What do the engines on the new Ariane VI launch system, Airbus flight helmets and the French Navy’s next generation of nuclear attack submarines all have in common? They are all made in Normandy! The aeronautics, space, defence and security industry is firmly established in our region with major manufacturing sites and exciting SMEs. Fuelled by new perspectives for the future – EU Space Strategy for Security and Defence cooperation, new generation of sustainable aircraft – the sector is taking off with a higher turnover than before the pandemic. 

Horses run through Normandy’s veins

From the first harness races on Cherbourg beach to milestone moments in racing and equestrian sport championships (dressage, show jumping, eventing), Normandy and horses share more than just history; they share a love story! Anglo-Norman, Selle Français, French Trotter, Thoroughbred, Percheron, Norman Cob: the region has unique expertise when it comes to breeding.

Chevaux pur sang dans le Pays d'Auge en Normandie

Its outstanding sites and facilities (two national stud farms, an equestrian campus, business cluster, world horse library) combined with having every aspect of the industry on-site have helped carve out its reputation for equine excellence

Normandy at the top of the podiums

  • Biggest breeding region in terms of breeders and births (over 12,000/year)
  • Biggest economic region in terms of employment and turnover : 6700 establishments, 18,000 jobs, 1.3 billion € in turnover
  • Biggest equine research region with 5 research centres
  • 1st environment and animal welfare label for equestrian facilities, EquRES
  • 1st working animal welfare label for every company in the horse industry, EquuRES Bien-être au travail

An ambitious regional equine policy

The region’s equine policy for 2023-2027 is based on 5 key areas: ensure companies in the industry succeed; establish Normandy as an area for excellence in terms of equestrian health, performance and welfare; promote Normandy’s equine heritage; use horses to attract tourists and promote the region; enable everyone in Normandy to reap the rewards of the industry.

A one-of-a-kind international equestrian campus, coming soon

An international equestrian campus for research, training and horse industry businesses will open in 2025 in Goustranville, one of two Normandie Equine Vallée sites.

In addition to the existing research laboratories, 6500m2 of new premises will house Alfort veterinary school’s equine healthcare training centre, a veterinary hospital, connected clinical lecture theatre, student residence, offices and coworking spaces. Project cost: 42 M€ inc. 37 M€ funded by the region.

Horse sectors in pole position

Breeding and auction

With over 8200 stud farms, 4600 breeders and 12,000 births per year*, Normandy is the biggest region in France for horse breeding. It stands out in particular for its French Trotters and Thoroughbreds that are worth their weight in gold. One of them sold for 2.4 million € at the 2022 yearlings auction hosted by Arqana in Deauville! Caen is also well-known for its auctions run by Société du Cheval Anglo-Normand. 

*2019 figures/Conseil des Chevaux de Normandie

Research

Normandy needs no introduction when it comes to equine research.

 Normandie Equine Vallée covers two sites home to cutting-edge facilities and laboratories:

  • Cirale (imagery and research centre for musculoskeletal disorders),
  • ANSES (research into causes of death in horses),
  • Labéo (biggest lab in Europe for equine assessments),
  • BIOTARGEN (Université de Caen research department for osteo-articular and respiratory diseases in horses).

They come together in a scientific interest group (GIS) called CENTAURE which is unique in France.

The FNCH (research and action against doping sport and racing horses) and La Jumenterie du Pin (IFCE research centre) are also well-known facilities in Normandy.

Care

We give our horses the royal treatment! The region is home to 200 specialist vets, 230 farriers and equine podiatrists plus 70 specialist companies (osteopaths, dentists, shiatsu etc.). Horse owners also work with several equine hydrotherapy and rehabilitation centres (inc. Kinésia in Goustranville) as well as Respe, the first disease surveillance network in equine pathology. 

Sport and leisure

Normandy is heaven for its 40,000 licensed horse riders who can ride in one of 900 stables, on bridle paths and by the sea. There’s something for anyone who enjoys horse shows and equestrian sports too. Normandy’s two stud farms (Le Pin and Saint-Lô) and the Pôle international du Cheval Longines riding school in Deauville host several events every year (a thousand per year).

Horse racing

Excitement, thrills and spills. Normandy’s 42 hippodromes are popular among the punters! The region hosts 350 racing events per year with 45 racing companies. Behind the scenes, Normandy’s jockeys and 600 trainers work at outstanding facilities such as the Dragey-Rothon training centre in Manche (6 gallop tracks with views of Mont Saint-Michel), Pôle Hippique de Saint-Lô riding school and Deauville-La Touques racehorse training centre, one of the biggest in Europe. 

