The Equestrian Show at the Big Stables


Last Sunday, on the occasion of the National Heritage Weekend, the Big Royal Stables opened their gates to all of us who were curious about the Equestrian Show of Bartabas and his Versailles Academy.

For those of you who do not know Bartabas, I report that he is a persona non grata at the Chateau, as well as at the Ministry of Culture in Paris where in 2007 he broke everything in the Minister’s office when our headless rider found out that  his Academy was not allocated the promised funds.

The Equestrian Academy is almost exclusively female, which is quite a change since the days of monarchy; yet, as I recall, under Louis XV a woman was running the Stables — an impressive contingency, considering that she was in charge of over one thousand men and over two thousand horses. Today the equestrian statistics have dwindled quite a bit; but even though Bartabas is only forty-nine and is too young to retire,  a probability for his successor to be a female happens to be higher than ever, all Bartabas needs is a good kick under the ribs by one of his pure-breds.

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