Mediatheque of Architecture and Heritage – Diffusion RMN
The "Versailles of Horses", as it is called, was designed between 1715 and 1736 at the request of Louis XIV. At the time, it was called the Exmes stud farm (due to the presence of Buisson d’Exmes, near Argentan, which was the land on which it was designed). Its purpose: produce quality horses for the military remount and the Maison du Roi at Versailles. At the time, there was still no talk of homogeneous and controlled "breeds", but rather of "types" of horses. As such, the "beautiful horse" stood apart from the "would-be horse, used by people in the country", as stated by the Marquis de Brancas. Monitoring births and selecting individual reproducers and mothers thus allowed for a control of horse quality. It was inevitable that the setting of this place recalled the grandeur of the sovereign. Today, four breeds give identity to the premises: the Percheron, French saddle, French trotter and English thoroughbred.