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March 05, 2020

Haras d'Ecajeul joins the inDeauville network

Jean-Luc and Isabelle Bara welcome visitors to their family stud farm, the cradle of English thoroughbreds for over 70 years. It is one of the few stud farms to open its doors for a guided visit to the heart of its facilities, an opportunity for Jean-Luc to share his passion within the domain that saw him born, and for the public. to discover the little-known universe of horse racing.

The Pays d'Auge is the best region for thoroughbred breeding: with its soil quality and its temperate climate, horses are happy all year round.
Jean-Luc Bara

Created in 1947 by Jean-Luc Bara's father, Jacques, Haras d'Ecajeul covers more than 40 hectares in the heart of the Pays d'Auge. It accommodates around twenty horses: some belonging to the couple, others in board. The choice to settle in the Pays d'Auge is not trivial: it is one of the best breeding grounds, concentrating 40% of the thoroughbred stud farms in France. It's all a question of soil: with a thickness of soil of around one meter and a layer of clay that retains moisture, the grass is green all year round.

The whisperer method

Revealed in the film " The man who whispered in the ears of horses ", The whisperers method consists in better understanding the behavior of the horse and to establish a natural relation with him, without constraint or violence. Obvious for Jean-Luc who, from the popularization of whisperers in the 2000s, applied this method of gentle riding.

The breaking-in begins in the lanyard circle, where Jean-Luc makes the horse turn six minutes to the left then six minutes to the right. Everything is in the eye: during the first laps, the horse must not be left behind. The objective: to be chosen by the horse as head of the herd. When the horse puts his nose close to the ground, it is a sign that he accepts that Jean-Luc is the dominant male. Once past chief, he has all rights, including that of riding on his back.

Leo Lemasson

Visit the stud farm

For the past fifteen years, Jean-Luc and Isabelle have been opening the doors of their stud farm to the general public. It all starts in the courtyard, with a presentation of the Pays d'Auge and the quality of its terroir for breeding. Jean-Luc accesses the boxes to take out the horses and explain the morphology of the equines: proportion of muscles, solid forearms and short barrel. During the visit, Jean-Luc details the entire life cycle of the horse (mating, birth in spring, training, races), as well as the levels of races, the distances on the racetracks, the circuit world, endowments, jockeys material and registration books.

The tour ends with a snack with local apple juice and pastries concocted by Isabelle. To be enjoyed by the fireplace in winter, or in the garden with a view of the horses in summer. "We receive as we live", this is Isabelle's leitmotif.

If groups were previously privileged, visits are opening up more and more to individuals.


Sleep at the stud

Also a guest room, Haras d'Ecajeul has three comfortable bedrooms, which can accommodate 2 to 8 people, with a view of the garden. On the ground floor, a large stone fireplace brings a warm side to the living room. In fine weather, visitors take advantage of the terrace and garden furniture to have breakfast with a view of the horses.

Practical information