It was selected as one of 17 iconic French sites in 2022 for Stéphane Bern’s Mission Patrimoine and will host international teams for the Paris Olympics in 2024. It also hosts several equestrian events, innovative activities and outstanding training. Let’s answer your questions about the Haras National du Pin, an iconic (and Norman!) in the equestrian world.

WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?

The Haras National du Pin is nothing less than the oldest and most famous national stud farm. It covers over 1100ha in Le Pin-au-Haras in the Orne département. It was originally built to fulfil a desire and fill a gap: to breed the best horses for transport, farming, cavalry and the Versailles court.

WHO FOUNDED IT?

It was the first royal French stud farm to be commissioned by King Louis XIV, but he didn’t live to see it built as construction began the year he died, in 1715. It took 5 years to build, starting with the horseshoe-shaped courtyard and castle built in 1730. The Château de Versailles was a huge inspiration, as you can see from its long entrance and open views, hence the nickname “the Versailles of horses”.

WHAT’S INSIDE?

It was originally built to house stallions, the best in France and owned by the state. The stud farm added new strings to its bow in 2015 as it hosts sporting competitions and cultural events throughout the year. High standard performances, breeding and training! The estate is home to a variety of structures all related to the equestrian world. One of them is the IFCE (French Institute of Horses and Horse Riding) which is in charge of the training courses available at the stud farm.

WHICH COURSES ARE AVAILABLE?

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Obviously, the training all revolves around the equestrian world. The IFCE provides high standard courses in raising, breeding, riding, saddlery, farriery and harnessing. La Jumenterie – a research, expertise and innovation centre – is the place for highly sought-after breeding courses.

WHO IS IT FOR?

With everything that the stud farm has to offer, it caters for everyone from the general public (tours, shows and events) to riders, horse owners and students.

WHY IS IT SO FAMOUS?

It hosts competitions that attract the best riders and horses in the world every year. Then there are the Percheron and Cob Normand horses bred at the Centre de Valorisation du Cheval et de l’Âne which are sold all over the world.

Another source of pride are the courses that are renowned for their high standards among the best in the industry. There’s even a partnership between Hermès and IFCE whereby several apprentices get a placement at the luxury brand’s studios in Val-de-Reuil every year.

The Haras du Pin is home to the Centre de Conservation National de Semence Equine (equine semen storage centre); breeding techniques and training at La Jumenterie have also helped the Haras du Pin gain its fantastic reputation in the horse world.

WHAT IS MISSION PATRIMOINE?

Stéphane Bern is in charge of Mission Patrimoine, launched by the Heritage Foundation and supported by the Ministry of Culture and FDJ (French national lottery). It helps protect French heritage in all its diversity. The Haras National du Pin was selected as an iconic site in 2022. With the help of the Ministry of Culture and FDJ, Mission Patrimoine provides a one-off donation of 390,000 euros, paid by cheque on September 17th 2022, which will go towards renovating the former church and vet at the Haras du Pin. The financial support will fuel the Haras du Pin’s safeguarding policy.

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT INVOLVE?

With the help of its president Christophe de Balorre and Normandy Region, the Orne département launched a campaign lasting several years in 2021 and covering three areas: tourism, sport and training. The project ties into the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics where it has a key role as a training centre for athletes.  Why? To restore the Haras National du Pin to its former glory and make it an outstanding site, the only one in the area, devoted to tourism and the equine industry.

What is PISE?

PISE stands for the International Equestrian Sports Centre at the Haras du Pin and is one of the most modern sites in the world. After 18 months of work, it precisely illustrates one of the projects planned as part of the major restructuring works for the sports aspect. Four warm-up and competition arenas, designed for better water resource management, 300 spacious stables with green roofs to shelter the horses, a dedicated space for veterinary care, a reception building with a panoramic restaurant… This first phase of work definitively repositions the “Versailles of the Horse” at the center of international attention.

 

110 days of competitions will take place at PISE in 2024, including an international carriage competition at the end of June, an Olympic Games fanzone from July 27th to August 6th, and the World Single Horse Carriage Championship in mid-September.

 

Further information

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