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    Christian name: Henri

    Middle name and name used: Guillaume
    (My real Christian name should have been Henri-Guillaume, if my father hadn’t forgotten the hyphen at the registration of my birth! )

    Surname: Levesque

    Date of birth: 14 March 1973

    I was born in Bordeaux in 1973, to a father who was a company director and a mother teaching Classical Studies in a Catholic college. I have a sister three and a half years younger than me and I am godfather to her eldest son, Louis. Married to Valérie, I am the father of two little girls: Hermance, born in 2000 and Florisse, born in 2006.

    As a child I often moved house, my father being transferred every year or two by his company Ciments Français. I also travelled abroad regularly. I learnt the solfa, the piano, performed in theatre, learnt Latin and Ancient Greek. I speak English and can get by in Spanish. I went to college at Saint-Louis de Gonzague (known as ‘Franklin’) at Paris, near to the Trocadéro where I passed my Bac D, before gaining my diploma at Audencia, the Nantes School of Commerce (at that time ESC Nantes).
    My mother’s family had never had any involvement with horses (my mother had always looked on them badly, believing that they took up too much of my thoughts: ‘Stop taking yourself for a horse, you’re going to start passing droppings in the apartment’ she often lectured me… thankfully a few years ago now !). It is from my father’s side of the family that my passion came, at the beginning most certainly from riding to hounds. My grandfather is a retired cavalry General and has always ridden a lot, my grandmother’s German cousin was Général O’Delant (for a long time, President of the Société Hippique Française, and my uncle, having been a rider at the Cadre Noir for 15 years, finished his career by directing the equestrian section of the Military School at Paris. I started by riding a Shetland pony around my grandparents’ property on the outskirts of Nantes. We bred from her, and in this way the two of us were able to ride, my sister and I, and my cousins. Then I rode at pony club (at Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, near Bordeaux, and La Baule and at Fontainebleau), then on horses (the Société Hippique Nationale at Fontainebleau where I lived for four years will be my fondest memory), passing my traditional exams, even though I hardly competed as I didn’t have my own horse – only two CSIJ (more or less B2 level) in Porto-Rico constitute an interesting sporting experience amongst my equestrian baggage.
    After my studies I spent nearly two years working hard for l’Eperon, then whilst continuing my collaboration with the magazine, I was editor for a year at Hors Ligne, a Parisian company specialising in ‘ the editing of high added value reporting on strategic business meetings’. At the time I was living in Mayenne, near to Château-Gontier where Hermance was born. Then I returned to the town of my studies, Nantes, taking up the post of Commercial Engineer in IT at Bull. Finally, in January 2006 I joined my father’s company in the role of Export Manager then Director of European Sales. This small to medium sized business in the construction industry, Theam, the direction of which I am destined for with effect from 2012, specialises in the conception, production and commercialisation of ready-mix concrete. I live with my family and Stella (My oldest daughter’s Siamese cat) as well as her husband Tweeny (! ) in an apartment in the middle of Nantes town centre, near to the place Graslin.

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