The birthplace of the famous Cadre Noir is Saumur, undoubtedly the French equestrian capital. Created back in 1815, a group of teachers taught classical riding to the officer cadets of the National School of Horse Riding. Now they are high level experts who represent the school at national and international competitions. They contribute to the influence of French riding on a worldwide scale.

The city of Saumur is very attractive town with its white stone buildings, grey slate rooves and riverside setting, all topped of course by its grand chateau set on a hill.  Located in the Loire Valley region between Angers and Tours with many beautiful places to visit in the region. Saumur is only around 2 hours from Paris by train, making this a comfortable day trip or weekend for tourists. The city is known for its iconic castle overlooking the city and the river as well as the main locations of horseback riding in France. Equestrian events and gala shows are scheduled throughout the year, where the famous horsemen of the Cadre Noir”, can be found in black uniform.

The “Cadre Noir” is located at the National School of Riding, a 10-minutes’ drive from the centre of Saumur. You have the opportunity to discover the history of the Cadre Noir”. During the “classic visit”, you will pass by the stables, the big carousel and saddlery. If you are lucky, you will even have the opportunity to observe the live training of the great masters of riding.
In addition to the regular visit, you can attend a public presentation or a “Cadre Noir” Gala. Reservations are made at the National School of Horse Riding or at the Tourist Office.

To complete your equestrian discovery, you can visit the Cavalry Museum. It is located in the very centre of Saumur, in the old restored stables of the “Cadre Noir” built in 1827. This military museum traces the history of French cavalry from the 15th century under Charles VII to today’s tanks. It offers collections with uniforms, harnesses, armours and old weapons, paintings and sculptures.

Other things to see and do in the area
The old town of Saumur is accessible on foot or by horse-drawn carriage, with its lively streets and tufa facades. The region is also famous for its wine and its vineyards, with many troglodyte cellars dug in tufa and chalk. One of the most original ways to discover them is to visit a winery where you will then meet the producers who make the famous Saumur sparkling white wines, and also still red and white wines.

The Chateau of Saumur is undoubtedly the most emblematic building in the city, built by the Valois Dynasty, it is the last example of a princely palace. Originally a defence fortress in the 13th century with conical towers, it was then in the 14th century a leisure castle nicknamed “Castle of Love”, with windows decorated with richly carved balustrades. Then home of Saumur governors under Louis XIV and Louis XV, the castle was transformed into prison under Napoleon 1st before becoming a weapons deposit place under the Restoration. Classified historical monument since 1862, it houses today the municipal museum labelled Museum of France. This museum is divided into two sections: The Decorative Arts and the Horse section. Both offer a rich collection of works of art from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: wood carvings and alabaster, tapestries, furniture, paintings, liturgical ornaments, ceramics. The Horse Museum traces the history of the saddle horse and horse riding through the ages and the world. There are collections of saddles, stirrups, spurs and other rich harnesses from all over the world. Moreover, in July and August you can attend a 30-minutes equestrian show mixing dance and mimes, which takes place three times a day in the gardens of the castle.

To know more about the Cadre Noir

The public performances allow you to watch the ecuyers of the Cadre Noir at work in the Grand Manège. The commentary provided by an ecuyer will give you an appreciation of the work involved in training the horse, jumping, in long reins, the airs above the ground, and classical riding.

From April to October, the French national riding school offers, “Discover the work of the ecuyers of the Cadre noir”

For more information and the timetable of gala shows please check the

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