France trip report 3, with Frederic Pignon and the Four Schools Exhibition!

France was filled with so many special things for our group…even three blog posts doesn’t cover it! But here are a few more highlights.

We had the great pleasure and honor to spend a day with Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado, along with Magali’s parents and sister Estelle, and of course, Noah, their son! Frederic and Magali were the original performers and choreographers of Cavalia. It was a delight from start to finish. None of us wanted to leave the farm when the time came. We began the day in Tarrascon to have a visit to the school and foundation that Frederic and Magali have begun to educate young riders. Their goal is to create riders that can ride, train, and perform with horses in Equestrian Theatre or Spectacle. They ride and work each day in a complex that is over 200 years old. At one point it held more than 1,000 horses being trained for Napoleon!

Then we moved on to Frederic and Magali’s house and training base. We were thrilled to watch an impromptu exhibition with many of Frederic and Magali’s star performers! After a lunch together we all visited the breeding farm. We met Magali’s parents and sister Estelle and all the horses at the farm, including the new stars of the show that Frederic and Magali are now staging. The first performances were at the Salon du Cheval in Paris earlier this month. The day ended with a walk in the fields among the young horses and mares and babies. We were surprised with a champagne and cookies treat while with the horses. This, like the rest of the day, was offered with grace and smiles and generosity. Thank you, Frederic, Magali, and to all your family. It was a wonderful day for all of us.

Zipping to Paris the next day on the TGV had us there in plenty of time for an afternoon of shopping. Later that evening we gathered to go to Bercy to see the Four Schools Exhibition. We were in France in 2007 for the first ever performance of the Four Schools together. This evening had all the majesty of the first performances, with maybe a little more relaxation.

Visits to Chantilly, Versailles, and Haras du Pin in Normandy finished out the rest of our trip, and YES we were all exhausted….but happy to have experienced so much Equestrian Culture. This heritage is appropriately treasured in France. We hope you enjoy the photos, as always, lovingly created by Keron Psillas. And we hope you will join us on trip sometime soon! Next up will most likely be Brasil in May for the Auction at Couldelaria Ihla Verde and the ABPSL Expo. Stay tuned to the blog for details!

In the meantime, don’t miss the upcoming Symposium in January. Click on the tab above to register for one day or for the whole weekend! We’re looking forward to seeing you!