Basse-Normandie to win American hearts at 2010 World Equestrian Games

Top Quote The French region of Basse-Normandie will send a 100-strong delegation to the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky (USA), due to take place between 25 September and 10 October 2010. The Games' expected 600,000 visitors will be able to take advantage of a unique opportunity to find out about - or rediscover - the French region's strong points. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 11, 2010 - The group of 100 or so representatives of the Région Basse Normandie - elected officials, French-government representatives, heads of local equine and food companies, top Normandy chefs, and tourism professionals, among others - will be at the France-Normandy Pavilion during the FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington (in the US state of Kentucky) from 25 September to 10 October of this year. ('FEI' stands for Fédération Equestre Internationale.)

    The Norman participation in the American event will give attendees a taste of Normandy, since, in 2014 (from 17 to 31 August), the World Equestrian Games will actually take place in the north-western French region. On Friday 8 October, the Basse-Normandie region will host Normandy Night, a highlight of France's contribution to the Lexington games, which will present a preview of the 2014 Equestrian Games, bringing together athletes, members of the organizing committee, business-sector players, equine-industry and tourism professionals, as well as journalists. Kentucky will hand the torch over to Basse-Normandie during the closing ceremony, on 10 October 2010.

    The France-Normandy Pavilion, located in the Kentucky Horse Park, will host meetings between professionals, while showcasing Normandy's equine industry. Dedicated booths will enable visitors to sample Normandy's food, with culinary activities that will be led by a group of great Norman chefs, called the Toques Rebelles. The region's business and tourism assets will also be on display and, last but not least, a presentation of the 2014 World Equestrian Games will be provided, under the motto: Rendez-vous in Normandy!

    Basse-Normandie's 8,300 horse breeders, with 10,000 foals born each year in the region, combined with 4,400 businesses and 10,000 jobs across the sector, make it France's leading horse-breeding region. Hosting over 1,000 competitions a year, Basse-Normandie is one of the few parts of the world where galloping, trotting and equestrian sports are all represented at the highest level.

    Normandy's equine industry is developing around four sites: Saint-Lô for breeding and raising sport horses; the Haras du Pin for training, tourism and equestrian events; Deauville for races; and, finally, the city of Caen for research and innovation. Basse-Normandie, as a leader in R&D in the equine sector, boasts an equine pathology institute, which is the only one of its kind in the world.

    For 16 days, Normandy's equine sector will be represented by the leading players based in the region. AGRIAL is a food and farming co-operative that is branching out into the equine industry ( EQUIDECLIC is a provider of internet technologies and software services dedicated to the equine sector ( For its part, EQUIP'HORSE specialises in horse-riding equipment (

    FREEJUMP SYSTEM designs and makes stirrups (, while HD DIFFUSION is a specialist in feed and fodder for horses, as well as stable equipment ( LABOSPORT has a laboratory that tests sports and recreational ground surfaces and soils, with applications in equestrian events, among others (, while PARCOURS CONSEIL is a consulting firm specializing in equestrian engineering ( STH HIPAVIA is a specialist in the transport of horses ( Finally, TECHNIBELT supplies stable equipment, floor and wall coverings, van protection equipment for equine veterinarians, as well as customized metalwork for the equine industry (

    Together with the equine industry, the food-and-drink sector is at the heart of Basse-Normandie's economic development. Over 20,000 people work in food-related businesses, which means that these companies are among the region's leading employers and constitute Basse-Normandie's biggest industry. Exports account for 20% of sales, with the majority of the exported products going to other European countries. Dairy products make up nearly half the exports, with meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, intermediate food products (additives and flavours) and animal feed accounting for most of the rest.

    Alongside the equine sector, Normandy's food-and-drink industry will be represented by a range of companies based in the region. LA BISCUITERIE DE L'ABBAYE is famous for its shortbread biscuits and pancakes (, while LA BISCUITERIE JEANNETTE makes the well-known and traditional sponge cakes known as madeleines (

    CALVADOS BOULARD produces a range of ciders and Calvados drinks that are typical of the region - Calvados being a spirit distilled from cider (or applejack). They include AOC Calvados, AOC Pays d'Auge Calvados, AOC Pommeau de Normandie, AOC Pays d'Auge cider, and Crème de Calvados (, where 'AOC' stands for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, i.e. the certificate of origin and quality that is delivered by the French authorities.

    LES CHEVALIERS D'ARGOUGES, for its part, is a specialist in chocolate biscuits, truffles and chocolate-dipped candied fruit ( LE DOMAINE FAMILIAL DUPONT makes cider products including Calvados, cider, Givre, Pommeau, and Crème de Calvados ( FRISSON NORMAND turns cow's milk into whole-milk ice-cream and sorbet, which is made of 60% fresh fruit. The company also produces confiture de lait (dulce de leche or milk-based jam) in six natural flavours, jellies, and preserves made from local fruit (

    ISIGNY SAINTE MÈRE is a well-established producer of cheese, including fromage frais, butter, cream, and powdered milk ( Finally, LE MANOIR DES ABEILLES is a specialist in honey, hand-made biscuits, gingerbread, and sweets (

    About the Region of Basse-Normandie

    Normandy will host many events in 2014, including the 70th anniversary celebration of the D-Day landings during WWII, which heads of state and hundreds of thousands of visitors will attend; the end of the work that has been undertaken to restore the maritime character of Mont-Saint-Michel; and, last but not least, the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games.

    The offices of the Basse-Normandie Regional Authority are located in the city of Caen. Normandy is divided into two regions: Haute-Normandie and Basse-Normandie. The latter is the western half of Normandy, which includes the coastal areas lying alongside the Channel.

    For further information about Basse-Normandie and the Equestrian Games, please go to the websites listed below.

    About the Basse-Normandie region in general: (in French)

    About tourism in Normandy:

    (in English)

    About FEI and the Equestrian Games in general: (in English)

    About the 2010 Equestrian Games: (in English)

    About the 2014 Equestrian Games: (in French)

    For further information, please contact :

    Quote ref. : FTPB3461
    Ms Mary-Ann WILLIAMS - Press Officer
    UBIFRANCE Press Office in London
    Tel: +44 (0) 207 024 3640              +44 (0) 207 024 3640      
    mary-ann.williams ( @ ) ubifrance dot fr

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