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Calvados Strategie

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Equine industry


Normandy ’s soil and climate make it one of the best regions in Europe (if not the world) for breeding horses. In Calvados, horses have been an abiding passion for two centuries.

Generations of breeders have endlessly sought to improve the different breeds and the county now enjoys an enviable reputation in the field of genetics. However, Calvados can also be proud of its champion riders, star horses and flourishing enterprises. This industry is an odds-on favourite, recognized as a competitive cluster in 2006, currently named Hippolia.

Economic importance

There are 2,514 horse breeding farms (including 1,400 studs), 117 riding schools and 8 racecourses, 1 thoroughbred sales complexe (Arqana) employing a total workforce of 3,000.

All the equestrian disciplines are represented, as well as equestrian tourism.
Deauville has the fourth higher number of thoroughbred sales in the world. It has an specialized airport for horse transportation. In August 2011, the auction of 350 yearlings generated 32.9 million euros in  Deauville. The top price reached 1.7 million euros.

The World Equestrian Games in Calvados

In 2014, Normandy and Calvados will organise the 7th edition of the FEI World Equestrian Games.
More than 60 nations, 900 riders and 850 horses are expected to provide almost 400,000 spectators with equestrian competitions of the highest level.
Calvados Strategie

Related activities

The related activities that have grown up around horse breeding and equestrian sports are centred on :
  • veterinary services, osteopathy, farriery, etc.
  • equipment (saddlers, feed manufacturers, horsebox manufacturers, builders, textiles, etc.)
  • equine research
There are currently no fewer than sixty such activities.


Our county owes its international reputation to three major research facilities :
  • CIRALE (Centre for Imaging and Research into Equine Loco motor Disorders). Unique in Europe, it performs its three missions of diagnosis, research and education. It is the world leader in the field of joint ultrasound.
  • Horse Pathology Institute : This unit of the French food safety agency studies epidemiology, immunology, parasitology and pathological anatomy.
  • Frank Duncombe Laboratory. Its “Equine Health” department, which carries out 250,000 tests each year, is France’s leading centre for equine biology diagnostics, specializing in infectious pathologies.

Training for careers in the horse industry

In Lower Normandy, many training centers prepare people for careers in breeding, management of stud farms, equestrian jobs (jockey, groom, trainer, farrier, saddler, inseminator, riding instructor ...) or veterinary science. A "Master's degree in equine science and business" is offered by ENESAD with the Universities of Caen (IAE) and Kentucky, accredited by the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles.

The Horses Council of Lower Normandy
The Horses Council of Lower Normandy brings together all players in the equine industry at a regional level. Its mission includes providing information for the industry players, public institutions and partner communities, technical support for projects and promoting the industry both nationally and internationally. It's the bearer of the Hippolia horse industry competitive cluster.

For more informations :
Calvados Strategie

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Calvados Stratégie
Espace Gardin
40 avenue de l'hippodrome
14000 Caen
Tel : +33 2 31 15 62 70

Calvados Strategie - Comité d'expansion économique du Calvados - Caen - Normandie - Tél. +33 2 31 15 62 70

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