Etienne & Grégoire Leenders Race-horse trainers

The news


They are growing… they are growing!

The nice weather we have this week suits mares and foals perfectly as they can go out to the pastures. At the end of the winter it is a pleasure for them to move around but also to eat the first spring grass which is a change with the dry food (hay) they ate all winter…

Our foal is happy to go out a little bit longer every day and… what about TROTOT who needs to walk and who starts being fed up in her box with this little cheeky boy who doesn’t stop annoying her… 

  For your information, foals are weaned when they are between 5 and 6 months, and sometimes earlier because some mares have no more milk.


Good come back race…

…for OR GRIS at Saint-Cloud on March 15th in the “quinté” (big handicap) for 4 year-olds over a mile and a half. He finished 5th ridden by Alexis Badel.

He started in 2nd, 3rd position… and the race was regular. OR GRIS is a very easy horse that you can place anywhere in the field.

Alexis chose to attack outside the last bend because he didn’t want to find himself blocked behind a “dead” horse. Although he came a bit too soon, OR GRIS performed a nice finishing straight but weakened in the last 100m (half a furlong).  

 Debriefing: “Not quite ready but nevertheless a good come back race!”



We had a message from the race-course of Argentan: “Races of March 15th are cancelled because of climate conditions

. It rained a lot and the track was waterlogged.”   

  I wanted to give you this piece of information for you to understand that in our job, we are dependent upon situations that we don’t master!


He re-assured us!

FEU D’ARTIFICE is a horse we have esteem for… 

 After his very easy win at Pau, he had 3 bad races… ( fell twice and unplaced once).  

   We chose to run him at Auteuil which is a racecourse more adapted for the big mover that he is. Ridden by Ludovic Philipperon, he finished 3rd, not beaten much for the second place. 

 Report from Ludovic: “we should have been second, but I was badly hampered by the fall of a competitor in the far straight and it took FEU D’ARTIFICE two hurdles to find his balance back.

On top of that, the horse who finished second was helped by the inside rail. As far as I am concerned, I couldn’t rely on the rail because my horse is very left-handed.”

 To follow in his next races.


A good filly

SHAKEYLYA ran second time out and finished 5th at Fontainebleau on March 5th. It was a maiden race for 3 year-old fillies over 2200m (1m3f) and the company was quite good.  

 Ridden by Théo Bachelot, she behaved well but weakened a bit mid-straight.  

 Commentary of Théo: “the filly is interesting but she has to mature… Anyway, she is serious and very professional!”      

  As far as we are concerned, we like her very much!


Are we going to find…

…our “little girl” back? TINARILOU was 5th at Fontainebleau in a claimer for 5 year-olds and upwards.

 She was very well ridden by Axelle Nicco, was well placed all around and finished well. Anyway, we had the impression that she was back to her fighting self…   

  When we manage to understand that horses are not machines… everything will go better!!


On very heavy ground…

…on March 1st at Saint Brieuc, EBENE SACREE ran in a hurdle race for 5 year-olds and upwards over 3800m (2m3f).

 She ran well because she is a good jumper but as her jockey Marc Olivier Belley told us “she found it hard to finish on this very heavy ground which didn’t seem to suit her.”  

 You will probably tell me that grounds were very heavy everywhere and it was the same for all horses. OK, but there are “swimmers” and other ones!!     

 You have to adapt to each horse…


He prefers the race-course of Angers!!

Good second place of MAINVILLIERS on February 27th at Angers in a hurdle race: a handicap for 5 year-olds over 3800m (2m3f).  

 Ridden by Marc Olivier Belley, he started off the pace and only came closer at the end of the far straight. He entered the last bend in second position and performed a nice finish. 

 We know he will be better chasing because he is a big jumper and is one paced…but after his moderate race last time out at Pau, we wanted to re-assure ourselves. 

 Next entry? We’ll have to see what is on offer.  


First foal…

On February 18th, our mare TROTOT had a beautiful colt by PRINCE GIBRALTAR.              

He was born at Haras de la Rousselière…Mother and son are well, he is strong and looks like his sire.     

 This year for AQPS (non-thoroughbred), the name has to start with the letter K. The choice will be difficult, because after consulting the family, the suggestions are:      

   KELTEMPS, KAMEMBERT DE NORMANDIE (too long, you can’t have more than 18 letters), KINENVEUT, KELTALENT, KANGOUROU, KAMIKAZE, KARATEKA, KAFKAÏEN… there is a wide choice…  

  This year, TROTOT will be covered by VOILADENUO.   


1st foal, bis…

…yes, on the same day BUBBLE SEA gave birth to a splendid foal by TUNIS.

  He is a strong colt with fine legs, you dream he might become a champion (but it is the dream of all breeders!!). For the choice of name, we trust her co-owner Cécile Adonias who has always good ideas. 

 This year, BUBBLE SEA will be covered by MAGNETIC JIM.



…confirmed what we thought at Fontainebleau on February 18th when she finished 3rd in a race for 4 year-olds AQPS (non-thoroughbred) over 3000m (1m7f).      

  Ridden by Eddy Hardouin, she started too well and took the lead from the start… and kept that position up to 100m (1/2 f) from the post.

GALANTE DE FERBET is courageous, she has quality and a good margin of improvement…         The next step might be a hurdle race? We’ll see!