Saumur National Equestrian School

Le Cadre Noir de Saumur. Source :

Since its creation in 1763, the Saumur National Equestrian School has been a place for the in-depth learning, preservation and development of the art of equestrianism.

The National Equestrian School is built around the Cadre Noir de Saumur the trainers and instructors who encourage study and learning. Under the tutelage of the minister for youth and sports, the school operates in cooperation with the French equestrian federation and with the support of the national stud farm for the ministry of defence and the ministry of agriculture and fishing.

In 1763, King Louis XV entrusted the duke of Choiseul with the total reorganisation of the French cavalry. "The Most Beautiful School in the World" was thus born on the Chardonnet to welcome the commissioned and non-commissioned officers responsible for providing instruction in the French cavalry regiments.
Academic equestrianism spread in France, via schools in Versailles, Vienne, Tuileries and St Germain. It was as a result of the Italian wars that equestrianism was introduced in France. Salomon de la Broue, then Antoine de Pluvinel, received their training in Italy. At the end of the XVI century, Duplessis Mornay founded a Protestant university in Saumur with ties to an an equitation academy.
The Saumur school was founded in 1814, and consisted of a military and an academic hippodrome on which students were taught the principles of military equestrianism. The trainers at the academic claimed to be disciples of the Versailles tradition of equestrianism . In 1825, Charles X founded the Saumur Royal Cavalry School. The instructors were allocated to two hippodromes, one military and the other academic. Since the beginning of the XX century, these instructors have been commonly referred to as the Cadre Noir.
Jumpers and instructors wore the current "Lampion" ou "Bicorne" headgear. However, this type of headgear became black during the regin of Louis-Philippe, in order to differentiate them from instructors at the military equestrian school, who wore blue. Since 1830, when the Versailles school closed down, Saumur has been the sole custodian of French equestrian tradition. The National Equestrian School was founded by the ministry of youth affairs and sport by virtue of the decree of 16 May 1972 published in the Official Gazette.
Built in numerous stages since 1974, the school is located on two large plots of land with a total area of 300 hectares. The Terrefort site s the site where the buildings are located, while the Verrie site is used for training and courses. The school has around 200 people, of whom 43 are instructors, and holds 400 horses housed in individual stables.
The premises consist of 4 large, fully automated stables, 15 Olympic courses, 6 circuits (including the largest in Europe, with a capacity of up to 1500 people), a veterinary clinic, a documentation centre and a lecture theatre with numerous classrooms, an equipped amphitheatre with seating for 200 places and a cafeteria Close to 50 km of track is fitted out and contains hundreds of natural obstacles.
The school trains the upper echelons of French equestrians. The training given covers all of the discplines of equestrianism, but also general training. In coordination with the University of Angers, the French equestrian federation, professional organisations and other partners, the school offers a range of levels and more advanced training to students and competition riders from France and overseas. The school hosts and organises numerous international competitions : international vaulting competitions, full course competitions, harnessing competitions, dressage competitions, the national championships, etc. Study and research is conducted in different areas of science and education in order to improve equestrian training and performance. The PERSIVAL simulation program, for example, is the basis for numerous applications derived from the same. In response to requests from students at the school, the school distributes reference texts courtesy of its publication L'Équitation , which serves as forum for exchange and information at the service of professional equestrians and their learning
The National Equestrian Office offers every equestrian a different perspective of the world of horses in the form of visits where they can meet professionals at seminars, gala events and competitions. Individual visits and group tours are held from February 15 to November 6. The school is closed on Saturday afternoon, Sunday, Monday and holidays. Rates are available on the website of the Black Frame. Contact : Florence Dony Tél : 02-41-53-50-60 Address : Ecole Nationale d'Equitation Visits section BP 207 49411 Saumur cedex e-mail :

  • Les bâtiments.

  • Site de Verrie (160 hectares)

  • Le général l'Hotte. Source :

  • Gravure. Source :

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    Practical information


    Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent 49411


    Adultes : 7 € Enfants de 4 à 16 ans : 5 € Personnes handicapées, étudiants, demandeurs d'emploi : 6 € Familles 2 adultes + 2 enfants : 22 € Groupes : 5,50 €

    Weekly opening hours

    Horaire des visites: du 13 février au 31mars: 9h30 / 11h / 14h / 16h. Du 2 avril au 20 octobre: 9h30 / 10h / 10h30 / 11h / 11h30 / 14h / 14h30 / 15h / 15h30 / 16h. Du 22 octobre au 10 novembre: 9h30 / 11h / 14h / 16h

    Fermetures annuelles

    Fermé le samedi après-midi, le dimanche, le lundi matin et les jours fériés

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