Let's go, at a gallop to the haras du Pin! Did you know it's one of the oldest stud farm in France? King Louis XIV's long wars decimated all horses in the country. People were forced to purchase their mounts in Italy or Spain, which was expensive... So the Sun king decided to create a stud farm in order to provide new horses and ameliorate the breed.
His famous Lord High Treasurer Colbert bought a plot of land in Exmes forest but also in the marquis de Nointel's estate, Louis de Béchameil: Louis XIV's butler, who gave his name to the famous Béchamel sauce! Works began in 1714, completed in 1728. De Garsault, the royal equerry, was the first manager. Managers, by the way, lived in this castle. Stables, on left and right, were distributed on a symmetrical plane.
Just before the French Revolution, we counted 80 stallions! Their duty lasted about 30 years, like this English horse who was a stud until 36 years-old. The horses had nicknames: Unrivalled, Ambitious, Pleasant, Goliath... They were Normans, English, Hanoverian, Medklembourg... Activities ceased during Revolution, then the farm was restored by Napoléon I.