Isabelle Pacault shot to international fame when the Davy Russell-partnered Carriacou lifted the 2019 Zeturf Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, France’s most valuable and most prestigious jump race, which is also known as the French Gold Cup.
Yet while Pacault might have gained notoriety by becoming the first woman to add her name to this historic race, she has in fact spent many years already as one of France’s top ten jump trainers. And that despite the fact that she rarely has more than thirty horses in her yard in Maisons-Laffitte.
“I decided a long time ago that I would only ever train around thirty horses,” says Pacault, who came into the racing industry through her father who used to breed show jumpers before turning his eye to racing. “I have very few owners and I prefer to concentrate on our homebreds. I also want to spend time with my family, my kids and grandkids.”
The homebreds in question are mainly AQPS (other than thoroughbreds) horses, while her family includes her daughter Anne-Sophie, a successful former amateur rider turned fellow trainer.
Isabelle is very passionate about her horses and, she admits with a wink, about Davy Russell. Following their success in the Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris in May last year, Pacault is keen to secure his services again for the 2020 renewal of the race.
Before that though Isabelle Pacault will be travelling back and forth to Pau, a meeting she appreciates for its focus on jumping, and here she gives Liz Price of attheraces.com the lowdown on her runners in the upcoming meetings at the Pyrénées-Atlantiques track.