“Horses are almost a second job for me. »Co-founder in 2012 of the fast food chain Big Fernand, which offers Hamburgés – including gourmet burgers – Steve Burggraf is also passionate about horses. In parallel with the development of his brand – which had around fifty restaurants after Steve Burggraf left the company in 2019 – the entrepreneur developed a much less known passion: horse racing.
“I got caught up in the game for animals and sport”
Don’t look for a connection between burgers and horse racing. Passionate about horses and rider since a young age, Steve Burggraf became interested in the equestrian sector a few years ago, in parallel with his professional activity. “I didn’t have a family that took me to the racetracks. I had to join a group team in 2013 to know how the sector works, he explains. In 2014, I bought my first yearlings, thanks to a racehorse broker friend, Laurent Benoit. “Everything happened very quickly for the 48-year-old entrepreneur, who has developed his workforce over the years:” I took to the game for animals and sport, and also for the business side, because I sell and buy horses. Now at the head of a workforce of about fifty horses, divided between ten broodmares, fifteen horses in training and foals, Steve Burggraf continues his professional development. “In particular, I have a restaurant called Polichinelle, in the 15th arrondissement in Paris, that I set up with Christophe Michalak. It is a restaurant without meat or fish, which is still very gourmet. This Wednesday, we will be opening the catering version of this brand at Galeries Lafayette (Paris). I went from all to all, but that corresponds to my new modes of consumption, ”he emphasizes.
A life with horses
For those that haven’t hesitated to construct their steady like a enterprise, with a typical denominator, “to surround themselves with friendly and competent people”, horses are omnipresent of their life. “I go up to my place every weekend in Sologne. I was lucky to have a starter in Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago, in Riyadh. I also had very good moments with Francis-Henri Graffard, who has all my horses with a few exceptions, in the morning on the slopes, ”he explains, earlier than specifying:“ Those who last in the horses of race, are those who are passionate. And for me, it’s natural. “
Four years after buying his first yearling, Steve Burggraf saw his jacket, that of the Montlahuc team, finish third in the Prix de Diane (Gr. I), thanks to Homeric. ” This is exceptional. It’s encouraging and we say to ourselves that it is possible, since at that time, I only had three or four horses in training. “In the event of this Monday, the owner could once again see his jacket shine, with Haliphon. “It is a horse that disappointed us during its last race, when it came back to school. But we still have a lot of hopes for him, he’s a quality horse. I like the “magic” duo FH Graffard / PC Boudot. We have the fitting to end within the high three. “