Haras du Pin
If it can be said that nature is inspired in Normandy, it is also because man has been able to feed from it and cherish it so that it came close to perfection.
The Haras du Pin, the French National Stud founded in 1715 by decree of the Sun King, Louis XIV, is also known as "the Equestrian Versailles". Any doubts about this appellation are quickly dismissed by a tour of the site. The superb estate and buildings bear witness to the respect in which man holds his "most noble conquest". The stables fan out in a horseshoe shape around the majestic courtyard, and house about forty breeding stallions of ten different races.
The Haras du Pin, situated in the village of Pin-au-Haras in the Orne region, is a symbol of French excellence in horse breeding, and is the most ancient and prestigious of the national studs. Visitors who have the chance to go there experience a veritable discovery of the elegant equestrian world in an incomparable historic setting. They follow a didactic course on the different gaits, breeds, anatomy and even equestrian specialities. Under the eves they learn the history of the stud before watching an impressive carousel of images.
Worth a visit
- Les courses du Pin (The Pin Races) : In a convivial, rural atmosphere, the Haras du Pin welcomes leading flat-racing and obstacle specialists on one of the oldest race courses in France.
- Les jeudis du Pin (The Pin on Thursdays) : The Stud has built its reputation around four exceptional breeds : the Percheron, the Trotteur Français, the Selle Français and the English Thoroughbred. Together with the collection of horse-drawn vehicles, they are the centre of displays that take place every Thursday afternoon from June to September.
Dates for your diary
- July : The international driving competition (« les rendez-vous de l'attelage »).
- Last Friday and Saturday in September : special competition for Percheron breed