I’ve been apprehensive about interviewing Roman Boissard about his role in ‘Spiral of Hooves’ ever since he objected to my interview with Du Noroît Stud’s nutritionist, Lina Jardero. However, it is important to establish whether he is the interfering nuisance that his son, Gilles makes out, or whether the family equestrian business is his creation and dependent on him.
Monsieur Roman Boissard, many thanks for making time to see me…
Major Boissard to you. And you are late. Your appointment was last week, Clarke. I presume that you were never in the army otherwise you would show more respect. Army discipline would sort out your sloppy ideas.
Of course, Major. Can I ask what you did in the Canadian Army?
All I can divulge is that I was posted on covert operations with front-line combat regiments. Essential work that must remain confidential. Move on to the next question, I am a busy man.
Did you establish the family equestrian enterprise, Boissard Équestre with your son?
Tabernac, I formed Boissard Équestre on my own, without any help from my useless playboy son or those who exploit him… most of them foreigners that don’t understand us.
Who are your closest friends?
My business partners, like Patrick Harfang. We play golf together at our country club near Bromont. I trust them more than my son. Patrick is a sharp businessman, who can turn any failing business round and make it far more profitable than it ever was.
So you would consider this Patrick Harfang as like part of “your tribe”?
Of course. I can always trust his advice. It’s sound. The reverse of my wastrel son, Gilles.
What would you have to do to get kicked out of this club?
A ridiculous scenario and one that would be unmotivated.
Before the novel began, what were your hopes for the future? What changed that?
My dream was for Boissard Équestre to produce first-class horses for the Canadian Equestrian Team. But everything that I have tried to achieve has been opposed by my son and his under-qualified team. What use is a University degree when it ignores the scientific advances of prominent businesses? Lina Jardero is a total fraud.
But Gilles has said, “Papa is merely a nuisance”. The implication being that you are at fault?
Calisse, if I wanted I could make his life messy, but there are sensible options, if he would only listen to me. I am a reasonable man.
So what do you think is going to happen next? Can you reach an agreement with your son?
If he knows where his real loyalties lie. And those loyalties are not to his so-called friends. Who are they anyway? A salope groom that merely wants his money, a failed scientist that risks the horses with her experiments, and a scruffy academic that is a born criminal.
You are suggesting that Armand Sabatier is dangerous, so you don’t trust him?
He tries to take advantage of us with his pitiful moods. He’s too shifty and evasive, pretending to help everyone. Maybe I should have his contract terminated. I’m not even sure that he’s allowed to work in Canada.
By termination, you don’t mean murder? Your son suggested that you might kill someone, but not Armand, surely?
If I want him off the stud, I have easier ways to remove him. Now, if you want a suspect and if it isn’t my son, then the Frenchman would be ideal. However, I don’t think he has the brains to use anything other than a computer. A born failure, as an academic and probably as a criminal.
What was your most shattering, and most recent encounters with death?
In the military I saw my share of death, and it needs to end there. As I’ve said, I’m a reasonable man for whom killing is only a last resort and in combat. Life is sacred.
I accept that you have been misrepresented by others. In that respect, what’s your greatest talent?
As an entrepreneur, to always find the most cost effective but also most cutting-edge ways forward. That is why I was very keen to proceed with the trials of genetically-modified feed. And despite the critics close to home, the breeding stock look excellent and the financial projection is positive. The business has great prospects. As a family-man, to provide for my family, even Gilles.
Gilles sees himself in the hero role, ignoring the fact that a protagonist can always be female. What about yourself, are you heroic?
I have the military training to be a hero, but I fear that my age might be against me. Writers, like you, want young dynamic heroes and I suspect that means my son. Or are you suggesting that your novel features some trendy heroine protagonist? You can’t mean Jardero or that useless groom Fedon? That would be laughable – it will never sell.
I think I have an age advantage over you, Major Boissard. Even if I lack the military discipline. Are you applying for the protagonist position?
Dare you ask? I have all the qualifications, even if others want to condemn me. If my favourite actor, Harrison Ford can still be the hero then I accept the promotion.
Thank you, Major Boissard for the valuable insight into your true personality. I have other candidates for the position, but I will assess your credentials with due consideration.
As long as you are not seriously considering my son. Tabernac, that would be a major mistake, even if he has his leeches.
Odette Fedon, Head groom at Du Noroît Stud
Armand Sabatier, Du Noroît Stud EIA researcher
Other ‘Spiral of Hooves’ interviews:
- Canada’s first equestrian gold medal (olympic.ca)