• Sela Francês
  • REG: 60011039J
  • 00/00/1972
  • Castanho - 1,73m
  • Aprovado por: SF
  • Percentual XX/OX: 28,33%

The mighty Galoubet ranked third on the WBFSH standings for 2000/2001, largely on the basis of his son Baloubet du Rouet who won three World Cup finals in a row (Helsinki 1998, Gteborg 1999, Las Vegas 2000) as well as team bronze at Sydney - although this performance was over-shadowed by his failure to win the individual gold medal when to the shock and the dismay of the crowd he stopped three times and was eliminated in the final. But Galoubet is certainly not a one horse wonder in the sires stakes. He has a string of top horses to his credit. Horses like Caloubet du Rouet (ridden byJean-Marc Nicolas and Robert Smith) or his full-brother, Quatoubet (ridden by Roger-Yves Bost), and second in the Grand Prix of Aachen in 1990.

Or the three top American bred progeny of Thoroughbred mares, The Developer (with Hap Hansen), UGrand Jete (ridden by Donald Cheska) and Galouway (with Debbie Stephens). Then there is Gatoubet du Rouet who was second at Aachen with Roger-Yves Bost, beaten by the mighty combination of Thomas Frhmann and Grandeur. Galoubets son Quick Star was a real star with Meredith Michaels, and now is the sire of another superstar, Stella - also ridden by Meredith. One of Quick Stars progeny sold for DM2.8 million at the 1999 PSI Auction.
Yet, like so many of the great stallions, Galoubet almost didnt make it. He was unfashionably bred, being out of a trotter mare, Viti. Apparently Viti was not fast enough to race and she was sold to Mrs Collette Lefrant who decided to take her showjumping. The chestnut was tall enough at 170 cms and despite her heritage, she had a good canter and wonderful form over a jump, but her rather inelegant head was proof of her parentage. Her sire was Nystag, an honest trotter, but no super-star- he was later to stand at the St-L Stud. Nystag was by Abner, who was also the sire of Jasmin, who was a star and twice the World Champion. Perhaps more interestingly, Vitas dam, Ida de Boureouin was by Boum III by Obok, and Obok was the dam sire of individual gold medalist at the 1964 Games, Lutteur B. Other exceptional jumpers out of trotter mares include Halla and Jappeloup.

Viti was a difficult horse to ride, and retired to the life of a brood mare, producing 13 foals including Galoubet. Galoubets sire was Alm, one of the all time great jumping stallions. Alm competed internationally with Franois Mathy and Johan Heins at a time when it was unusual for a stallion to both compete and stand at stud. Alm stood four seasons in France producing exceptional sons - Grand dEscla, Galoubet, Jalisco and I Love You - before he was snared by Lon Melchior and moved to his Zangersheide stud in Belgium. There, Alm was to found a dynasty. Stallions such as Alexis Z, Ahorn Z and Athlet Z have spread Alms influence throughout Europe, and into almost all the German studbooks.

Viti visited Alm in his first season at stud, and although the resulting colt foal was good-looking, Galoubet was still obviously out of a trotter mare, and was rejected as a two year old at the stallion selection. Luckily he was not gelded, but started in the Classic Cycle classes for five year olds. In May 1977 he was competing with Benoit Mauriac in the saddle when he caught the eye of top showjumping rider, Gilles Bertran de Balanda who had been asked by Jean Franois Pellegrin to find him a top class young stallion. De Balinda decided to seek a second opinion, and asked Nelson Pessoa what he thought of the young Galoubet - and the great Brazilian rider advised him not to buy! Still Pellegrin bought the horse, and de Balinda took over his training, and a few months later the pair won the five year old final at Fontainebleau.

As a seven year old Galoubet started to compete internationally where his spectacular jump (and notorious bucks after the jump) won him a legion of fans. Galoubet won the Grand Prix at Wiesbaden, and placed 15th at the European Championships. The pair also took out the French national title that year.

In 1980, Galoubet continued to win in the Nations Cups - in Aachen, Chaudefontaine, Longchamp and Toronto (second in New York). He was eighth at the World Cup final in Baltimore, and eighth at the Alternative Olympic Games in Rotterdam. The following season Galoubet won three World Cup qualifiers in a row at Antwerp, sHertogenbosch and Dortmund, only to lose the final in Birmingham where it seems his reputation for not being so good with triple bars proceeded him. He duly lost the final at a triple! In truth the stallions performance had also suffered when he commenced stud duties in the lead up to the Final, but breeding was more important to the owner than competition success.

