Team USA Gallops at Famous Chantilly Racecourse

Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 and Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces. Photo by Joanie Morris. Boyd Martin and Shamwari 4 and Phillip Dutton and Trading Aces. Photo by Joanie Morris.

Joanie Morris, USEF Managing Director of Eventing, always finds the most beautiful places for our U.S. horses and riders to train around the world, but she really has outdone herself this time, securing permission for our World Equestrian Games squad to gallop on the famed Chantilly Racecourse this morning.

Martin Collins installed the waxed footing Polytrack at the Chantilly Racecourse in 2011, making it a wonderful spot for our Team USA horses to gallop in preparation for WEG next week. Judging by the photos, both horses and riders alike immensely enjoyed the outing. And what a beautiful morning in Chantilly! Here’s hoping we get weather like that in Normandy next week.

A host site to horse racing in France since 1834, French architect Honore Daumet built the beautiful grandstand you see in the background of the photos in 1879. The racecourse sits next to the Grandes Écuries, or Great Stables, built in 1719 by Louis Henri and designed by architect Jean Aubert. Measuring 186 meters long, the stable is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world.

And for a little movie trivia, the Chantilly Racecourse was used to film the racing scene in the 1985 James Bond film A View to Kill, in which Christopher Walken played the evil industrialist and racehorse owner Max Zorin. So if it looks familiar, chances are you remember the backdrop from that film. Pretty cool, right?

Thank you to France Galop for allowing Team USA to gallop at Chantilly Racecourse this morning, and stay tuned for more pictures of the U.S. and Canadian WEG teams as we count down the days to Normandy. Go WEG! #WEG2014

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