Haras du Pin

Normandie Tourisme

The Haras du Pin is the oldest, most aristocratic, most striking national stud in France. Founded by Louis XIV, its bears the nickname of ‘the equestrian Versailles’ well. In its idyllic setting in southern Normandy, in a region renowned for its centuries-old horse-breeding traditions, the stud stages equine events.

"The equestrian Versailles"

The most striking national stud in France

This splendid equestrian estate came into existence at the very end of Louis XIV’s reign. In 1714, the Sun King asked his principal equerry, François Gédéon de Garsault, to find a spot more suitable for producing fine horses than the inadequate existing royal stud near Saint-Germain-en-Laye on the outskirts of Paris. This gorgeous stretch of the southern Normandy countryside was chosen for its many qualities.

The architect who drew up the plans for the new royal stud was Robert de Cotte. He had already designed stables for the king’s domain at Versailles, which helps explain the startling grandeur of the Haras du Pin. The works were overseen by Pierre Le Mousseux. The central château is flanked by two curving wings reserved for the horses. It should be remembered that horses, up until the 20th century, were bred not just for transport and agriculture, but also for war.

The Haras du Pin proves a wonderful equestrian estate to visit, both for horse enthusiasts and for those with no specialist knowledge. Look out for the special events staged here, plus the special extras available on peak Mondays and Thursdays.


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Practical information

Le Pin National Stud website

Horse riding in Normandy