David Menuisier has always been passionate about thoroughbred racehorses, having been born into a family of thoroughbred breeders in Lorraine, North East France. He has spent his entire life surrounded by racehorses, with an impressive career as assistant trainer to some of the top trainers in the World.
David Menuisier with Hier Encore
Photo: Jeannie Knight
Now, at the age of 33, he is set to become the only French born racehorse trainer in Great Britain, based at Coombelands Racing Stables, Pulborough, with access to some of the best facilities in the country. His parents bred smart horses that were destined to become winners on the racecourse, both on the flat and over jumps and his own pathway to becoming a racehorse trainer was sealed when he spent school holidays working for former French Jump Champion Trainer Jean Paul Gallorini.
David recalled: “I’d already decided at the age of seven or eight that I wanted to become a trainer and as a teenager spent school holidays working at his yard. He was known as the ‘Emperor of Jumps’ and is still in the top three or four of jumps trainers in France. I spent a lot of time at his yard, but went through the normal route of a university degree in biology before I set out to learn the trade. I worked for a couple of months for Criquette Head at Chantilly one summer and was offered a job there.”
He started with her as pupil assistant on October 14 2002 and worked with her for two and a half seasons.: “I couldn’t believe that I had been given this chance with a trainer who had sent out a Group 1 winner the day before, when Dedication won the Prix de la Foret,” he said.
Later, with a few Group 1 victories under his belt (American Post, Dedication, Etoile Montante).David decided the time was right to gain even further experience, and went to America, where he was offered a job by US Hall Of Fame trainer Richard Mandella a few months after his miraculous four timer at the 2003 Breeder’s Cup
.”This was a once in a lifetime occasion so I decided to grasp it and emigrated to California. I worked as Richard Mandella’s right hand at a time when he was preparing Pleasantly Perfect for the Dubai World Cup. My horsemanship skills expanded greatly when I was with Richard and my experience of American racing gave me an international insight to the business.
“On top of Pleasantly Perfect, I had the chance to deal with such superstars as Rock Hard Ten, The Tin Man, Halfbridled and Johar. When I first joined Richard, we had 40 horses in the barn at Santa Anita and it was thrilling to think 10 per cent of them were Breeder’s Cup winners!” he added.
“Richard was one of the best American trainers, a real horseman and the experience I gained with him was invaluable. But after 18 months in America I decided to move back to Europe where I belong and came to the UK by choice because it is the greatest horse racing nation in the world.
“I was fortunate to obtain a position as assistant trainer to John Dunlop in Arundel for six years, until he retired recently. I had the most amazing time in Arundel working for such a legendary trainer and this is why I have decided to set up my own stable in this area. I feel at home on the South Downs and there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be than here.”
David with Siena Bouquet, a well bred horse in his string, which is available for ownership
The time is now right for him to embark on a career as a trainer in his own right and he has capacity for 15 horses in an American-type barn at Coombelands Racing Stables. He has the finest state of the art facilities at his fingertips there, with use of 50 acres of maintained gallops and farm land, including four all-weather, turf gallops, cantering areas, an equine swimming pool, covered canterway and schooling facilities.There is also a banked turf American bend which helps educate young horses to turn at speed for racing on cambered tracks.
David with his fiancee Kim Johnstone at their American barn stables
He is fully supported in his new venture by his fiancee, Kim Johnstone, whose own background is impressive. Kim was with the Kings Troop in London, has extensive experience of Australian racing and later worked as a work rider and travelling headgirl in various racing yards around the UK. She is a good rider and has infinite patience with horses and people.
David remains so close to last year’s Arc de Triomphe winning trainer Criquette Head that he will be training a horse for her, David said: “One of my horses is Hier Encore, which Criquette and I bred together and she has a half share in this chestnut colt, a two-year-old by up-and-coming Kentucky Dynamite.
“I am truly honoured to start my new career with the support of someone as influential as Criquette. There are other horses waiting for an owner, and one example is Village Mystic, whose breeding is impeccable- his sire is top jump stallion Saint Des Saints and the dam is from the family of the actual best French chaser and champion Bel La Vie. I have applied for a combined licence and this horse could run in bumpers.
“All of the horses have great potential and will be trained to achieve it. We have capacity for 15 horses in this barn and I am looking for owners, with a number of impressive horses already being prepared here. I never cut corners and always do the best possible job. I don’t want or intend to be second best.”
Contact David for more information on the horses, or ownership, on
07876674095 or email@example.com or visit the website www.davidmenuisier.co.uk