Frédéric and Marie Busquet: Family is the DNA of Ellipse stables
In this second part of this report, we travel around Marie and Frédéric Busquet’s estate to discover the history and meet the horses and riders which animate daily life at the Ellipse stables.
When Marie arrived in Malville with her parents, the property only had 40 boxes. "In our family, we have always had pleasure horses; we were looking for land for them. Nantes is a region where there are few places for owners with proper facilities. There was a demand for such facilities, so we said to ourselves: 'If we are going to build 10 boxes, we might as well build more to accommodate owners' horses'," explains Marie Busquet, who at that time learned everything there is to know about running a stable.
With the arrival of her husband Frédéric, the stable gradually expanded to include a competition stable, broodmare boxes for breeding and a small vet clinic. Today, Marie supervises everything with her "…external view that allows for the coordination of each branch…" and she takes care of the breeding side with Alexandre Bouvet, the stable manager.
Walking by the foal paddocks, Marie explains why they like to use embryo transfer with their sport mares for their breeding program. "I think it's great to be able to have the opportunity to do it. When we have a competition mare with great genetics, we have always thought it’s too bad we don't have anyone to follow on from her," says Marie. The home clinic here is very important. "It’s necessary to avoid all the comings and goings at the veterinary school in Nantes. It doesn’t allow us to perform surgery, but we really wanted to have a dedicated and secure place to treat the horses. We don't want to have a big breeding program but the semen is here and the veterinarians are able to intervene on the spot," she concludes.
Regarding the competition team, Frédéric has gradually handed it over to Robin Le Squeren. "Having him by my side means that I’m not frustrated that I’ve stopped competing at the highest level," says Frédéric Busquet. "He has been with us for 12 years. He’s like part of the family and has taken over from me. Even though Robin is more oriented towards the training of young horses, we still keep one or two horses for him to climb the ladder to the top level." Robin Le Squeren adds: "When I arrived, I didn't necessarily know if I wanted to become a professional rider and Frédéric passed his passion on to me. I feel like everything that we’re doing is continuing on from what Frédéric has put in place." Julien Vincent has also been based at the Ellipse stables for three years, and is a trainer that also works with some of Robin's horses, which makes for a very interesting collaboration. "More and more show jumpers are realizing that it is just as good to work with trainers on the flat, without doing pure dressage. This collaboration between dressage and show jumping riders is great," explains Julien Vincent.
"Today, I have a stable that works very well with my young horse rider, Robin, a dressage rider, Julien Vincent, owners, a breeding portion and the organization of some competitions. I have personally withdrawn from competition, but I still want to keep this place going, so I developed an agricultural business based mainly around vermiculture," the perfect summary done by Frederic himself!
See you tomorrow, for our last part of this report with Frédéric Busquet, who will meet us in his rape fields.
Photo credit: Léa Tchilinguirian