Alec Wildenstein (left), owner of Westerner, receives the Ascot Gold Cup.

Alec Wildenstein (left), owner of Westerner, receives the Ascot Gold Cup.

Trevor Jones

French Owner Alec Wildenstein Dead

Alec Wildenstein died Feb. 18 in Paris.

Alec Wildenstein, co-owner of a prominent racing stable with his brother, Guy, died Feb. 18 in Paris after a long illness, according to Paris Turf. He was 67.

Wildenstein, whose late father, Daniel, also was a major breeder/owner, was born in Marseille in 1940 and was known as a  reserved, yet affable character. Like his father, he was passionate about both art and racing.

Having lived somewhat in the shadow of his father for many years, Alec Wildenstein came to run the family racing and breeding empire--the Ecurie Wildenstein and Dayton Investments. Together, the family won every French classic in the flat, jump, and trotting disciplines, although since 2002, the Wildenstein stable had invested considerably less than in previous years.

In 2002, Alec Wildenstein spoke candidly to the French racing newspaper Paris Turf, revealing that: “For 30 years I have done the matings for my father. Now I do them for my brother and I. Even if trotting interests me more than flat and jumps, I still buy trotters ‘ready-made’ since there is so much wastage.”

The Wildenstein broodmare band is composed of more than 50 mares, based mainly at the Haras de Bois Roussel. They own fewer than five trotting mares.

From 2002 to 2005, Alec Wildenstein experienced a number of racing highlights with horses running in the famous dark blue jacket and light blue cap. Bright Sky won the Prix de Diane Hermes (Fr-I) and the Prix de l’Opera (Fr-I). Aquarelliste took the Prix Ganay (Fr-I). Westerner amassed several group I wins for stayers both domestically and abroad, and Vallee Enchantee won the Hong Kong Vase (HK-I).

In 2004, Kotkijet, owned in partnership with trotting master Jean-Pierre Dubois, landed the biggest jumping prize of all, the Grand Steeple Chase de Paris.

Under Wildenstein's management, the stable won over €15 million (about $22 million) with flat and jump horses and over €5 million (about $7.3 million) with trotters. Elie Lellouche and Dominique Sepulchre trained his flat horses, and Jean-Paul Gallorini and Marcel Rolland the jumpers. In total, the stable owns over 200 racehorses and breeding stock.

Wildenstein's part of the business will be passed on to his son, Alec Jr., and daughter, Diane.