Did you know that you can use a horse-drawn vehicle to reach Mont Saint Michel under horse power thanks to La Maringote? While crossing the bay on horseback is only for possible for experienced riders, it is possible for anyone to enjoy some of the delightful and spectacular rides around the Bay.
Mont-Saint-Michel Bay is one of the top places for racehorse training. While some still frequent the beach, the trainers have left the dunes behind to link up with the Dragey-Ronthon Training Centre that was founded in 1997. A network of paths and tracks connects the nearby stables to the centre and allows riders to get onto the bridle paths. Particularly suited to the training needs of both flat racers and jump racers, the centre has modern tracks that provide unrivalled views over Mont Saint Michel. A delightful setting to admire early in the morning from the road which can also be explored during the guided visits organised by Mont Saint-Michel Normandie Tourist Office.
A short distance to the north, in Lessay, the great Sainte-Croix Fair has been featuring horses, cows, sheep and goats since the 11th century. Started up by Benedictine monks anxious to develop trade, the fair was a major source of horses for the army and remains one of Normandy most important livestock fairs. A timeless event waiting for you to explore it.
Initially used to select horses that would be able to pull heavy loads and transport soldiers, trotting races opened up to the general public after the First World War. It was an officer of the National Stud Farms, one Ephrem Houël, later the head of Le Pin Stud Farm, who was behind the first official trotting race held on the beach at Cherbourg in 1837.
The racetrack at Jullouville is a temporary installation, located on the sandy beach between two high tides. Both harnessed and mounted trotters compete in races and a very convivial atmosphere reigns. Sandcastles or horses? No need to choose between the two here!
Photo credit : Simonphoto – COREN