Etienne & Grégoire Leenders Race-horse trainers

The news

March 2019


Good comeback race…

… of FARAFRA at Nantes on March 6th in Prix Souviens Toi, a race for 4 and 5 year-old AQPS (non-thoroughbred) in which she finished 2nd.     

  Ridden by Sébastien Martino, she started at the back of the field, because this filly has a lot of energy and needs to start off the pace.

Unfortunately in the far straight, a horse came close to her and put pressure on her, she took her bit and soon found herself close to the lead earlier than planned. In the finishing straight, the winner came next to her… and beat her by a length. We are satisfied with this come back because FARAFRA was not 100% ready and this race will do her good

 Next step: in 3 weeks Prix d’Estruval, a GR III for fillies and mares only.


He doesn’t like…


  BLUSHING BERE finished 5th in Prix des Jonquilles at Nantes on March 5th. As he couldn’t run at Chantilly on the all-weather track because Mr. BLUSHING hates that race-course, the choice of entries was reduced. Therefore we chose Nantes…unfortunately it had rained hard for 4 days… and the ground was very heavy.   

 Sébastien Martino told us that he made many mistakes, slipped…but nevertheless he ran well even if we know that he is better than what he showed and this race will put him forwards for his future entries.


Satisfying comeback

At Auteuil on March 3rd, RADIOLOGUE finished 3rd in Prix Karcimont, the Sunday “quinté” (race in which the punters have to find the first five) ridden by Clément Lefebvre.

It was a comeback race after two months off. Therefore, the orders were to start off the pace and get closer nice and quiet in the last five furlongs. Everything went fine, but at the first fence of the far straight, a horse fell in his legs….breathing space!! Clément said: “I closed my eyes, thinking it was finished”!! But no, RADIOLOGUE managed to stay on his legs…but had to make big efforts to be back in the race. This incident cost us a better place!                                                                                                                                                    

Next step: Prix Lutteur III on March 24th.


Inaccurate race

Our EVORA didn’t run well at Auteuil on March 3rd. She was stopped by her jockey Clément Lefebvre.   

  But this estimated mare has excuses: there were two false starts which didn’t suit her. Actually, Clément told us: “After the first false start, she got tetanized, she trembled…and after the second false start, she was even more panicked and during the race she was not at it at all!!”

We have to see her again as she was not the mare we know!



At Argentan on March 3rd, SELFIE finished 3rd in a chase for 5 year-old horses. 

  Ridden by Mathieu Delage, she performed a very good first turn around, jumping well. Then another horse crossed her way in the diagonal and as a consequence, she made a mistake. Because of her inexperience, she found it hard to start again and the jockey preferred to keep her going to finish the race.

SELFIE is a mare we like, she should soon open her records in this discipline.



…on March 2nd at Deauville finished 3rd in Prix de Branville, a claimer over 2700m (1 mile and 5 ½ furlongs).  

 The race started very slowly, the horses were hacking around and this rhythm didn’t suit TRANCOSO who pulled for a part of the race.        

  Her amateur rider, Maëlle Le Levreur, managed to hold him but the horse got tired being on the bit.                                                                                                                                                                                               

Nevertheless when the race was launched… TRANCOSO finished perfectly at the 3rd place, only beaten by little for the 2nd one.

A horse to follow in his next entries.

February 2019


What a jumper!

DEAUSEILLE pleased her owners, the syndicate Le Mors Aux Dents, when finishing 4th in a cross-country race over 4600m (2 miles and 7 furlongs).       

Ridden by Stéphane Paillard, she discovered the difficult cross-country course of Fontainebleau which is technical and demanding…     

She ran well but unfortunately at the fence called “chapeau de gendarme”, she was impeded by a competitor but thanks to the equilibrist qualities of Stéphane, she didn’t part from her jockey!    

 And after this mistake she had to be launched again and it is always difficult to catch up the lost meters.

She is a good recruit for this discipline!


Good first time out

At Fontainebleau, FINE FLEUR D’ALENE ran first time out in a bumper: a flat race over 3000m (1 mile and 7 furlongs). Ridden by Sébastien Martino, she finished 5th. She ran well because she met more experienced horses. She is meant to go jumping and to have been able to run first time out in this type of race will put her forward.

FINE FLEUR D’ALENE is by Network out of Ocarina d’Alène and she was bred in Nièvre by her owners Louis and Florence Couteaudier.


Back to Anjou

FRANSLEEN finished 2nd, beaten by his stable mate Flairon, at Angers in Prix Lurçat, a hurdle race for 4 year-old maiden horses. 


Ridden by Stéphane Paillard, FRANSLEEN jumped particularly well (nearly too well) and therefore he will soon go chasing.

When they accelerated, he was a bit short of speed but nevertheless kept his position. FRANSLEEN is 4 and was bred by us. He is by No Risk At All and is the first foal of his dam Quristine.

He belongs to Loic and Benjamin Glemin.


