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Discover in video the Chazey-sur-Ain Training Center in the Lyon region, with the FNCH

Discover the infrastructure of Chazey-sur-Ain, the latest public training center for racehorses. More than 200 gallopers, divided among twenty trainers including Mathieu Pitart, Yoann Bonnefoy and Nicolas Bellanger, practice every morning on the flat and over obstacles. The Chazey-sur-Ain Training Center, next to the Parc du Cheval, is chaired by Thierry Ravier. In partnership with the FNCH (National Federation of Horse Racing)

Discovering the Rhône Alpes Horse Park

Opened in 2010, the Chazey-sur-Ain training center benefits from a privileged geographical location, this modern and unique site, offering unequaled working conditions within the Center-East region.

Currently 18 galloper trainers and a little over 200 racehorses are installed on the training center including numerous tracks and services for the comfort of the residents. Thierry RAVIER, President of the training center of Chazey-sur-Ain makes us discover the places!

President, can you introduce yourself in a few words? Your background, your profession…?

Thierry RAVIER, I am 60 years old, married and father of two boys in their thirties. Until March 31, I was the business manager of a road transport company. I have been riding since the age of 5 and after a few years in CSO, I opted for a career as a gentleman-rider for about fifteen years. I am also President of the Association of Owners of the Center East.


Thierry RAVIER, President of the Chazey-sur-Ain training center

The Chazey-sur-Ain site covers an area of ​​50 hectares and offers considerable possibilities with its equestrian and horse-riding facilities, including grass tracks, the PSF and its many obstacles. Can you present the site to us in a few figures?

The Chazey-sur-Ain training center is a real equestrian village and offers high quality infrastructure, it is composed of:
– Two round sand tracks of 1500 meters
– A 1600 m straight line sand track
– A grass track in a straight line of 1600 m
– A round grass track of 1400 m
– A 1200m “PSF” fiber sand track
– Three obstacle courses (one with small hurdles for dressage, one with normal hurdles and a course of

steeplechase)
– A cross-country course
– A circle of Havrincourt
– 300 boxes spread over 14 buildings in the form of barns

Explain to us the genesis of the Chazey-sur-Ain training center? The reasons for its geographical location?

Historically, the training center was located on the Lyon Parilly racecourse. In 2009, for security and urban planning reasons, we had to relocate it. In search of a new site to accommodate the training center, land at an affordable price was selected 25 km from Lyon in the plain of Ain between Bourg-en-Bresse, land of breeding and sports. equestrian and Lyon. This site is ideal and strategic since it is 5 minutes from the motorways of Paris, Marseille and Geneva.

How many coaches do you have on the training center? What is the number of horses? In 2021, what is the amount of the allowances won by the horses installed in Chazey-sur-Ain? Can you tell us about the prize list of some of them?

Currently we house about 220 horses, a large third of which is resolutely oriented towards the discipline of the obstacle. Since the departure of Philippe DECOUZ for the Chantilly training center, our main trainers are very young in this case:

– Mathieu PITART who has 46 winners for 1.432 million euros in 2021 and has identical bases this year following a very good meeting at the Cagnes-sur-Mer racecourse. Its workforce, mainly dedicated to jumping, is around 60 horses.
– Yohan BONNEFOY has a workforce of 24 flat horses and already has 12 winners for 310 K€. It has just won its first Quinté + on April 18 at Saint Cloud with “Trick of the Mind”.
– Nicolas BELLANGER and many others, making a total of 18 trainers whose numbers vary between 2 and 20 horses.

Note that the youngest to have settled is Antoine SANGLARD. He obtained his license in early April 2022 and has already won a second place for his first runner.

How is the training center managed? Can you explain how it works? Are there internal rules for members, in particular for the use of the slopes and infrastructures?

The management of the training center is provided daily by our director, Gildas GEFFRIAUD, who has solid experience in the training of racehorses from the city of Pau. We exchange continuously, nevertheless he has the responsibility of assuming the responsibilities of the maintenance and the development of the infrastructures which are perfect for the work and the comfort of the men as well as the horses. There are internal regulations which specify the use of the tracks, for example the rope varies according to the days of the week and the tracks must be used according to their specificities: hunting gallop, canter, gallops, trotting… However, we respond to all requests. professionals to enable them to optimize the preparation of their residents.


Aerial view of the Chazey-sur-Ain training center

What are the reception conditions for professionals? Are they owners or tenants of the premises? Can you tell us the pricing for the rental of barns and access to the slopes?

All barns are rented since the training center management association remains the owner of the infrastructure. We establish, for each trainer, rural rental leases which include the boxes, tack room, seed room, sanitary facilities and fodder barn. Depending on the numbers of each trainer, we adjust the lease to their needs.

However, we are listening to each trainer wishing to provide, in agreement with our director, the necessary arrangements (walker, solarium, etc.) for the exercise of their profession. The rental of the box is €73 excl. VAT/month, to which charges such as water, electricity and manure disposal should be added (€8/horse/month). The right of access to the slopes is 42 €.

What are the strengths and qualities of your infrastructure? What are the future works of the training center and your arguments for attracting new coaches?

The main assets of the Chazey-sur-Ain training center lie mainly in:
– Its geographical location, near the racecourses of the center-east, the south-east of the east but also of the Paris region, accessible within 4h45 by truck.
– The perfect quality of all the tracks and infrastructures offering a variety of routes and surfaces.
– The presence on the site of a quality transporter who manages all horse transport.
– A veterinary team present every day at the disposal of the trainers.

In 2022, with the support of the National Federation of Horse Racing, we will restore the dressage ring as well as some obstacles. Next year, the objective is to repair the PSF, which is more than 13 years old. Note, of course, that we regularly refill our tracks with sand.


A sand obstacle course

Are there synergies between the coaches? Precisely to pool the purchase of equipment, raw materials, fodder or food, for horses?

Each trainer, in his capacity as business manager, decides on his own suppliers. However, we manage a centralized stock of the Perdiguier company on site for all fodder and horse feed products.

Do you feel that trainers need support in prospecting and securing the loyalty of new racehorse owners?

This is the great difficulty of our region. We have a very scattered workforce of owners throughout the Centre-Est and including several training centres: Chazey-sur-Ain, Moulins or even private sites such as that of Jean-Pierre GAUVIN and Emmanuel CLAYEUX. In addition, the quality of our Lyon racecourses, recognized throughout France, encourages many trainers from all over France and mainly Parisians to come and race with us, without the need to set up local branches unlike other regions. The level of the competitions is mechanically very high.


Riders and a batch of horses in training

The final word ?

The Chazey-sur-Ain center is a wonderful working tool, both for horses and for staff. The current number of horses is undersized compared to the facilities available. We plan to carry out a prospecting action towards certain external professionals in order to highlight the site and thus better contribute to the development of local races.

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