Henri Levesque (1908-1978) was born in the Manche region in Vindefontaine and, like his father, was originally a cattle breeder,while taking part in local horse races for pleasure. In 1930 he started driving as an amateur, then after the War he decided to set up a racing stable and turned pro, assisted by his nephew François Brohier.
He succeeded beyond all expectations, first with Icare IV (Prix du ‘Président’, Critérium des 5 ans) who he sold to Italy, then with Masina (1961 Prix d’Amérique, Prix de Cornulier twice), Oscar R L (Prix de Paris twice), Quovaria (Prix de Cornulier), Upsalin (Prix d’Amérique), Vaccarès II (Critériums des 3 et 4 ans), Hadol du Vivier (Critériums des 3 et 4 ans) etc., not forgetting the best of all, Roquépine (3 Prix d’Amérique, 2World Championships, 2 Elitloppet).
A great horseman, friendly (everyone called him ‘Mr Henri’) and superstitious, Henri Levesque is Prix d’Amériquerecord holderas trainer-owner-breeder with 5 wins. And he was an outstanding salesman too.For example, as a firm believer in genetics, he paid a lot for broodmares Jalna IV and Glamour II who were both daughters of champion mare Sa Bourbonnaise. He kept the former, but immediately sold Glamour II in Italy. Jalna IV foaled Roquépine who was subsequently covered by leading American stallion Star’s Pride (he loved the US and its trotters)and she, in turn,foaled Florestan, a future top stallion and an excellent sire of dams in France.
His son-in-law Maurice de Folleville described him as: “Friendly, intelligent and open-minded, with attitude and good manners, but above allpossessing great knowledge when it came to horses.”