A trip to Chantilly for Equestrian lovers

Chantilly is undoubtedly famous for its opulent castle - the Château de Chantilly, its museum Musée Condé which is believed to have the 2nd largest collection of antique paintings in France after the Musée Louvre and is the birthplace of the lightest and fluffiest Crème Chantilly. But did you know that the town is also considered as the “Equestrian Capital” or the “Capital City of the Horse” in France?

France’s love for horses knows no bounds – and if you are passionate about horse riding, nature and history then what better way to explore the town and learn about its history than taking a trip to the Horse Kingdom!

Chantilly is a paradise for horse-lovers and dedicates its energies to polo, horse-riding competitions and hunting. You will discover the wonders of this town with its Grandes Écuries (Grand Stables), considered as the most magnificent stables in the world, as well as its racecourse and France’s principal horse-training centres.

Learn about this symbol of prestige and power and the role of the regal animal at the Musée du Cheval (Museum of the Horse) through a collection of paintings, sculptures and ethnographic objects.

You can choose from various private / guided tours to discover the stables, the training centre and the racecourse.

GRANDES ÉCURIES / THE GRAND STABLES

Grandes Ecuries Show - Domaine de Chantilly Website
© Domaine de Chantilly

Built in the 18th century, the Grand Stables is home to 240 horses and 400+ hounds and is open to the public throughout the year. The stable also contains the Musée Vivant du Cheval, which displays riding equipment, rocking horses and objets d'art. The extraordinary grandeur of the stables will surely have a hypnotic effect on you!

Be mesmerised by a 30-minute equestrian show. They also host 1-hour shows that take place from late March to October.

HIPPODROME DE CHANTILLY / CHANTILLY RACECOURSE

racecourse - Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com-photos)
© racingpost.com

Close to the castle, surrounding the forest, the Chantilly Racecourse is home to two of the four France’s most important and classic races: the Prix du Jockey Club, also known as the French Derby, and the Prix de Diane, or French Oaks. The first race meeting at the course was held in 1834. In keeping with the tradition of horse racing, this oldest racecourse in continental Europe, has a double grass track.

Admire the performance of the best horses through a race which is developed in 45 min and if you want to bet during races, there is a special counter available for this!

TRAINING CENTRE

The training centre, built in 1898, is one of the oldest and biggest training centres in the country. The horse capital trains daily more than 3,000 thoroughbred horses on the sand tracks.

Chantilly Training Centre is divided into :

• The Forest, which, holds the Piste des Lions (lion track) where galloping is a unique experience
Les Aigles, an expansive grass field with turf, sand, and synthetic gallops interspersed, where several hundred horses gallop every morning between 6 am and 1 pm.
Lamorlaye and Coye-La-Foret, an area specifically for horses that race over jumps
Avilly Saint Leonard, a track where horses can train year-round.

Spend a warm, sunny morning at the Chantilly Training Centre exploring the magical world of horse racing with a professional guide.

You can also discover Chantilly on a horseback by simulating a riding practice or by introducing yourself to free-joring, an activity where you will be towed by a horse in a buggy or on a mountain board!

The Domaine de Chantilly remains a treasure trove and will make any horse lover’s heart skip a beat, with its lush forest, magnificent castle and stables!