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Adriana van Tilburg

François Roemer, breeder, stallionman and founder of the Haras de Courthioust: a passionate man dedicated to the French blood

A true horseman, François Roemer is the head of the Haras de Courthioust. It is with his stallionman's eye that he answered the questions of the journalist Adriana van Tilburg. She gives us a portrait of a passionate man talking to us about his three champions on Ekestrian Stallions, Ekestrian's marketplace of coverings and straws.

Why and how did you become interested in horse breeding and more specifically in the stallion profession?

Breeding horses has always been a vocation and a passion. At the beginning, it was parallel to all my activities in the sector, namely as a rider, trainer and stud manager. It has become my main activity since I moved to the Haras de Courthioust. 


What led you to choose your current stallions? 

When choosing my stallions, I always look for blood, balance, mentality, courage, energy, jumping ability, elegance and locomotion. 


Do you hope to breed a stallion?

Yes, of course, but the competition is very high nowadays! A stallion is the result of an increasingly strict selection process.


What are the main qualities/characteristics of your stallions?  What made you believe in the qualities of your stallions?

Saigon Rouge has many qualities, including courage, drive, balance, blood and elegance, all of which are reflected in his unusual genetics and his Selle Français Originel status.

Clapton is distinguished by his model, his ease of use, his character, his sporting abilities (performing 1.60m), his exceptional genetics, his very good fertility, his suppleness and his locomotion. It should be noted that Clapton does not produce chestnut horses. 

Mr Fly de Landette is from a very interesting crossbreed. He is a horse characterised by his courage and energy. He has very good fertility and brings strength and presence to his offspring. He is a worthy representative of the Selle Français Originel. 

Depending on the qualities sought, even if many are common, they can correspond to a very large herd of mares! They are all 3 modern horses and correspond to the criteria sought after in today's sport! They are distributed fresh, which for the quality of these stallions is quite rare. These 3 stallions are improvers and strongly mark their offspring!

Access the video of Mr Fly de Landette on

Do your stallions have any particularities they pass on to their offspring? 

Saigon Rouge tends to be feminine and light with blood, respect and a lot of class. Clapton generally produces very harmonious horses, extremely easy to work with, with a normal size and quite muscular. Mr Fly de Landette produces horses with strength, jumping quality, courage and blood. It is advisable to prefer mares with a good front style. 


Saïgon Rouge, CSI4* 1.45m of Bourg-en-Bresse and Winner of the Carrosserie Douguy Grand Prix.


What type(s) of mares correspond(s) to the characteristics of your stallions? What is your advice on crossbreeding?

It is preferable to associate Saigon Rouge with mares having frame and size, mass and strength, and/or lacking blood and chic. The same applies to Mr Fly de Landette for mares that lack blood but also courage, strength and will. On the contrary, Clapton is best suited for mares with blood (or even a little stiffness) and complicated.


What major characteristics/qualities do your stallions pass on to their offspring?

Saigon Rouge brings 3 major qualities to his offspring. A certain chic mixed with a great respect without forgetting a strong presence of blood! Clapton transmits model, suppleness, ease of use, and locomotion. The sons and daughters of Mr Fly de Landette are distinguished above all by their courage, strength, chic and will.


How do your stallions behave on a daily basis? What is their character? What is their relationship with man?

Saigon Rouge is an intelligent horse with a lively personality but without any malice or vice.  Clapton is an extremely easy-going horse, he is a sweetheart! Mr Fly de Landette is a stallion who shows presence and responsiveness while being extremely gentle in character.


Can you tell us the history and anecdotes of your stallions?

Saigon Rouge represents everything you want from a sire: modernity, blood and jumping ability. His damline is highly rated for jumping. At 8 years old, he was already winning over 1.50m: he is a very combative and courageous horse.  As for Mr Fly, he has had a great sporting and sentimental history with his owner, with whom he started at the age of 4 and who took him to Grand Prix level. Clapton is a very endearing horse who won in GP 1.60m and then accompanied a young rider on the junior circuit. He's a one of my favourite horses and he is a chic horse above all!


Clapton, CSI Arenzo Grand Prix, CSI4* 1.60m


What is your proudest moment in your stallion career?

My greatest memory is the management of Sarastro's stallion career. This period was full of good and emotional moments.

As a reminder, Sarastro was an Anglo Complementary stallion, son of Nightko by Dark Tiger PS and the very good AA Dalila IV by Laurier. Sarastro has very interesting bloodlines for breeding with Laurier, Furioso and Nithard. His damline is extraordinary with two French GP CSO Champion granddams.

Sarastro has left his mark on the Anglo-Arabian breed thanks to his victories in Grand Prix show jumping. He was an exceptional horse who showed multiple qualities: mental, balance, strength, locomotion and suppleness. His abilities made him a very good sire, both in show jumping and in eventing.  Sarastro was one of the Top 10 French stallions in his time!


How do you see the future of breeding, where are we going? Are we losing blood in the damlines? Do we need new blood in the lines, if so which ones?

There is a gradual loss of Selle Français blood with the important mixing of foreign blood in France. This is why we are seeing the rise of breeds claiming the quality of French blood: SFO and Anglo-Norman. 
In my opinion, SF breeding must not forget to bring back selected blood from the thoroughbred and the Anglo-Arabian, which is the basis of our breed. The usefulness of French blood must be rediscovered as before.  The modern sport horse remains a blood horse, courageous and spontaneous like the Selle Français horse.

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