Haras de Gouffern

Paddocks & Facilities

Haras de Gouffern is located in the very south of the Pays d’Auge, right in the heart of the Haras National du Pin (National Stud) country, along the Ure valley. The Haras National du Pin has built its reputation on the back of its soil, which is rich in alluvium and of exceptional mineral quality. The 125 hectares property has stabling comprising 54 boxes, including 4 foaling boxes fitted with CCTV cameras and 5 stallion boxes. The stud also features a breeding shed that can be used for stallions and schooling sessions, a horse-walker, as well as a laboratory.


Jean-Pierre de Gasté purchased the stud, which he substantially renovated, in 1998. The domain was previously known as the Haras de la Vente, owned by American Lawrence Gelb, whose horses enjoyed a number of successes in France. In 1985, the stud presented at the Deauville sales a homebred yearling by Bellypha out of Indigene, a Group winning mare that had also been bred by the stud. The yearling, who was subsequently named Hard Leaf, was sold to Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum for 7 Million French Francs (around 1 Million Euros), making him the top price of the August Sale. By pure coincidence, Jean-Pierre de Gasté, who is also a bloodstock agent, was the under bidder on that day at Deauville.

Under the new management, Big Buck’s, one of Britain’s most famous national hunt champions, who won 17 Group races, including 10 Group 1 races, was bred at the stud.

Haras de La Genevraye

Paddocks & Facilities

The 450 hectares continuous estate of La Genevraye is situated in the Merlerault region, not far from the de Gouffern stud. The estate is located about 160 km from Paris and lies on the edge of a region of green pastures, filled with rich soil that has proved crucial in the success of some of the world’s most famous studs, including the Aga Khan formerly owned Haras de la Coquenne or the Wertheimer Family formerly owned Haras de Saint Léonard des Parcs. Jean-Pierre de Gasté recently took over the helm of the stud, which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment, in order to bring it up to the highest and most modern standard.


The property has been in the Gasté family and its ancestors Perier de La Genevraye since 1453. In fact, Jean-Pierre de Gasté is the 21st generation of the same family at the estate.

Etienne Pollet, who like Vincent O’Brien was one of the most important trainers of the last century, was seduced by the 250 hectares of green pastures and the exceptional setting of La Genevraye. Several of his Group 1 winners were bred at the stud, either directly for him or for his clients, including Canadel, winner of the Gr.1 Prix de la Salamandre or High Bulk, winner of the Gr.1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp. La Genevraye bred many winners over the generations, including Sémillant, winner of the Gr.1 Manhattan Handicap in the USA, as well as Amen, winner of the Gr.1 Hollywood Derby. Moreover, many stallions, including Isard II, Negofol and Monarch, took up stallions duties at the stud.

The de la Genevraye and de Gasté men

About two hundred years ago, the La Genevraye stud was the stronghold of Count Louis Achille Périer de la Genevraye, Jean-Pierre de Gasté’s ancestor, who was immortalizedI in literature by Jean de La Varende and in the cinema by Jean Marais. Officer in the service of the First Empire at the end of the Napoleonic wars, he was made a knight of the legion of honour for his courageous efforts during the battle of Montmirail. On the 13th March 1814, during the seizure of Reims, he received “thirteen terrible injuries” and was “left for dead on the battlefield”. He survived but was severely disfigured. He retired to his birth place La Genevraye and remained hidden from view until a craftsman had made him a mask of leather, which earned him the nickname “Leathernose”. Fond of racing and breeding, he helped re-establish the Haras Du Pin racecourse, created a dressage school at Sées and started breeding thoroughbred horses at his La Genevraye property.

Following the tradition, other family members have contributed to the development of the racing and breeding industry in France. In 1916, Maurice de Gasté, husband of “Leathernose’s” grand-daughter and great-grandfather of Jean-Pierre, founded the Breeder’s Association and introduced the first Breeders’ Premiums. And in 1974, as the President of the Breeders, Pierre de Gasté, Jean-Pierre’s father, created the Owners’ Premiums. These premiums are the “pillars” of the current French racing and breeding system.

Achille Perrier de La Genevraye
Maurice de Gasté
Pierre de Gasté