admiral Drake in the Grand Prix de Paris. Her second foal, Housière was taken by the Germans and disappeared, but left Chrustal (1944, by Ladro), that was later a successful stallion in the Soviet Union. Her best was the great racehorse Maurépas (1937, by Aethelstan), purchased as a yearling by Jean Prat for 180,000 francs. He won the Prix La Flèche as a juvenile, but then Prat died, and he did not run again until age three, running for the Vicomtesse Vigier, when he won the Prix Pourtalès, the Prix d'Essai, and the Prix des Trois Ans (substitute Grand Prix de Paris), among other races, and at age four the Prix des Sablons (Prix Ganay), Prix Jean Prat, Prix du Cadran, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and the Prix de Chantilly. In the stud Maurépas was almost completely sterile, but he did get Camarée, winner of the One Thousand Guineas, Verdi, a 'chaser that won the Course de Haies d'Auteuil, and Marmelade, the grand-dam of Sea Bird.
Reine Mab's daughter Ygerne (1926, by La Farina) was the second-best filly of her generation (behind Mistress Ford), winning three of her six races at age two, including the Prix de Condé (beating Mieuxcé), the Prix de la Salamandre, and the Prix Morny. At age three she lost her form, and at Meautry bred just three foals before dying at age seven. Her filly Anath (1932) won once as a juvenile in six starts, and at age three won the Prix des Cars and the Prix de la Faisanderie. Anath was another Nazi victim, and bred some foals in Germany, including Lady MacBeth (1944, by Téléférique), who was caled "Annerl" in Germany; both returned to Meautry in 1946, and in 1947 Lady MacBeth dead-heated in a 1600 meter race at Deauville. Anath was sold in 1948 to Pierre Wertheimer, and she bred some good non-Meautry foals after that, including Djanet (by Djébé, Prix Maurice de Gheest and other races), that later also produced some winners.
At Meautry Lady MacBeth bred a number of foals, the best of which was Yorick (1951), a consistently good stayer that won the Prix Thebais (1-1/4 miles) as a juvenile. At age three he won a race at St. Cloud, the Prix de l'Esperance (1 mile-7 furlongs), and was second by 3/4 of a length to Popof in the Grand Prix de Paris. For some reason Guy de Rothschild shipped him off to Brazil to run in the Grand Premio de Brasil, where he finished fifth, and then he came back to France to run second to Sica Boy in the Prix Royal-Oak. After running out of the money in the Arc, he was shipped over to England, and won the Jockey Club Cup (2-1/4 miles). Although great things were expected of him the following year, his only win was the Prix Edgard Gillois. He became a useful sire of some good runners, including Esso (Prix d'Ispahan) and Aernen (in Italy winner of the Premio Parioli).
Lady MacBeth's 1950 filly Brief Candle won the Prix Hallebardier and the Prix de Reux (2800 and 2600 meters) in six starts at age three. Her best foal was the big-striding filly Timandra (1957, by the fast, handsome English stallion Court Martial), the champion three-year-old filly in France for Guy, winning four races -- the Prix Penelope, the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, the Prix de Diane, and the Prix de Chaville; her only loss was in the Arc de Triomphe, where she ran unplaced. She bred two winners, but the quality of her line did not persist.
Reine Mab's Meautry-bred daughter Fée Esterel (1929, by Cadum). She won three small races and bred five live foals, some of her time, like the other Rothschild mares of the period, lost in Germany. Her daughter, Ahseratt (1935, by Sunny Trace) was an excellent race mare that won the Poule de Deux Ans and the Prix de la Salamandre at age two, and was second in the Prix de la Forêt. At age three she won the Prix Lagrange, the Prix Vanteaux (beating Prix de Diane winner Féerie), and the Prix La Rochette, and was second in the Grand Prix du Printemps, placing in several other good races. She had been shipped to the court of Chumleigh in England for breeding, and so escaped Nazi confiscation, and remained in England throughout the war, returning to Meautry in 1946. She bred ten foals altogether, seven of which were winners, and several daughters that bred on, including Aganippe, the dam of Prix de Bois Roussel and Prix Ridgeway winner Romney. Another Asheratt daughter, Ashleen, won her only two races at 2, the Prix d'Avilly and the Prix de Villiers, and after an unsuccessful following season, was sold to Pierre Ribes, for whom she bred some good winners, including Princeline (1966), a good juvenile filly that won the Prix Morny.
