Jules Mesnildrey bought Venue du Tot, the dam of Le Tot de Semilly from his breeding advisor, Germain Levallois. When he wanted another filly, this time with different blood, he again approached M. Levallois. Germain found Venise des Cresles (who adds another cross of Ultimate to the equation, along with the powerful of influence of Ibrahim through her, sire, Elf III). Levallois offered a free service to Le Tot with the deal.
The mare died giving birth and the breeder wanted to get rid of the foal so he was raised by the Levallois family: “We took it in and bottle-fed it, together with another orphan. The two were always running free in the courtyard and would follow us around like two puppies.” (Z Magazine)
The foal was Diamant de Sémilly who made the 4, 5 and 6 year old finals at Fontainebleau before going on to a star studded international career, that included playing a key role in the gold medal French team at the WEG in Jerez. Diamant de Sémilly was Champion of France in 2002, and a team silver medalist at the 2003 European Championships.
In 2004, after a good start to the season (winner of Auvers Grand Prix), he had been short listed for Athens Olympic Games, but because of a tendonitis he had to stop competing for a while. He finished the 2005 showjumping season on a high note, winning the two Grand Prix – the CSI*** of Saint-Lô and Caen. In 2006 he won the Belgian Grand Prix in Liége.
He began breeding in 1996 and since then has produced: Jalousie Louvo, the 2001 Irish 4 Y.O. Championship winner; Jerminal en Noir who made the top four, six times in 2006 in 1.45/50m classes with Gregory Wathelet; Joyau d’Opal, top six times in 2006 in International 1.45/50 classes including Nations Cup in Rome; Joyau de Bloye ISO 136, named “most beautiful horse” in Fontainebleau 2002, now competing in International classes with Bruno Broucqsault; Kalaska de Semilly, the 2002 French 4 Year Old champion and placed in 1.40 classes with Latifah Al Maktoum; Kerman de l’Abbaye, the 2003 French 5 Year Old Vice-Champion and winner seven year old class at Fontainebleau. He is also the father of approved stallion Eurocommerce Toulouse.
On the top 100 French Sport Horse stallions of 2006, Diamant de Sémilly came in on 2nd place, with 260 mares – making him the most popular private stallion in France. With his first crop nine years old in 2006, Bernard le Courtois warns in the 2007/8 Monneron, that the time has come for him to produce a superstar: “He has only a year to go before turning out a star, any longer and breeders are going to cool off. For the moment, five of his products are world classified in the WBSFH, and the best of these is Joyau d’Opal (in 654th place).”
Nonetheless, breeders continue to flock to Diamant de Sémilly. In the 2007 season, he covered almost 400 mares, 192 more than the 2006 season in France alone, with many more coverings elsewhere in the world.
As Bernard le Courtois pointed out in Monneron 2008 / 2009, Diamant de Semilly represents a valuable outcross:
“The European studbooks had made much use in the past of Selle Français blood issuing from Furioso xx (Furioso II, which gave us Voltaire, For Pleasure and their numerous descendants) then Almé himself (who sired hundreds of stallions over two generations) notably the SF Quidam de Revel and Quick Star (who have also now numerous stallion descendants themselves). At present Diamant de Sémilly is a great out-crossing opportunity, with his male lineage from Grand Veneur, little used for the moment except in Belgium (Major de la Cour).”
“Diamant was more successful in the stallion shows in Holstein than in St Lô, where none of his many sons were approved in 2007. Some are too big and strong cheeked; this is not necessarily what the SF studbook is looking for today. This being said, some of them will surely be approved on their performances later. At the ages of 2 and 3, the build of a stallion is all-important, afterwards the performance is all. The better the performances, the less the ANSF will criticize any little physical defects. It’s in this spirit that Galoubet or his son, Baloubet du Rouet, or again Quick Star, despite an atypical build were approved!”
In the magazine le Selle Français (No 16 1st Trimestre 2013), Bernard le Courtois calculated the top 15 stallions based on the number of CSI winners they had produced in the 2012 season, and Diamant de Sémilly was third on the rankings with seven winners.
On the 2013 WBFSH jumping sire rankings, Diamant de Sémilly had moved from 9th the previous year to 5th with 47 representatives earning 7663 points. The most successful was Polinska des Isles (Valespoir Malaby) who with François Mathy Jr, recorded wins at Lexington and Calgary, with placings at most of Europe’s big shows. Second highest went to Quickly de Kreisker (Laudanum xx) whose best placing was a first in a 1.50 Speed and Handiness class at Stuttgart***** with Abdelkebir Quaddar.
On the 2015 WBFSH standings, Diamant de Sémilly is in first place with 92 international competitors, with the most successful Quickly de Kreisker. Not surprisingly, 41 of his team are branded Selle Français, but the Belgian breeders have also been quick to spot his talent as a sire, with 18 branded BWP.