Following a brilliant performance at the World Championships in Dublin in 1982 - where he was part of the gold medal winning team and just missed the four horse jump-off - Galoubets owner, Jean-Franois Pelligrin retired the stallion to stud at the age of ten.

Galoubet was one of the first horses in France - and the world - to make use of the new technique of AI. The French National Stud did a deal with Pellegrin at the end of 1980, when AI became legal, and he was allowed a total of 160 mares - 100 in France, 60 abroad, at a fee of 5,000 French Francs. In those days the top fee for a stallion at the national stud was 400 Francs and the critics had a field day - both the price and the use of the AI technology doomed the venture to failure.

As a result of that first season, 60 foals (out of 120 mares) were born - the Q generation, since they were all given names beginning with that letter. In 1982 he bred no mares, concentrating on competition, and in 1983, after retiring covered 110 mares for 48 S foals. Many of the top breeders shunned the horse and the new method of insemination, but the results were extraordinary. Twelve of the Qs became licensed stallions, and nearly all of them jumped internationally.

Qredo de Paulstra jumped internationally with Xavier Leredde and went on to sire 14 stallion sons of his own, while Quick Star, out of a famous jumping mare, Stella (campaigned by Phillipe Jouy and Nelson Pessoa) had a wonderful international career with German based American rider, Meredith Michaels, now Meredith Beerbaum, who is currently having huge success with another Stella, by Quick Star.

But the French breeders were reluctant to pay the high service fee, and 1983 was a disappointing year for Pellegrin with only 65 mares in Galoubets book. Meg Douglas-Hamilton of Hamilton Farm in the United States, was a Galoubet fan, and asked Jack Le Goff to make an offer for the horse. Pellegrin thought the offer too low, but eventually agreed to sell a 40% share in the stallion, and he moved to the USA. The rest of the shares were spread among breeders in France.

Hamilton Farm was a specialist in the field of chilled semen, and arranged to fly semen to France. The semen was collected in the evening, and arrive the following morning in France. Out of 20 mares bred this way, ten successfully produced foals. There is a wonderful story of the Dutch breeder, Weipke van der Lageweg, who wished to breed two of his mares to Galoubet, and so drove them from the north of Holland to the Paris airport and inseminated them on the spot with semen just off the transatlantic airliner!

Curiously, Galoubet in America seemed more attractive to the French mare owners than Galoubet in France, and demand for his chilled semen grew. Soon the offspring were making his name in the jumping rings - Si Jolie II (Godignon), Sieur de Salines (Mathy), In the USA there was The Developer, U'Grand Jete and Galoway, in Switzerland, Quivient de Boisy and Hildon Sorain, and in Ireland, Touchdown - who was a good performer but who achieved lasting fame as the sire of World Champion Liscalgot.

It was certainly not love at first sight when Rodrigo Pessoa met up with Galoubet's megastar - Baloubet: "When I saw Baloubet getting out of the lorry, I said to myself 'what on earth is that thing?' He was gangling and uncoordinated. We made him jump but no more, he was too green. The next day, just to clear our conscience we had another look at him. Well I did, because my father insisted. And I was stunned. All the mistakes he had been making the day before had vanished. He had been thinking things over during the night and had found the answers. It was unbelievable. A really unusual intelligence which is still working well for me today in competition." (quoted in Pascal Renauldon's tribute to Galoubet in the Annuaire Monneron 2003 -
At the age of 30 Galoubet lives in semi-retirement in America, cared for by Meg Douglas-Hamilton, who has had him for the past 20 years.

Galoubet has not only been a very good sire in his own right, but also appears to be a sire of sires, aside from Baloubet and Quick Star, there are Qredo de Paulstra (sire of Quattro who stands at the Bckmann stud in Oldenburg), Quiniou (sire of French team horse at the Sydney Games, Barbarian) and the Belgian stallion, Skippy II whose progeny are making their mark on the international stage. He has also proven a good sire of broodmares.

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