Big Star des Forêts joins Victor Bettendorf’s team
Victor Bettendorf introduced a new employee to the slopes of Vilamoura this week. Born in a Parisian family, Big Star des Forêts was bought by one of its owners. A half-sister to the stallions Ready Boy and Quamikase des Forêts, the latter renamed Zirocco Blue, the twelve-year-old Selle Français has already achieved good results, including a recent 2* victory at the Grand Prix of Bourg-en-Bresse. and several rankings up to 1.50 m. With a new rider from Luxembourg, the daughter of Tokhunmaz M already finished fourth at 1.40m, which is enough to start this new adventure on the right foot. His young pilot is now hoping to get a good test run with this mare he has watched for a long time.
After spending the last two years ridden by Audrey and Fabrice Paris, Big Star des Forêts debuted a new rider near Vilamoura on Tuesday 24 January. This mysterious rider is none other than Victor Bettendorf, the best representative of Luxembourg in the international arena. Bred by the Parisian family that gave birth to him, the twelve-year-old Selle Français has already taken part, appearing briefly with François-Xavier Budan and Thomas Rousseau before being entrusted to Penelope Leprevost in 2018-2020. Warm-up on 1.30m, also 3* test on 1.40m. Each time, the daughter of Untouchable M and Licorne des Forets (Voltaire) proved her sovereign against the bars, finishing fourth in her second outing of the week and leaving the arena with a clean sheet. .
“From the day I came to Normandy, Big Star is a mare I have always adored, always loved very, very much. I was lucky that the owner was willing to invest and write a great story. We got Mary completely. It’s just that we have an agreement with the Paris family about the foals he can produce after retirement. We will share his career like checkers, but we own the queen. I am very happy”Victor tastes Bettendorf and is clearly happy with his new partner. “We are currently in Vilamoura. We use this series of races to get started and get to know each other. We don’t have any pressure for the result, so we’ll try to put it together nicely. Above all, I hope that he will be a jockey who can support my leading horses in the best races. I think 3 and 4* and even 5* will be competitive. He seems to have all the qualities; very respectful, has a super will. I really want him. I hope we will go as far as possible. For now, we’re happy to have it and we’ll take our time, try to go as far as possible. His pedigree also gave him a bit of reason to invest in this colt as the line is still quite good and hopefully his foals will be good too.
In fact, Big Star should be able to help with some very good mounts, starting with the Megret family patron, Bourg-en-Bresse and CSI 4* highlights winner Mr Taj (ex Mr Taj des Fusains). Opglabbeek l was seventh last year and recently in the junior Longines Grand Prix in Basel. The bay will also be accompanied by the radii of Tip and Simolo de la Roque, and even the powerful Marbella AEG and Ilena de Mariposa, which returned to the slopes of Vilamoura and Oliva at the end of last year.
Competing up to 1.50m, Big Star des Forêts notably won the 2* Grand Prix at the Jumping international de Bourg-en-Bresse last May with Audrey Paris. In 2019, the controversial same level at Canteleu, alongside Penelope Leprevost, won third place at 1.50m on the Deauville track during the CSI 3* the following year, as well as fourth place at the Saint-Lo Grand National de Pro Elite. , acquired in 2021 with Audrey Paris. With earnings of just over €57,000, Selle Français should soon increase its small jackpot.
In addition to an exciting career as a competitor, Big Star des Forêts provides valuable genetics that are already widely used in breeding. His boyhood brother, Quamikase des Forêts, renamed Zirocco Blue after being bought by VDL in 2010, won all the way to a World Cup Grand Prix, competed in multiple Nations Cups for the Netherlands under Jur Vrieling, won a gold medal in the team and finished fifth individually. Longines European Championships in Aix-la-Chapelle in 2015 before participating in the Rio Olympics the following year. His barn, Gekas des Forêts, produced Licorne des Forêts, credited with a good ISO 150, as well as the stallion Ready Boy des Forêts. Like Guamikase, Ready Boy also imparts undeniable qualities to his products, says Diaz du Thot, his formidable competitor under the saddle of Belgian Constant van Paesschen. “Big Star is lighter, faster than Guamikase. Female unicorns are more bloodthirsty than males. Big Star has less power but more instinct than his stepbrother. They are two good horses, but they are not the same.”analyzes Fabrice Paris, who markets his mare but must continue to exploit his stock. “Big Star will return to livestock at the end of his career. The goal is for him to pass a stage with Victor, take slightly higher courses and participate in better competitions. Victor is a good rider, we get along well with him. We were convinced by the way he handled the horses, especially the way he kept them barefoot.” Glory des Forêts (Vagabond de la Pomme), the first offspring of Big Star, received ISO 140 as a six-year-old last year and produced two offspring herself. In short, the story looks set to continue both on the road with Victor Bettendorf and in breeding in the future.
Front page photo: Audrey Paris and Big Star des Forêts on the Deauville track. © Scoopdyga