The luxury of choice. Brett A. Brinkman is the founder and owner of LeMesa Stallions. Originally from the Lafayette, La., area, Brinkman could have started his program in Florida or Kentucky, but chose Louisiana for reasons soaked in his Cajun roots.
“The influence of the horsemen that come away from this area spreads out nationwide,” Brinkman emphasized. “No other place in the country has produced so many good horsemen as down here, from the breeding to the trainers and jockeys. It is just now getting national attention. A lot of these guys cut their teeth on betting the grocery money on whether they could outrun the other guy or not. Belive me, the Cajun lifestyle toughens a person up. Performing under that kind of pressure, you kind of learn to be a good horseman.”
Everybody needs a push sometimes. Brinkman knew that the locale of the farm would be an ideal hub to van in from the north, west, or east. He knew that he didn’t want to become a huge operation.
His vision was a couple of stallions and 15 to 20 mares. Le-Mesa Stallions would be a farm that stood some nice, quality stallions and produce runners that would give people a chance to get to the races and make money.
“One of the main guys that forced my hand when I was talking about building the facility was Bill Heiligbrodt,” Brinkman recalled. “He made it hard to refuse, sending me a quality stallion and just staying true to his desire to become a leading force in the area. He has given us a lot of confidence as we go forward.”
The 41-year-old Brinkman is a history buff with a close appreciation of the plantation life and Civil War battles that were fought around southwest Louisiana. His grandfather was a trainer at Evangeline Downs and it was that relationship that is so beneficial around Thoroughbreds. A few credit hours away from graduating in Veterinary Science from ULL (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Prevost spends each and every available hour at the farm, gaining hands-on experience.