Colloquia on the French Riding Tradition and Award Ceremony

The ceremony to award Bettina with the Honorary Ecuyer designation was preceded by a full-day colloquia on the French system of riding. The colloquia brought together experts from around the world who gathered at the French National School of Equitation in Saumur to share knowledge and engage in discussions on the history, methods and future of the French riding tradition. The colloquia was followed by the newest Gala by the Cadre Noir and it was after the Gala that Bettina was surprised with her new rank of Honorary Écuyer. Below is a video of the award ceremony followed by photos of the colloquia and award ceremony. To read Bettina’s lecture (in French) click here.

(Scroll over photos to see captions and credits.)

“I was very pleased to receive Olivier Puls through the APAHA program last May. I am looking forward to hosting both he and Marie Laure Herve again June 2019 after Olivier’s clinic at Free Walk Farm,” said Bettina. (Photo by Alain Laurioux)


The day of the colloquia was dedicated to the late General Pierre Durand, who served as Écuyer en Chef of the Cadre Noir from 1975 to 1984. During his tenure, Durand put his support behind a petition by Alex Khalili for the Cadre Noir to honor the contributions of the late Iranian rider Colonel Esmail Néchati, who was Khalili’s teacher. Néchati was a follower of the French system of riding and brought that system to his Native country where he also played an important role in the formation of many Iranian riders. The carpet in the photo above was presented by students of Colonel Néchati to the Cadre Noir. It features Jean Louis Guntz, who spent 42 years in the Cadre Noir and gained success in international competition with Rubis du Ruyer. Guntz was a teacher of Néchati. When Bettina was 17 and visiting Saumur as a demonstration rider for Nuno Oliveira, Guntz kindly let her ride his mare Kita du Bausy and “tinker with the passage,” Bettina said. “He was a great example of the generosity of the Cadre Noir toward its students.” (Photo by Alain Lauriouxi)