Equestrian shows were a central feature of palace life at Versailles. Horses, military and otherwise, were essential to the Ancien Régime, and horsemanship underlined the strength of France’s royalty. In the 18th century, more than 2,000 horses were stabled here.
Visiting the Royal Stables and the Equestrian Academy is a rare, magical step back in time with a modern-day twist. The Academy, founded in 2003 by celebrated trainer and equestrian impresario Bartabas, is home to a troupe of superb horses including white Lusitanians, a favorite breed of Louis XIV, the Sun King. On a private tour of the stables and grounds you’ll get an up-close look at the famous performance horses, with our expert storyteller explaining how the academy's horse show links to France’s royal past. When visiting on performance days, you’ll be seated near the front of the venue for the best view – close enough to see the brilliant blue eyes of the Lusitanian horses.