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Pony stories
The scandalous injection of Mon Nantano
Should I have published this under Anecdotes, Emotions, Pony Stories, or have created a special section specifically? It is so scandalous and did so much damage to the pony, his rider, her father and to me as the breeder and owner. I’ve opted to use it to head the section Pony Stories. Having won the first three D Elite Grand Prix of the Tournée des As of the season (at Jau Dignac et Loirac, Pompadour and Laizé), Chloé Deschamps and Mon Nantano de Florys went on to take the next step at Périgueux held between 9 and 11 May 2008. On their return to the stables after the competition, Chloé pointed out to her father on Monday 12 May and then again on Tuesday  the 13th that the pony was not normal. In fact by the Wednesday the pony could no longer lift his neck. I’ll leave Antoine Deschamps, vet, father and trainer of his daughter Chloé to explain:
“The examination showed a pronounced deformation, hot and painful, on the right side. The problem without doubt made one think of a deep intramuscular injection on the right. In addition another malicious act had taken place at Périgueux: someone had defecated in our van…The link between the two facts immediately brought me to the conclusion of an malicous injection with intention to harm. The national trainer Emmanuel Quittet and the owner Guillaume Levesque were informed immediately. Nevertheless, we kept the incident secret so as not to deteriorate the atmosphere on the circuit, which had otherwise been excellent. It is unfortunately impossible to establish what product could have been injected into Mon Nantano. The pony’s box was padlocked at every competition until the end of the season. Our only problem thereafter was how to deal with a pony with several objectives : keep him in training whilst scrupulously respecting the waiting times necessary so that he would not test positive at any possible drugs controls in competition.
The blood samples (sixteen were taken between 14 May and 18 July) always showed a strong infection and in this case always a very good indicator in conjunction with a clinical examination: the increased number of white blood cells coincided with the swelling of the neck.
The pony was therefore placed on antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory with a good improvement as he was able to take part in and win the International at Moulin (15 days after Périgueux). We thought that all was over and done with and we started to prepare for the International at Bologne (from 11 to 15 June). Nevertheless, several days before leaving for Italy the pony showed signs of having a temperature, seemed exhausted, and had a serious nasal discharge, then the swelling in the neck reappeared, visible in the scan. Impossible to even consider competing at Bologne.  The pony therefore continued on a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. The objective remained to participate at the French Championships and to form part of the French team for Avenches.
But the pony stopped eating and presented stomach ulcers which needed treating.  Training had to be stopped for at least fifteen days. Then, the pony started to pick up little by little, having lost a huge amount of weight.
In fairness he could have competed at the French Championships at Lamotte, but having been selected for the European Championships he wasn’t allowed. We all know the fantastic story of Avenches…
To bring him to this level in such conditions was a real problem, a veritable stress and a great challenge. And for us it is, I think, a real achievement, in this context, to have succeeded in participating at the European Championships and to have brought home the individual silver medal. We know that the two of them lost the gold medal by less than a second on the cross country, but I sincerely believe that with a normal training schedule without infection he would have very, very easily have made up this fraction of a second.”

Unfortunately the consequences of this malicious act didn’t stop there…
After his achievement at Avenches Mon Nantano was taken to have his sperm frozen: he should have been distributed by the Syndicat Linaro in 2009.  Following his infection some fairly significant spots appeared on his testicles. The freezing tests revealed no spermatozoid in his sperm. Furthermore, during his stay at stud the stallion had contracted a uveitis which had unfortunately not been treated correctly and, after having suffered enormously Mon Nantano finally lost around 70% of the vision in his right eye with a very strong chance of losing it completely in the years to come. Having left the artificial insemination centre the pony was taken in mid-September to the eminent specialist in equine reproduction, Doctor Betsch, where he stayed for two weeks. His right eye was operated on under general anesthesic and tissue samples were taken from his testicles at the same time. He remained in intensive care 24/7 for his eye with very detailed advice on departure and treatments to give him for several weeks after leaving the clinic. As for his fertility, the conclusion was a severe and probably irreversible bilateral testicular degeneration, the non-treatment of which had left its scars. And “the existance of a residual bilateral orchitis at the end of evolution and previous chronic and recent infections of the horse make these two facts compatible” according to Doctor Betsch’s report…
After all this suffering and discomfort the Deshcamps recovered a scared pony, horribly underweight and still suffering from his almost permanently half-closed eye. Chloé was shattered. It took nearly two months to put condition on Mon Nantano and for him to start working normally again, ridden by Chloé’s little sister, Julia Deschamps.

Crédit photos : J. Counet /

Crédit photos : J. Counet /

Mon Nantano de Florys, the freezable infertile!
The diagnosis of infertility without a second opinion of an expert vet in equine reproduction, infertility following a malicious injection given to the pony*, should have stopped me from even attempting a collection from Mon Nantano de Florys. But that didn’t take into account my stubbornness: I thought I would do a collection from the black chap once a year as a check… just in case. The fact is that I had difficulty in making the link between spots showing on the testicles of the pony, which I thought was a sign of an infection capable of killing all sperm, and his clear semen. And yet the spots disappeared little by little thanks to a localised treatment administered by Antoine Deschamps, month after month until April 2009 when the testicles showed no anomalies. After the 2009 French Championships I had another sample taken: the analysis revealed magnificent sperm, concentrated and full of arrowed spermatozoon, way beyond expectations. As a result, from the beginning of November 2009 the black stallion left for the freezing centre where his semen was quick to show its resistance to thermal shock. The stallion thought to be definitively infertile was finally able to be offered at stud in IAC. But for goodness sake, what a palava!

Noblesse, the cream of the crop
Sometimes, regularly even – she’s been gone a long time now – I think of this fabulous little grey pony: Noblesse, Nabor’s full sister. The type of pony you don’t come across very often: a real individual with an extremely endearing character, an out of this world trot, chic conformation with lots of strong points, a head and an eye that would blow you away, and an ability and intelligence when jumping which to this day I have witnessed in virtually no other pony. Will I ever find another one like her? What an unimaginable loss, I can only imagine what foals she would have produced for me these past few years…

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