On 8th June 2015 Véronique Briat, who since 2011 had been the director of the AFAC, the French Arabian Horse Racing Association, succumbed to an accident, which occurred at her home near Toulouse. She was only forty-six years old.
Véronique started riding when she was six years old and the moment she received her degree, she became involved in the horse racing industry. Following several years at different studs in France, England and the United States, in 1998 she started to work for Shadwell in England. For the next thirteen years she would look after the stud’s Purebred Arabian stallion interests and organised race sponsorships in France and Italy.
Even though she loved her work, she missed home and especially her mother. So when in 2011 her close friend Izeta Selimanjin left the AFAC, Véronique didn’t hesitate and successfully applied to become the new director of the Association at the beginning of May.
I met Véronique in 2006, when I was working on the Purebred Arabian stallion guide. From 2011 onwards we started to work together on a regular basis on publications published in partnership with the AFAC and the Cahiers du Cheval Arabe (Purebred Arabian stallion guide). Our working relationship was perfect thanks to her professionalism, her eye for detail and all the hard work she put into it. Very calm and quietly spoken, she was able to handle any situation with composure, which I will admit freely is not always my case.
We also travelled together for professional reasons and she was always a great companion with whom I could chat whilst enjoying a drink after work. Over the years our relationship developed into a friendship and we would always find a pretext to call each other at least every ten days, unless when she was in Auvergne. In fact, there was one thing she valued above everything else and that was being left in peace when she went back to her roots, to the place where she was born.
That is where she is now, in a little cemetery in the village where she was born, overlooking the magnificent landscape of Auvergne. We will forever remember her lovely smile and she will remain in our thoughts for the rest of our lives.