My Visit to The National Stud of Vendée

This is the second stud that I visited on my summer travels this year in France. It is situated in the centre of La Roche Sur Yon, roughly an hour away from La Rochelle.

Built in 1665 by Napoleon to breed horses for the military, Le Haras de la Vendée is now used for cultural and tourist purposes.

We explored the grounds when we were there and there is a lot to see. We were able to see the stables and grounds and see the ‘ exposition de voitures et hippomobiles’ which are the old cars and carts. You can see them displayed with information about when and why each one was used. My hubby liked this part!

The grounds were pretty and you would never think you were in the middle of the city. There were pony rides available all day for children (some in costumes) . Guided tours are available 3 times a day, which I would have liked to go on. You can also go on a pony & cart ride. There were also many educational talks and tours available on specific days including an old photo exhibition, how to tack up a horse , working sessions with commentary, question and answer sessions and a saddlery workshop. How very educational!

In the summer there is a ‘Grande Spectacle’ each day at 17.00. With a multitude of scenes in costumes, to music telling the stories of horses through out the times. The horses pirouette and jump and the reviews I have read say it’s brilliant. There is also Cachou the circus horse, which is a funny show aimed for kids.

If you get a chance to visit one of the National studs in France I would recommend it. There are 22 National studs around France, which make up along with the National riding school the Institut Français du Cheval et de L’ Equitation. It’s certainly something I will try to continue to do as I luckily stumbled across the studs in Tarbes & & Vendée and enjoyed both visits. Both I have visited have been very informative and interesting but good fun too. I would say the stud in Vendée is not as grand as the stud in Tarbes, but both have a lot to offer. Both centres are used for tourism but also for research in the continuation of breeding and for shows, competitions and education. Both were really child friendly too. Entry was €5 for the whole day which included everything I mentioned above including entry to the spectacle. It’s really good value!

Do you know of any horsey places or events I should visit in France? If you have stumbled across any gems whilst on holiday etc let me know as I am always looking for new horsey places to visit. Please let me know in the comments if you do.

Also don’t forget the In Due Horse Christmas party is going on at the moment on Facebook and Instagram. Send your Christmassy pictures in to feature on the page. Just remember to tag @induehorse & use the hashtag #induehorseparty.

Bonne Weekend everyone! 💕

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