Jean Romanet, who tirelessly worked to encourage international cooperation between racing's ruling bodies, died Wednesday in Paris, France. He was 88.

Romanet was director general of France's Societe d'Encouragement from 1961-1986. The Societe is the administrative and regulatory body of French racing, functioning in a manner similar to The Jockey Club. Romanet's father, Renee, also served as secretary general of the Societe.

Shortly after taking that position he helped organize the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.

He was also involved in developing the pattern race system in Europe. The North American graded stakes system is based on the pattern system. Romanet is also responsible for the thought that went into rebuilding Paris' Longchamp race course in 1966.

In 1972 Romanet was made a Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. Romanet was granted an Eclipse Award in 1975 and in 1978 Canada recognized him with a Sovereign Award. In 1985 Romanet was presented The Jockey Club Medal for meritorious service to Thoroughbred racing and breeding.

Romanet is survived by his wife, Therese; one son, Louis; a daughter, Helene; and six grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by a son, Rene, who died in 1998. Rene was an amateur rider and an owner/breeder. He bred Galiani, winner of the 1978 Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) and Al Nasr, a major winner in France and in the United States.

Louis Romanet has been chairman of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities since its inception in 1994. Jean Romanet was a former honorary advisor to the IFHA.

His funeral will be private.

Most Popular Stories