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Haras du Quesnay

Haras du Quesnay, known as "Le Quesnay", is one of the most prestigious thoroughbred horse breeding farms in France. Located about four miles (6 km) outside of the city of Deauville on 3 kmĀ², the breeding operation was established in 1907 by the wealthy American sportsman, William Kissam Vanderbilt. He sold the property to another American horseman, A. Kingsley Macomber, whose colt War Cloud won the 1918 Preakness Stakes. Macomber also met with considerale success on the race track in France, including a win in the 1923 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Prior to and during the German occupation of France in World War II, the property was left abandoned until it was acquired by prominent French horseman Alec Head in 1958, a descendant of the great trainers who founded the English Racing Colony in Chantilly, Oise. Alec Head undertook a massive restoration of the facilities and in 1959 brought in the farm's first stallion. Over the years he and his wife Ghislaine developed Haras du Quesnay into one of the leading stud farms in the country with horses acquired from across Europe and the United States.

Haras du Quesnay would be home to prominent sires and broodmares such as Sir Gaylord, 1968 Kentucky Derby winner Dancer's Image, the leading sire of broodmares in France in 1980 Le Fabuleux, Arctic Tern, Anabaa, six-time champion sire in France Highest Honor, and Numerous, a son of Mr. Prospector.

Children of Alec Head have been distinguished participants in the horse racing industry. Daughter Martine is involved with managing the farm, son Freddy was a leading jockey, and daughter Criquette Head is one of France's leading trainers and the most successful female Thoroughbred trainer in the world.

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