Other Female Lines
There were, and are, a number other families at Meautry. Some of the older ones just died out after many generations. These included the family descending from Yagha (1902, by Dolma Baghtche), that included Meautry-bred winners Nectarine, Nephthys, Vendange and Bacchus. Another old Meautry family descended from the excellent matron Spring Night (1907, by Chesterfield), whose daughter, Spring Cleaning, produced the best older horse in France in 1928, Cadum (by Sans Souci), the stayer and leading stallion Bubbles (1925, by La Farina) and Buanderie (1924, by Sans Souci), winner of the Prix Royal-Oak and later dam of Bokbul.
Another old Meautry family descended from Ambrizette (1897, by Bona Vista), purchased by Edouard in England. Her descendants included Jus de Raison (Coupe d'Or at Maisons-Laffitte and Prix de la Forêt), Miel Rosa (La Coupe, Prix Reiset, Prix de la Tour Eiffel), and the Arc winner Eclair au Chocolat. The old Floretta (1902, by Florizel) family, part of the same turn-of-the-century infusion of new blood from England instigated by Edouard, was responsible for Prix Lupin and Prix Daru winner Floraison (1909, by Sans Souci), and Grand Critérium winner Godiche, Prix de Diane winner Flowershop, and Serre Chaude (born in Germany in 1944, by Pharis), whose dam, Vanda Teres (by Blandford) had been confiscated by the Nazis; Serre Chaude was later dam of Verrieres, the champion juvenile colt in France in 1955.
Another old family sprang from Edouard's purchase of Ormonde Stakes winner Casetta (1910, by Marco). Casetta bred Cottage, a stayer that ran in England for Edouard and was then sold to Ireland, where he became a leading sire of steeplechasers (three Grand National winners and of Cottage Rake, the three-time winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup), and through his grandson Cottage Son, a major influence in sporthorse breeding, particularly Holsteiners. Casetta's family continues to the present at Meautry, and included the stallion Alizier (1947), the stallion Le Haar (1954), and numerous other winners.
Another English mare purchased by Edouard was Captivating Stella (1917, by Captivation), who came to Meautry in 1921. She bred six winners, and a grandaughter, Voutre Celeste (1931, winner of the Prix Rieussec), bred the good stayer Ciel Etoilé (1946, by Cranach) and his half-sister Aurore Boreale (1941, by Brantôme). Aurore Boreale, an excellent matron, produced Le Geographe (1951, winner of the Grand Critérium), Tropique (1952, by Fountenay, winner of the Prix d'Harcourt and in England of the Coronation Cup and Eclipse Stakes), and L'Astrologue (1954, Prix Robert Papin). More recent winners in the family include Soleil (1969, winner of the Grand Critérium, the Prix Morny, the Poule d'Essai des Poulains and the Prix de la Porte Maillot), the top runner Lightning (1974, Prix d'Ispahan, Prix Jean Prat, Prix de la Jonchère), and Grand Prix de Paris winner Soleil Noir (1976).
A more "recent" Meautry family descends from Damasi (1953, by Djebel), bred by Marcel Boussac. Her daughter Moss Rose bred Lady Berry (1970), a winner of the Prix de Pomone and the Prix Royal-Oak, and in turn at Meautry bred four good winners for the Rothschilds, including Grand Prix de Paris winner Le Nain Jaune and Indian Rose, winner of the Prix Vermeille and Prix Cléopâtre. Groom Dancer (1978) who won the Prix Lupin, Prix de Condé, and other good races, was a grandson of Lady Berry's.