The Cadre Noir
is an equestrian
Equestrianism more often known as riding, horseback riding or horse riding refers to the skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses...
display team based in the city of Saumur
Saumur is a commune in the Maine-et-Loire department in western France.The historic town is located between the Loire and Thouet rivers, and is surrounded by the vineyards of Saumur itself, Chinon, Bourgueil, Coteaux du Layon, etc...
in western France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...
. The troop was founded in 1828, and gets its name from the black uniforms that are still used today. It is one of the most prestigious horsemanship schools in the world.
The historic role of the Saumur School of Cavalry was to provide training for the officers and non-commissioned officers of the French cavalry. After World War II the mounted element of the French Army had been reduced to a few squadrons of spahi
Spahis were light cavalry regiments of the French army recruited primarily from the indigenous populations of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. The modern French Army retains one regiment of Spahis as an armoured unit, with personnel now recruited in mainland France...
s (disbanded in 1962) and the primarily ceremonial Cavalry of the Republican Guard
Republican Guard is the organization of a republic which serves to protect the President and the government. Usually synonymous with Presidential Guard.* Albanian Republican Guard* Algerian Republican Guard...
. While the need for a purely military riding academy had almost vanished, the international prestige of French horsemanship ensured the survival of the Saumur training centre in the form of a national riding school under the Ministry of Sports.
Accordingly in 1972, the National School of Équitation
was constituted around the Cadre Noir, which form its core teaching staff. Today, there are about 50 horses and a team of elite riders, usually limited to 22. The members of the Cadre Noir have either civilian or military status. Some of the riders have reached the highest level of international sport, being Olympic or world champions.
The equitation on which the school is built was taught by Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere
François Robichon de La Guérinière was a French riding master who had a profound effect on accepted method for correct training of the horse, and is one of the most influential riders on the art of dressage.-History:...
, the French riding master to King Louis XV and author of the book École de Cavalerie,
which was published in 1731.
The Cadre Noir mainly uses Thoroughbred
The Thoroughbred is a horse breed best known for its use in horse racing. Although the word thoroughbred is sometimes used to refer to any breed of purebred horse, it technically refers only to the Thoroughbred breed...
The Anglo-Arabian or Anglo-Arab is a crossbred horse that now also has its own status as a horse breed. It is a Thoroughbred crossed with an Arabian. The cross can be made between a Thoroughbred stallion and an Arabian mare, or vice-versa...
A Hanoverian is a warmblood horse originating in Germany, which is often seen in the Olympic Games and other competitive English riding styles, and have won gold medals in all three equestrian Olympic competitions. It is one of the oldest, most numerous, and most successful of the warmbloods...
s and Selle Français
, but also keeps Lusitano
The Lusitano is a Portuguese horse breed, closely related to the Spanish Andalusian horse. Both are sometimes called Iberian horses, as the breeds both developed on the Iberian peninsula, and until the 1960s they were considered one breed, under the Andalusian name...
horses to demonstrate the 16th and 17th century baroque style of riding. The Thoroughbreds and Anglo Arabians are used for the Grand Prix dressage, and perform individually, pas de deux
(two horses), pas de trois
(three horses), and dûe quantité
(four or more horses). They may be either displayed in hand or ridden.
The Selle Français
are used to display the 'airs above the ground.'