May 13th & 14th: WEEK-END OF THE ABU DHABI POULES D’ESSAI

For the second consecutive year, Deauville is about to welcome new stars of the Turf on the occasion of the prestigious "Abu Dhabi Poules d’Essai des Poulains et des Pouliches" (Abu Dhabi Poules d’essais competition for colts and fillies), a weekend focused on speed and excellence in a town in which the equestrian world is essential.

© Sandrine Boyer Engel
© Sandrine Boyer Engel

THE BEST PROMISES ON TRACK

The “Poules d’Essai des Poulains et des Pouliches”, two races organized by France Galop, host the best promises of the 3-year-old equestrian generation. These two traditional races will be back to the Paris-Longchamp racecourse in spring 2018, for its reopening to the public after renovation.

2017 offers a unique opportunity to the public to go to Deauville-La Touques racecourse, welcoming equestrian records since 1864, to discover or rediscover high-level competitions taking place at the heart of a region internationally recognized for high-quality breeding and sales. The “Abu Dhabi Poules d’Essai” this year is part of the Epiqe séries circuit. The best English thoroughbred horses will compete in two steps on the 1600-m-long impressive right-line track of Deauville. Two races are planned: the “Poule d’Essai des Pouliche” on Saturday, May 13th and the “Poule d’Essai des Poulains” on Sunday, May 14th.

© Sandrine Boyer Engel

AN EXTRAORDINARY WEEK-END

SPRING COMPETITIONS
The public was glad to participate to the first “Poules d’Essai” of Deauville in 2016.
11,230 people attended these competitions for two days, under the sun, and got closer to the prominent new generation athletes.

They could assist to the nice performance of jockey Ryan Moore riding an Irish colt, The Gurkha, during the “Poule d’Essai des Poulains” event of 2016. Considered as one of the finest athletes in the equestrian world, he obtained in December the title of Longines World Best Jockey, at the end of an extraordinary year in which he also won the Qatar Prix of the “Arc de Triomphe”.

Born and bred in Normandy, at the Haras de la Cauvinière, situated 50 km away from Deauville, La Cressonnière was laureate of the “Poule d’Essai des Pouliches” in 2016. After then, this filly maintained her momentum, winning on the following month the “Prix de Diane Longines”. Currently back on her native lands, La Cressonnière is likely to become the mother of future champions.

THE CYCLE OF RACES
So goes the cycle of races, in which champions that are supposed to become the natural father or mother of future generations are tested.

"You breed the best to the best and hope for the best" as an English maxim says. The breeding of thoroughbred horses is the combination of a rigorous selection carried out on the racecourses to “cross the best with the best” and some luckiness to “hope for the best”.

Race horses’ breeding is not an exact science. During (yearling or breeze-up) sales, potential buyers make their choices, selecting young horses that have never competed before. The race performances of their genitors and the success of their first sons are also factors contributing to increase or decrease the price of young recruits.

FUTURE COMPETITORS AT THE AUCTION HALL

Arqana organizes at the Elie de Brignac hall yearling sales (2-year-old horses) in August, October and December.
In 2016, it decided to organize the breeze-up sale, usually taking place in the Paris region, during the “Poules d’Essai” weekend in Deauville. Colts and fillies sold during the Breeze-up are ridden and presented on the stage the day before the auction. Intensive gallop is required to convince future buyers.
This first edition of Breeze-up in Deauville has broken all records with a turnover that was for the first time higher than 10 million euros, median prices, and an unprecedented percentage of sold horses, without forgetting a top sale: 800,000 euros.
This year, more than 130 horses are included to these sales, starting on May 12 at 2 pm, and open to the public.
Public galloping or breeze-up, giving their name to the sale, will take place on the day before, on May 11, from 12 am at the Deauville - La Touques racecourse.

NEW SPONSOR AND ARABIAN THOROUGHBRED HORSES ON TRACK
The “Poules d’Essai” competition and sales have acquired a new partner: the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. Abu Dhabi and its neighbour Dubai are 2 of the 7 Emirates known as United Arab Emirates. The weekend program is enrichened on this occasion by a race reserved to Arabian thoroughbred horses: The President of the UAE Cup – Coupe d’Europe des Chevaux Arabes.

DID YOU KNOW THAT?
The English thoroughbred horse was born across the Channel from the crossing between local mares and three stallions imported from the Middle East: Byerley Turk, Darley Arabian and Godolphin Arabian. The majority of flat gallop races are reserved to English thoroughbred horses, but there is also a program of races for Arabian horses including almost 800 competitions every year.

THE CALENDAR OF THE WEEKEND
- Thursday, May 11: Breeze-Up Arqana – presentation of ridden horses at 12 am at the Deauville-La Touques racecourse,
- Friday, May 12: Breeze Up sale at 2 pm at the ARQANA auction hall.
- Saturday, May 13: beginning of the operations at 1 pm, first race at 2 pm with the Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Pouliches Gr.1 having the top billing.
- Sunday, May 14: starting of the operations at 1:30 pm, first race at 2 pm with the Abu Dhabi Poule d’Essai des Poulains, the Gurkha Coolmore Prix Saint-Alary Gr.1 and The President of the UAE Cup - Coupe d’Europe des Chevaux Arabes Groupe 1 having the top billing.