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The birth of the Saint-Lô National Stud

The story begins in 1806 under the impetus of Napoleon 1st, who created the National Stud in Saint-Lô to serve as a stallion depot. Installed at the time in the former Sainte Croix abbey (now the Normandy concert hall), the definitive stud farm was created in 1886 on the current site, covering 7.5 hectares. This stallion depot grew steadily, reaching its peak in 1912 with 422 stallions. Partly destroyed by the bombardments of 6 June 1944, it was rebuilt and extended to cover 3.5 hectares with quarries and accommodation.

Key dates


Napoleon re-established and organised the national stud farms, such as the one in Saint-Lô, which at the time was housed in the former St Croix Abbey.


The definitive stud farm was created in 1886 on the current site, covering 7.5 hectares. This stallion depot grew steadily, reaching its peak in 1912 with 422 stallions.


The stud farm was partly destroyed by bombing on 6 June 1944. It was rebuilt and extended to 3.5 hectares with riding areas and housing.


A public body has been set up to manage the CPE (Centre de Promotion de l’Elevage), as part of an extension project that includes the creation of riding arenas, car parks and other facilities. More than 14 million euros have been invested to make this site one of the most important in France and Europe for equestrian events.


Signing of the agreement between the Syndicat mixte du Centre de Promotion de l’Elevage and the IFCE (a national institute involved in various areas of activity relating to horses), owner of the National Stud. The agreement sets out the objective of operating the site as a single entity under a single director, without creating a new structure.


1 July 2017 will be an important date. As of this date, a decree formalises the new articles of association of the Syndicat Mixte du Pôle Hippique. As a result, the Syndicat Mixte will be able to take sole responsibility for managing and operating a site that brings together the Centre de Promotion de l’élévage (CPE) and the historic National Stud.

The first stud farm in an Abbey

By decree of 4 July 1806, under the reign of Napoleon I, the Saint-Lô stallion depot was established, headed by Mr Davaux. On the following 1st October, a convoy of 15 stallions from the Haras du Pin arrived in Saint-Lô.

This depot, also known as the stud farm, was set up on the grounds and in the disused buildings of Sainte-Croix Abbey: courtyards, premises for the three stables, accommodation for the men, shop, forge, outbuildings and a large expanse of land still used for gardens and crops.

The new stud farm

In 1879, it was decided to build a new depot a little further east. Construction began in 1886 on the current site and was completed in 1898. The stud covered 7.5 hectares and housed 240 stallions cared for by 80 grooms.

Before construction was completed, the administration moved in. The main courtyard was levelled and a forge, infirmary, operating theatre and caretaker’s lodge were built. The Sainte-Croix stud farm is still in use.

Between 1895 and 1945, the Saint-Lô National Stud ranked first out of the 24 districts. In 1912, it was at its peak, with 422 stallions spread across the two sites.

 The Syndicat Mixte du Pôle Hippique

Following the IFCE’s decision to sell the historic stud farm, the four local authorities (Région Normandie, Département de la Manche, Saint-Lô Agglomération and Ville de Saint-Lô) that make up the Syndicat Mixte have joined forces to take long-term control of the site’s future. The Pôle Hippique reached an agreement with the IFCE in December 2016.

Innovative events and initiatives to serve the equine industry and its professionals, organisation of equestrian competitions on the site, management of the equestrian centre’s activities to position Normandy as a benchmark region for equestrian sports, enhancement of the historical heritage through diversification of activities… these will be some of the main activities developed by the Syndicat Mixte and carried out by a dedicated team.



Office details

Pôle Hippique de Saint-Lô
Haras National
Avenue Maréchal Juin
50000 Saint-Lô

Phone : +33(0)2 33 72 47 25

Opening hours

Monday to thursday : 8.30 am to 12.30 pm | 2 – 5 pm
Friday : 8.30 am to 12.30 pm | 2 – 4 pm