Horse industries and services

Fodder and bedding, horse and jockey equipment, infrastructures, transport, services: over 220 specialist companies have set up shop in Normandy (French companies account for 15%). They make over 550 M€ in turnover. The biggest names include IMV Technologies France, the world leader in artificial insemination, Théault, Europe’s biggest manufacturer of horseboxes and horsetrucks, and Equidéclic, software specialists for equine professionals. The land of horses is also home to several artisan saddlemakers. Hermès opened a new leather factory making saddles and bridles, alongside its iconic bags, in 2022 in Louviers in Eure. 

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Do you need assistance?

The economic development agency of the region, AD Normandie, offers personalised support for setting up your business in Normandy. A team of experts assists you with the administrative procedures for the development of your project as well as investments.

 

Discover the support for the horse industry by AD Normandie

A structured industry and supported professionals

People working in the horse industry benefit from the region’s facilities that bring them together and provide support. 

Normandy’s Hippolia is the only business cluster devoted to the horse industry in France. It has 215 members (start-ups, companies, research departments, training centres) throughout France. It supports over 200 innovative projects every year. 

The Conseil des Chevaux de Normandie represents equine professionals in Normandy at public and private institutions. Its many areas of expertise include employment, training and innovation.  The industry is brought to life by the likes of Cheval Normandie, the regional horse riding committee, the regional committee for equestrian tourism, Normandy horse riding federations and more.

Top 3 innovations from Normandy

  •  Equine performance test. Synchrogait is a DNA test designed by the Normandy start-up Equibiogènes for a genetic variant that has a major impact on the gait and coordination of horses. It’s a vital tool among horse breeders and owners.
  • Connected girth. Seaver, a start-up that launched in Normandy and is now based in Paris, designed a connected girth to measure your horse’s performance in real time. A mini revolution in the world of equestrian sport!
  • Mobile laboratory. The Labéotruck is a first in France! The mobile lab by Labéo Normandie launched in 2023 and runs through a battery of tests on horses at sporting events. It’s great for vets, especially in terms of contagious diseases. 

Events showcasing the industry

Normandy hosts over 1000 equine competitions every year. The most famous include Le Grand Complet at Haras National du Pin, Longine Deauville Classic (international show jumping event) and the international polo tournament in Deauville Barrière. Events such as the Normandie Horse Show and Equidays put on a real show for audiences.


The Bibliothèque Mondiale du Cheval (world horse library) in Normandy will host a conference in Versailles in 2024 for the Paris Olympics. 

A horse industry that creates jobs

With over 800 vacancies in 2022* (accounting for a quarter of all vacancies nationwide) Normandy is the biggest region in terms of employment in the horse industry. Stable jobs that can’t be outsourced (1 in 2 permanent contracts) and tend not to require qualifications (80%).
* source: Equi-ressources

The most in-demand jobs

The top five profiles that equestrian companies in Normandy are looking for are stable hands/horse grooms, riding coaches, groomers, horse trainers and breeding assistants (Normandy alone accounts for 60% of vacancies in this one career in France).

Normandy training courses

Normandy provides a wide range of courses in every area of the horse industry: farriery, saddle-making, esquestrian sport and horse racing promotion, veterinary medicine, research, equine business management etc. You won’t find some of them anywhere else in France: the Master’s in horse science and management (applications in September 2024), pre-training jockey training with a breaking in option (MFR de Vains), artificial insemination technician certificate (IFCE) and equine osteopathy courses (EFOA, ESAO). 
NB: Alfort veterinary school’s equine healthcare training centre has been taught at the Goustranville campus since 2023. 

Eloïse Guitton – Normandie Tourisme
Haras national de Saint Lô en Normandie

Academic establishments

There are 37 centres providing equine-related courses in Normandy including:

News in the equine industry in Normandy

Horse racing: No pain, no Graignes

Saddle trotting, harness racing and gallop racing more recently… The Afasec horse racing college in Graignes teaches over a hundred students from around the world the art of turf racing in Saint-Lô Agglo in Manche. Despite being little-known and hard to fill, careers in the sector are attainable and appealing. A unique school in Normandy…

Haras National du Pin: Normandy’s iconic equestrian site

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