Rendezvous in Normandy
France to host 2014 World Equestrian Games
Elizabeth Moyer |
At the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the FEI flag was lowered and officially passed from Kentucky to Normandy. The French region will welcome the world equestrian games in 2014.
|The historic monastery at Mont Saint Michel will be the finishing point for endurance at the 2014 World Equestrian Games.
The French/American connection is especially significant, as 2014 will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when American and allied troops landed on Normandy beach during World War II in a pivotal battle in the liberation of France and Europe.
Normandy and Kentucky share many similarities. Both have a worldwide reputation for producing champions and serve as centers of equine industry, research, breeding and competition.
At the 2010 games in Kentucky, the France-Normandy pavilion was a popular attraction featuring hands-on cooking demonstrations, gourmet delights of the region from Calvados to Camembert, and information about the equestrian industry and attractions as well as general tourism including the historic Mont Saint Michel, D-Day Beaches and impressionist sites of Honfleur and Giverny.
Located in northwest France, the Normandy coastline is opposite the British Isles. The historic city of Caen, located in lower Normandy, will host the games. Caen is less than two hours from Paris by train.
Normandy Horse Country
Normandy is the top sport horse breeding region in France, producing sport horses and racehorses, including both Trotteurs Francais and Thoroughbreds. For sport horses, the breed of choice is the Selle Francais. Famous representatives include showjumpers Ideo du Thot, winner of the 2007 World Cup and Baloubet du Rouet, Olympic champion and three-time World Cup winning mount of Brazilian rider Rodrigo Pessoa.
Normandy is also famous for its numerous racetracks, boasting 31 tracks. One of the most well-known is at Deauville. The prestigious beach resort town is known for its harbor, Grand Casino, international film festival and sumptuous hotels, spa and shopping. The city’s two race tracks host a national steeplechase competition as well as an international polo championship and show jumping, dressage and vaulting competitions. A recent addition is the Deauville International Equestrian Complex.
Le Pin National Stud
Referred to as “Versailles for Horses,” Le Pin National Stud represents 300 years of equestrian history. Built in the 18th century under King Louis XIV’s rule, the stud features majestic stables and a grand chateau. In addition to serving as a breeding center Le Pin National Stud hosts international competitions including breed shows, show jumping, driving, eventing and endurance. Visitors can tour the stud and also catch the exceptional display in the courtyard that runs weekly from June to September featuring horses in hand, dressage and the famous historical carriages of Le Pin.
At the 2014 games, Le Pin will serve as the starting point for the endurance race, which will finish at another landmark site, the famed Mont Saint Michel.
The other historic national stud is St.-Lo National Stud, which hosts many prestigious events such as the Journees Selle Francais, a stallion licensing, national championship and elite auction event for the French Saddle Horse.
Normandy is a land rich in both horses and history. Visit for yourself in 2014 and enjoy all that Normandy horse country has to offer as well as regional tourism opportunities and the best of horse sport at the World Equestrian Games competition.
To plan your trip, visit the following resources: www.rendezvous-in-normandy2014.com
Normandy Horse Council
World Equestrian Games (in French)
French Horse Industry
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Rendezvous in Normandy