Benefiting from a most prestigious patrimony, the French National Horse-Riding School established itself around the Cadre Noir of Saumur in 1972. Situated in the Pays de la Loire region, this equestrian school is the headquarters of the Pôle France Equitation. The Ecuyers (riding instructors) belong to the Cadre Noir of Saumur and are the actual teaching staff at the French National Horse-Riding School who are responsible for training and perfecting the horse-riding elite. It has been a part of the Institut Français du Cheval et de l’Équitation since 2010.
Origins of the School
At the end of the 16th century, Duplessis Mornay founded a protestant university in Saumur, and a horsemanship academy was managed here by Monsieur de Saint-Vual. In 1763, King Louis XV entrusted the Duke of Choiseul with the reorganization of the French cavalry. ‘The finest school in the world’ thus came into being on the Place du Chardonnet to welcome officers and non-commissioned officers in charge of instruction in the cavalry regiments. It remained in operation until 1788.
School of Saumur
The School of Saumur was first opened in 1814. It consisted of a military school and a second school where the principles of military horsemanship were taught. “Airs relevés,’ a ‘high-step” style, was officially practiced here. In 1828, at the first carrousel, the elite performed jumper and instructor lessons. On this occasion they wore a hat specific to the school called the ‘lampion’ or ‘bicorne’ (two-horned, due to its shape). However, riders were not yet in black dress. It was first introduced in the reign of Louis-Philippe.
And that was how the Cadre Noir was born. It trained the elite of the riding instructors for the Cavalry School.
In 1972, the French National Horse-Riding School was set up around the Cadre Noir, a training body for horses and riders that focussed on studying and teaching. They were also in charge of maintaining horsemanship in the pure French tradition.
The Cadre Noir of Saumur is now composed of civilians and military, forming the French National Horse-riding School.