The Cadre Noir riding school in Saumur visits Saintes

Cadre Noir

The Cadre Noir de Saumur is an institution in the sport of riding and renowned worldwide for the quality of training it provides for its riders. Based at l’IFCE (the French institute of horse and riding), these great masters of riding strive to pass on their expertise and train horses for shows and competitive events. You can see Cadre Noir riders in the Reprise de Manège or the Sauteurs riding galas. Bound by strong values such as respect for French riding tradition and a passion for horses, Cadre Noir and Antarès have been working together for several years but they met again recently on Monday 17 March 2023 to celebrate another year of their partnership.

Cadre Noir

A captivating day for Cadre Noir

Nathalie Mull (head of the sports department), together with riders, Guillaume Lundy and Pauline Basquin, as well as Flora Giorgio (competitions manager) from Cadre Noir had the pleasure of sharing a breakfast with our entire team of employees. It was also a chance to chat and discuss during a pleasant moment together. Cadre Noir then toured the workshops to take in all the steps involved in crafting a tailormade Antares saddle. The visitors also got see one of our riding helmets being made, which Cadre Noir riders actually wear every day. That was followed by signing an agreement to renew the partnership and a portrait displayed in our workshops.

Cadre Noir

Then, Cadre Noir did a Q&A session.

As key partners for Antarès, we asked riders, Guillaume Lundy and Pauline Basquin several questions on their vision of this partnership.

Guillaume Lundy, a rider at the Manège de Saumur (or Cadre Noir), got interested in horse riding aged 9. Now a qualified military man and bearer of the uniform, he upholds French riding traditions as a rider and trainer. His students also include Pauline Basquin and Arnaud Boiteau. Among the 8 horses Guillaume works with is Tempo*IFCE. Guillaume and Tempo, his lead horse, were silver medallists in the French Pro Elite Championships in 2022.

What are your thoughts after visiting the workshops?

GL: “I’d never been to Maison Antarès before. When I got here, straight away I saw the huge aesthetic appeal of this place. Just like the brand, the site combines refinement and elegance from the outset which envelopes visitors in a modern and stylish atmosphere.

We saw the bright and tidy premises where we were warmly welcomed by the team. During the visit, I met people that love what they do which made me feel how uplifting it must be to work for this company. I also know that Xavier Lenrouilly is especially focused on a caring and positive working environment, which are values I share. You can feel it in each member of staff.

As for the visit, it was hugely interesting and rewarding. It showed me the whole range of complexity, painstaking work and techniques needed to design a saddle. Starting the visit with a hide and ending with a fully completed saddle was fascinating.

I didn’t think that there were as many stages to make a saddle, so now I’ll look after mine even more!”

PB: “I was impressed by the size of the premises and that everything is done in the Antarès workshops from the first steps of the design process to the notices, booths and work tables. I really liked the interest and attention paid to each work station and employee. You really feel the team work“.

What does Antares do for you on a daily basis?

GL: “Antares provides us with helmets that are very comfortable to wear, light and stylish. Also, now that I’ve seen how they are designed, I’ve got a better grasp on how they contribute to our safety.

As for saddles, we’ve been working together for almost 6 years now. We’re constantly striving to develop dressage saddle technology through regular dialogue.

PB: “I use the riding helmets on a daily basis. They’re very comfortable and feel safe. I find the Antares helmets to be tasteful  and stylish which goes well with our daily training gear as well as competition clothes”.

What values do Cadre Noir and Antarès have in common?

GL: “I think Maison Antarès and Cadre Noir are similar insomuch as that both are keen to progress, to incorporate modern techniques while upholding traditional expertise. But it doesn’t stop there. I find there’s this ethos of older employees passing on their knowledge to younger staff.

Finally, cutting edge technology, finesse and style are all common points for Cadre Noir and Antarès”.

PB: “There’s restraint and style as well as technical prowess and respect!”

What are your goals for this season?

GL: “This year there’s the European Championships in September, leading up to the Paris Olympic Games next year. I’m really up for these upcoming events but I’m being careful. I want to keep my 16 year-old horse fit and healthy so that we can go as far as possible.

Other than that, I’m sure we’ll experience lots of special moments together. We were able to compete in two stages of the World Cup this winter and I want to continue that as well as requesting an entry to ride in other CCI5* Grand Prix events“.

PB: “There’s the European Dressage Championships but most of all I want to continue and promote a style of riding that reflect our values”.

Cadre Noir

The origin of the name, “Cadre Noir”

The name “Cadre Noir” dates back to the Napoleonic Wars when senior officers were tasked with supervising troops. From 1876, cavalrymen trained at Saumur wore deep, dark blue uniforms. Known as “Cadre Bleu” at the time, the name was altered in 1898 when the colour of the uniform was changed. The riding school officially adopted the name of “Cadre Noir” in 1986.