Horse Show in Saignelégier (JU)


Second weekend in August

Since its inception at the end of the nineteenth century, the Saignelégier Horse Show had as its objective the recognition and promotion of a native breed of horse: the Franches-Montagnes. Initially held with an important cattle market, the festivities have evolved largely into a horse show.

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This evolution is also due to a certain change of role for these horses: formerly used in farming, they have now become one of the principle tourist attractions in a region dedicated to fine horsemanship.

In contrast to the market at Chaindon (Canton Bern), where an emphasis on the commercial sale of horses has been kept, the market gathering at Saignelégier is no longer a place for horse trading. The horse show has become the main attraction: the presentation of some 400 to 500 horses before a strict jury on Saturday morning, the contests on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, and the bright and colorful grand procession at Saignelegier never fail to attract thousands of interested spectators as well as genuine horse lovers. Trotting events, straight racing, wagon races, and events featuring fourhorse spans and bareback riding are all part of a program designed to provide a variety of top equestrian events. For some years now, there has been a Roman chariot race, which gives the proceedings a note of distinction by reminding spectators of the combined strength and courage of man and horse.

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