Côte d'Azur Deluxe n°2012-1 printemps
Côte d'Azur Deluxe n°2012-1 printemps
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  • Parution : n°2012-1 de printemps

  • Périodicité : trimestriel

  • Editeur : ASB Publishing S.a.r.l.

  • Format : (230 x 297) mm

  • Nombre de pages : 148

  • Taille du fichier PDF : 58,5 Mo

  • Dans ce numéro : les Russes et la Côte d'Azur.

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60 I cÔte d’azur deluxe I motor & Sports The Xénophon Riding Stables, when the equestrian art is also a philosophy. Le manège de Xénophon is an exceptional stable and riding school. It is located between Cannes and Nice, at the foot of the celebrated village of Saint Paul de Vence. A beautiful and traditional Provencal farmhouse, it was built on a sixteenth century sheepfold. This manorial property, in which timber and dressed stone blend harmoniously, is the home to some remarkably rare horses. Eleven in number, these superb stallions are mostly of the Lusitano breed. An exceptional landed estate and its rare horses As the gates open the stables come into view, and this is a riding school that is both imposing and distinguished. Even down to the decorative details there is not a shadow of doubt that the horse is a monarch here. Crystal Samani, the lady of the house, welcomes us. « One day my husband and I simply decided to leave the Paris area. This property was both the first … and ultimately the only one that we visited. It was love at first sight ; we understood immediately that this stunning place was an extraordinary opportunity for us. The maritime Alpine landscape is altogether remarkable here, where the mountains plunge directly into the sea. This is a region where the horse rarely finds a home, but here there were already stables waiting for us here. They had lost something of their lustre it is true, and the estate was somewhat neglected. But as we set about the building work for the riding school we sought the best way to bring out its full potential ; our aim was to create a place with artistic flair, conducive to peace and which would also provide the horses with the attention they demand ». « The keyword is humility and correctness a priority » The remarkable feature of this three hectare property is the 600 m² riding school in wood and dressed stone of a beautiful honey colour. Inside the building Monegasque chandeliers hang from beams of exotic timber. The entrance is dominated by a Venetian stained glass window providing a refined and altogether untypical atmosphere not unlike that of a chapel. « The horses have become a part of our daily life. I never sell them and the wish to keep them is more than a luxury, it is an art. Training a horse takes many years, and each time it is the repetition of an age old history - the relationship between man and animal. In fact it is difficult to separate the two ». A pure philosophy of riding survives to this day despite the thousands of quasi industrialised locations where the discipline now exists. « Riding is above allan art and by no means only a sport. A vital factor it demands is a real relationship with the horse, the essential feeling of being at one with the animal, through the natural and everyday bond of becoming a friend and a training partner. The training of a stallion is by definition work with nature, a force which must be respected. The keyword is humility when you areup against 600 kg of wild nature ; it is a difficult task and the use of deception is not advisable. » Photos : Manège de xénophon
Genuine riding demands nobility of behaviour : its objectives must be attained through a subtlety that can achieveease in power and strength. Classical equitation has a historic relationship with combat. Dressage training, the achievement of vertical and horizontal equilibrium and subtlety of movement were originally intended for use in warfare. Today the cavalry has disappeared, but we still have the horse. « The horse has natural balance and a good rider must understand this and try never to undermine it with the balance remaining a permanent quest as the horse is trained. A symbiosis must be achieved as this is done that can take years to establish. Careful observation of a horse as it is left to run freely is an essential issue here, for understanding issues such as the asymmetries of the animal for example. » The horse has lived beside us in war or in the fields through the centuries. In Europe, the hoof print of the horse is still found everywhere. Most courtyards in the centres of European towns and cities for example, still had stables until only a few decades ago. « A horse is not a mere object, it is above alla partner and not our humble and oppressed slave » « Unfortunately the horse today is all too often degraded to the rank of a mere object. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of an athlete in need of both our respect and love. » Unfortunately medical attention is often required to repair the damage caused by bad riding. The ill treatment riders inflictupon their horses is frequently caused by sloppiness, ignorance or brutality. « People increasingly simply « clamber » onto a horse, and the kind of training now often horses I 61 given is in no way equal in to the equestrian treasure we have inherited from the great riders of the past. The Lusitano, the warrior The Xénophon Stables are the home to Lusitano horses, descendants of an ancient Iberian breed characterised by hardiness. « It is a horse of unusual intelligence, a true warrior ». Through the course of many centuries the breed went through a process of natural selection in its wild and natural environment, where the horse continued to develop until maturity at the age of three and a half years. The law of nature applied, the weaker animals would not survive. The breed was selected historically to serve in bull fighting, and the Lusitano was a hardy horse. Lusitanos are wonderfully selfless horses and can be well described as rough diamonds. Training is a task of great intricacy requiring many years of work. It is the training of an artist to bring out dormant powers of expression, and this is my passion. » Knowledge communicated through respect : a task for the instinct in an increasingly sleek world. Events to order The Xénophon Riding Stables offer a range of superb spectator events focussed on equestrian art involving the finest riders in presentations of the highest standard. Dinners are served in this exceptional and refined setting forup to 200 people providing each guest with an outstanding view of the riding school dressage. Each performance is unique and the programme compiled to order. –> –>



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