''El Diarado was extraordinary”: Marc Hiriart-Durruty at the Fences Elite Sales

El Diarado d'Euskadi, already impressive at two years old!
Credit : Studbook Selle Français

Friday 01 September - 15h25 | Lucas Tracol

''El Diarado was extraordinary”: Marc Hiriart-Durruty at the Fences Elite Sales

At the Fences Elite Sales Thursday evening in Bois-le-Roi, France, bidding took off from an early point in the proceedings. In the end, it was El Diarado d’Euskadi, a son of Diarado with a mother by Dollar du Murier who obtained the Top Price, €200,000 (about US $238,500). His mother, Rhune d’Euskadi, who died in a road accident in 2014, had already shone at the stud farm of Marc Hiriart-Durruty. The breeder spoke to Grand Prix about the sale of this special horse. 

 - ''El Diarado was extraordinary”: Marc Hiriart-Durruty at the Fences Elite Sales

While he caused a sensation at the auction in Bois-le-Roi this year, El Diarado d’Euskadi is not a case of random luck. On the contrary, the promising youngster is the result of a well thought-out cross by his breeder Marc Hiriart-Durruty. “It’s quite a modern horse,” says the breeder.

“He has blood, a lot of energy, courage and does not hesitate at the bar: the same qualities his mother Rhune d’Euskadi had! She had a bit bigger frame, which is why I crossed her with Diarado, a bit lighter horse. In the two years before the accident of Rhune d’Euskadi, I made two embryo transfers with this mare: one with Diamant de Semilly and one with Diarado. The son of Diamant, Destin d’Euskadi, is at Marie Demonte’s and has started to show in the four year olds category. And El Diarado was born later, with the choice of Diarado as his father for his looks and to give a more modern foal. This gave a horse which has a more powerful jump and is lighter. I like diversity and the two are both very good; each has their own style.”

Having come to the Fences Elite Sales with the hope of sparking  some real bidding excitement, the experience was ultimately a rewarding one for this breeder from the southwest of France. With a final price of €200,000, El Diarado d’Euskadi was indeed the object of a bidding war between investors.

“I came to Fences with the dream of getting the Top Price,” Marc Hiriart-Durruty explains. “I had already made a couple attempts in the past which didn’t go very well. For example, I should have realized this dream with Coupd’Coeur d’Euskadi during the Nash sales. But now it has finally come true and in the end it’s even better, given the prestige of this auction in Europe! With horses, it’s always a bit hit-and-miss, but I brought El Diarado because at home he had always done well in this exercise — performing even more easily than Coupd’Coeur. El Diarado has always been careful and clears the obstacles with a lot of space. He never touches bars, and many people say that comes from Diarado.” 

"El Diarado Stood out"

El Diarado Stood out - ''El Diarado was extraordinary”: Marc Hiriart-Durruty at the Fences Elite Sales

Bois-le-Roi, France

If the buyer and the breeder had already been in contact in the past, the businessman who invested in El Diarado d’Euskadi nevertheless wishes to remain discreet. “He had already bought a mare from me who ended up having a heart problem. I was disappointed because it was a mare destined to have a great sporting future. The new owner is someone I’m pretty close to, so I suggested that we started something with this horse. The agreement was as follows: if he was able to acquire El Diarado in auction, I would take back the mare.  The investor hopes he will have a sports career and a breeding stallion career. It’s a businessman who wishes to stay in the shadows a bit, his son has starting doing competitions a bit and the family loves horses.”

Happy to have realized his dream as a horse breeder, Marc Hiriart-Durruty is full of compliments for the bay he has just sold. “Up until now, when I presented a horse in auction, it was with the hope of getting the Top Price, as I was selling the best horse from my stud farm. Everyone dreams of that, and I knew it was possible this time, even though anything can happen. So finally it has happened, in part because El Diarado was extraordinary, that he was consistent in his jumps and because there was a great crowd.  Some true connoisseurs came to see me and they had clearly seen that he stood out that night.” And he could bring some offspring… “Now everything remains to be proven under the saddle. But I have a lot of confidence in this horse. I put him with three of my brood mares even though he was only two years old.  Normally, I only use high-range horses. He has everything! His mental is one thing, but his lineage is good too: his mother was the best performer in the catalogue, his grandmother is part of the five best reproducers in terms of quality and quantity of foals.”

The sales continue this weekend, with more information at the Fences web site. 

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