By Alayna Cullen
Young Guns is a series where we endeavour to find out more about some of the young professionals in the industry. Today we speak with Charles Briere, owner/manager of the Fairway Consignment.
TDN: What’s was you path into the industry?
CB: I finished school and left France for Ireland where I worked for six months at Castlebridge Farm. After that, I started a job at Coolmore Ireland where I stayed for five years, working in different parts, foaling, walking barns, stallions and breaking yearlings. After that, I left Ireland for America to work for Peter O’Callaghan at Woods Edge Farm, which was supposed to be an eight-month job but it turned into three years. From there, I decided to go home, back to France to start my own consignment.
TDN: Who has been the biggest influence on you career?
CB: There are quite a few people that have influenced me in the past, but I would say that my experience with Peter O’Callaghan, pinhooking and yearling prep, was very rewarding.
TDN: What does your role involve?
CB: I run a farm in Normandy where I keep a few mares for the season to get in foal. Also, I prepare and consign yearlings for all the sales at Arqana except the breeze-up and Osarus September Sale, and probably will consign abroad soon. I also buy a few pinhooks for myself and different partners. The job is pretty large: daily care of the stock, office job and keeping in touch with the clients.
TDN: What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
CB: Make your own experiences, travel and spend as much time as possible around the horses. You don’t learn horsemanship in the books. Follow racing and sales, absorb all that you can from the different places and people you will meet on your way.
TDN: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the industry and how would you solve it?
CB: For France, I would definitely say that the biggest challenge is to make racing more popular to the general public. Attract more people to go racing and spend some time on the racecourses with their family and friends. I find it sad to see a racecourse almost empty on a Group 1 racing day. We should be inspired by trotter’s events which are very big in France and their racecourses are full. I think thoroughbred racing in France needs to find a way to be more attractive by creating festive events with a family dimension. The G1 Prix de Diane is one of those events that works better for example.
TDN: What do you think horse racing’s perception is for the general public?
CB: Around the world, for the general public, I think racing is seen as a very festive event that can be enjoyed by everyone. It is in this sense that we should work on the reputation of racing in France.
TDN: How would you attract more young people into the workforce?
CB: For me, we need better courses that form the young people. When I was 16, I did a Level in equine production. There were probably 20 young people on that course. Of the 20, only four are still involved with horses, that’s the problem I think. Young people want to work around horses, but they need to be oriented in the right direction where there are jobs and where you make a living out of it.
TDN: Who is your favorite racehorse of all time and why?
CB: I would say American Pharoah. First triple crown winner since 1978, he was just a superstar with great magnetization around him.
TDN: Tell us something about yourself that not people would know
CB: I tried to learn to dance rock once a week for a year, but I’m still as bad as I was at the beginning.
TDN: What would you like to achieve in the next five years?
CB: I’m just about to buy my own farm. The next few years will be spent arranging the place to be handy to work in and comfortable for the horses and us.