Racing is in Christophe’s blood. His grandfather owned racehorses, his father was a successful French trainer, and he grew up in Chantilly, France, at his father’s training yard. His older brother, Nicolas, has also followed the family tradition at the yard in Chantilly, from which he trained the winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in only his second year of training (Saumarez, 1990).
After the death of Christophe’s father, Miguel Clement, in 1978, Ghislaine and Alec Head took Christophe under their wings and allowed him to accompany them to the races, at morning gallops, and at their farm, Haras du Quesnay. Francois Boutin also fostered Christophe’s passion for horse racing, and Crickette Head-Maarek rounded out a group who helped and advised Christophe as he began his career in his father’s footsteps.
Christophe first came to the United States in 1986, working initially for Taylor Made Farm and then with Hall of Fame trainer, Claude “Shug” McGaughey. When he returned to Europe in 1988, Christophe served as an assistant to Luca Cumani for four years in Newmarket, England. During the years Christophe was with Luca Cumani, he was fortunate to be a part of Kahyasi’s great victory at the Derby at Epsom.
In 1991, Christophe went out on his own as a trainer in the United States. He won with the first horse he saddled, Spectaculaire, and just a few months later, he had two Grade II victories, with Passagere du Soir, owned by Mr. Paul de Moussac, and Sardaniya, owned by His Highness the Aga Khan.
In the years that followed, Christophe has had the privilege of training for many different American and international owners of both large and small stables. He reached a milestone of 1000 wins in December 2009 with Vacare winning the Dahlia Hancipad (Gr II) at Hollywwod Park for Mr. and Mrs. Kelly.
Christophe studied economics at the University of Assas, Paris. He is married to Valerie, whom he met at the University and who helps manage the operations of the Florida stables. They have two children, Miguel and Charlotte.