A good horse

On February 17th, FLAIRON ran over jumps for the first time at Angers and won with class. Ridden by Clément Lefebvre, he started at the back of the field, came closer in the far straight, took the lead outside the last bend, performed a very nice finishing straight and won by 6 lengths.

Clément was very enthusiastic:  !” What a horse! If I wanted I could have won by more!”

Together with Douglas McMillan, we bought this son of Khalkevi at the horse show of Decize (in Nièvre) from his breeder JN Tige.


Good first time out…

… for OR GRIS !

On February 17th at Machecoul in a maiden race for 3 year-olds, he finished 3rd ridden by Damien Bone. He was very green and ran like a big baby. This first race will put him forward.

We followed his first race with a lot of attention as we bred him and he is the first foal of his dam Caprice Flore (and is by Gris de Gris). OR GRIS comes from a good family in which you have Caprice Meill, Renneti, etc… classic horses in France and in Ireland!! We are looking forward to his next race!


He is back to himself!

Easy win of BLUSHING BERE at Pornichet on February 6th in Prix d’Houat: a handicap for 5 year-olds and over on a mile and a half.

Ridden in the middle of the field by Maryline Eon, BLUSHING went easy all around. In the finishing straight, Maryline managed to get him out of the rail side and made him finish well, he won by half a length.

Cherry on the cake: it was the first winner of the year and Etienne’s birthday!

January 2019


Is improving

At Pau on January 26th, EVORA finished 2nd in Prix Saint Armou: a hurdle race for 5 year-olds over 3800m (2 miles and 3 furlongs).

Ridden with a lot of confidence by Clément Lefebvre, EVORA was far more serious over the hurdles than first time out when she was too keen and did everything wrong.

We want to congratulate her morning riders who managed to settle her down. Therefore, she has now understood her job and has become professional. In short, she is a good filly and a good jumper able to finish well.


The going didn’t suit him…

DUR A CUIRE is not a horse who likes sticky or heavy ground. At Pau on January 20th, he was 5th in Prix Jean et René Couétil: a cross-country race over 4100m (2 miles and 4 ½ furlongs).   

  Ridden by Stéphane Paillard, he jumped very well, but in between the fences he was not at ease and slipped.                             

  It was only his 2nd cross-country race and he met very experienced horses, therefore it was quite difficult for him.                                        

 But we are not worried for his future because there are many cross-country races in our area and when you are called DUR A CUIRE (a tough nut) you are not afraid of anything! You go forward!


We are re-assured!

TRANCOSO finished 2nd at Pornichet on January 12th in Prix Dinghy, a flat race over a mile and a half, ridden by Sébastien Martino.

This “idol with feet of clay” didn’t run much as his legs are fragile and you can’t make a racing plan for him… Therefore we were thrilled with this race because we like to see him performing…he is so beautiful!! 


A nice race!

At Pau on January 9th, EVORA finished 2nd in Prix Baradat: a hurdle race for 5 year-olds over 3500m (2 miles and 1 ½ furlong). We are re-assured as she missed her debut over jumps (she fell at the third hurdle).

She was ridden with a lot of confidence by Clément Lefebvre. When they were off, she started at the back (those were the instructions because she is brilliant and has a tendency to do too much…therefore the jockey has to be careful). When they started to accelerate, EVORA jumped well and seemed at ease.

When the field got out of the last bend, EVORA was still far back. Then she performed a magnificent finishing straight! She has quality and will certainly be directed towards Auteuil. 


How impressive!

TRUCO ran first time out at Deauville on January 4th, he finished 3rd ridden by Sébastien Martino. In Prix Barelière, a maiden race for 3 year-olds over 1900m (9 furlongs and a half), they started at the back of the field. Out of the bend, he was still in the same position when Sébastien plunged along the inside rail and the machine TRUCO started and performed a fabulous finishing straight. When getting off, Sébastien said: “A fantastic turn of foot!!”

This beautiful horse is by Sepoy out of Tropa de Elite was bred by his owner Arthur Mendes at Haras du Mézeray. We are already looking forward to seeing him again!


Always in the frame…

... our TINARILOU!

She finished 5th, but quite close to the first four horses and therefore she missed a better place by very little.

Ridden by Sébastien Martino , she might have started too well and too close to the horses in the lead… and in the finishing straight she might have attacked a bit too early…

She will now have a few weeks’ holidays to recuperate and have a rest and then be able to come back in full form.

And as one of her owners Jean-Paul Transon says: they will be well deserved holidays!!


Comeback races for…

TRANCOSO and BLUSHING BERE at Deauville on January 3rd in Prix Swain.

They didn’t finish in the frame…but both had excuses: TRANCOSO ridden by Damien Bone was off for 2 years (a tendon) and BLUSHING BERE ridden by Geoffrey Boughaita was stopped for a year (a tendon).

They were quite rusty and had lost the racing rhythm, but if we manage to have them back to what they used to be, we’ll enjoy ourselves with them because they are good horses with attractive personalities!