From the outset the progeny of the Syndicat Linaro stallions have dominated breeding competitions, the young pony competition circuit and the stallion gradings in France. Celebrated throughout France for the impetus it has given to French sport pony breeding, the Syndicat has galvanised the industry. In only 10 years, if that, the SL has become the leading European distributor for the semen of elite show jumping stallions to sport pony breeders. Known and recognised in France as well as in other European countries, today it exports to other continents, to America and Oceania.
The shareholders have evolved over time: it was reduced to three people via an internal buyout, then to two in August 2009: Jean-Marc Lefèvre, the director, and Guillaume Levesque – the business became a Limited Company and is still based in France, more precisely at Lisieux in Normandy.
The same belief as always: the best, the crème de la crème, nothing but the top, offering stallions which have shone at the very highest levels of international competition and/or who have produced several offspring who have excelled themselves. Since 2004 the SL have nevertheless kept a small door open for very promising young stallions, the ‘Espoirs’ (literally ‘hopefuls’), whose characteristics lead us to believe that they may be capable of joining the Elites in a few years, as was the case for Jimmerdor de Florys, who started as an Espoir in 2004 before becoming Elite in 2006.
SL’s business – successfully grouping together a potential gene pool of ponies of the first order in France, thanks to outstanding research and investigative work – is original, unique and pioneering in Europe. The exercise involved the directors immersing themselves in other cultures, systems, selection procedures, the ways of working, judging and producing of their European neighbours. Taking only the best, without departing from the French way of doing things, doing away with the German and Dutch dictums for type and movement in favour of adapting the best possible conformation, paces, health and temperament to the needs of top-level show jumping.
In this way the Syndicat Linaro became the owner of several stallions and the distributor of semen for others. It has neither a structure nor equestrian facilities, but strategically places breeding stallions with private stallion handlers and the National Stud throughout France. We work with the company Eurogen, based at Carentan in the Manche, for the freezing of the semen of stallions (or of those that it distributes), as well as for storage and shipping of the straws of frozen semen.
The growth of the Syndicat Linaro is testament to its legitimacy: from 45 coverings by a single stallion in 1999, it grew to 178 coverings by five stallions in 2002; with twelve stallions in the Elite catalogue (i.e. 2.62% from more than 450 stallions in activity amongst the four most significant sport pony breeds) they achieved 10% of the coverings in France in 2004 selling 498 coverings, i.e. half of all coverings intended for the production of sport ponies… and it has not stopped increasing, reaching more than 600 coverings in 2009 for the 20 Elite stallions and the 4 Espoirs in the collection. A considerable number of the doses of semen have been exported throughout twenty countries worldwide since 2002.
Our philosophy: The constant search for excellence with an almost obsessional passion, and investment with no thought for profit, other than simply balancing the books, in the best sporting stallions in Europe. The Syndicat Linaro is neither a dealer in semen nor are they inseminators. Above all, its raison d’être is to make the semen of the top stallions available to as many people as possible, by competitive pricing, a wide range of choice and its distribution network. With reduced overheads investments are focused on the acquisition and the rental of elite stallions. To satisfy these requirements its directing members have always given a lot of themselves personally, and without counting the cost. Today they have a huge understanding of the landscape of European sport pony breeding, thanks to extensive travelling, continually documenting, analysing the results of breeding competitions of all breeds in the countries ‘in the mix’, reading specialist international publications, assiduously frequenting the national and international show grounds, developing their network of contacts and of information… and by resisting commercial temptations which don’t meet with their strict criteria. It is only at this price that the SL can regularly enrich its offerings in a way which is uncompromising on quality, in order to continue to best serve breeders, offering them the right material from which to produce animals which will meet the demands of tomorrow’s top level sport. It is in this way that the Syndicat Linaro has been able to develop, to grow and to become an elite sports pony organisation renowned throughout Europe.