The equine sector groups together the totality of economic players whose activity is linked, in one way or another, to the horse: breeding, tourism, industry, education centres, culture, health, agriculture, etc. In order to support the economic development of this sector, the CCI Pau Béarn animates a regional cluster named SO-Horse-Alliances.
700 000 LICENCEES
horse-riding is the 3rd sporting federation in France, and the 1st feminine federation
800 DIRECT JOBS
in the greater Pau area
6 530 LICENCEES
in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques Department (2015)
2 000 HORSES
within a 50km radius of Pau
in the Pau area
in training at the Domaine de Sers, 2nd training centre in France
Due to the historical presence of the horse in Pau Pyrenees, the territory disposes of many quality resources and infrastructures.The Bearnese people have always been passionate about horses in a region that is endowed with quality breeding. The creation of the National Stud in Gelos dates from 1807. Logically, a racecourse company came into being in 1839 and was named the Société d’Encouragement des Basses Pyrénées pour l’Elevage du Cheval.
It was granted land by the town of Pau on the heathland of Pont-Long, situated to the north of the town and the first races took place in 1842.
2nd training centre in France, grouping more than 700 horses all the year round, with 30 acres of training gallops on its overall 180 acre site. The racecourse company itself and the twenty trainers on the site employ nearly 200 people. Amongst the top thoroughbred trainers present are Jean-Claude Rouget, François Rohaut or Charles Gourdain who have made the choice of establishing their stables in Pau Pyrenees.
An equine veterinary clinic with 3 resident veterinary surgeons, and the hostel for both stable employees and the pupils of the Horseracing School (AFASEC) complete the infrastructures of this important activity zone.
The site of Pau Racecourse has been in constant use since 1842, and to-day’s racecourse is the result of regular works of improvement and expansion over the years. The winter meeting boasts an international renown and attracts more than 50 000 spectators over its 27 race-days, with 216 races from December until mid-February.
Pau Racecourse consists of a site of some 100 acres and includes:
● A complex of 110 boxes and 12 stalls
● Numerous grass courses for national hunt racing
● Inner and outer hurdle courses
● Inner and outer steeple-chase courses
● Figure-of-eight steeple-chase course
● A fibre sand (PSF) track for flat racing, 1 mile and 3 furlongs round, 22 yards wide, and with a 2 furlong finishing straight
● Stands to seat 2500, complete with panoramic restaurant and reception rooms
The entire site is classified historical monument :
● A 32 acre park on Pau’s doorstep (with a footbridge over to the White Water Stadium)
● A large country house dating from the 18th century and now classified Historical Monument and one of the finest residences of that period built in Béarn (13,000 sq. ft)
● 6 stable blocks built in the 19th century containing more than 100 boxes
● 12 horse-drawn vehicules dating from the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th century
● Heritage tack-room with its harnesses, horse-collars and saddlery
● An outside arena, a spring garden (course of natural jumps over various surfaces)
● A farrier’s forge and three conference rooms
Supported by the CCI Pau Béarn, SO-Horse-Alliances Cluster groups together regional businesses, socio-professionals and educational and research organisations in the horse sector of the South West. In federating these players, the cluster encourages know-how interacting and the pooling of resources in order to improve sales and innovations.
The equine sector is undeniably an asset for the global attractivity of the South West, and to its activities of prospection for French and foreign investors.
Created more than 25 years ago, this high level international competition is the only 4 star three day event to be organised in France (being one of the six similar competitions worldwide).
Since 2012, an international carriage driving competition completes the program.
In October the best three day event riders in the world and the best four-in-hand carriage drivers meet up at the Domaine de Sers during 4 days. More than 40 000 spectators come from all over Europe to attend this event.
“ No longer need you go on holiday without your horse ”
This event, unique in France, allows riders of all levels to combine competition with the discovery of Pau, for ten days during the month of August. Show-jumping competitions going from novice to CSI** level are organised each morning, to then allow afternoons free for competitors to engage in more leisurely on-site activities, or to discover the region.
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