The Haras National of Hennebont!

So bringing you closer to home in my delightful Morbihan 56 Breton in beautiful Brittany. There are towns here galore that stay on the off the beaten path do not know why. They are loaded with good sights and wonderful small town ambiance of my belle France. I am trying to make them discover for you.

This is the case of Hennebont a fortified city, more of that later. For now, enjoy the Horse Stud Farm or Haras National d’Hennebont!  Various activities are carried out such as  reproduction of stallion, Equestrian Club, dressage, discovery space of the horse, guided visits etc. It is a historical place and very nicely done; worth the detour near me!


A bit of history I like

The deposit of stallions created at Langonnet Abbey in 1806 for the south of Brittany, poorly served by narrow and unpassable roads, was transferred in 1857 to Hennebont in the enclosure of the Abbey de La Joie. The Abbaye de la Joie Notre-Dame or Abbey of Notre-Dame-de-Joy is a former Cistercian Abbey. Nowadays, it is on the site of the national stud farms.  The Abbey of Joy Notre-Dame, founded in 1953 in Campénéac, takes over the tradition now of the abbey of old.

From its inception, the Haras National or national stud farm of Hennebont  became the capital of the Breton horse breeding.  The Haras  comprises seven stables arranged around two courtyards as well as an infirmary, a forge, a saddlery and the dwellings of the Director and staff. Since 2007, the Joint Union of the national stud farm of Hennebont manages the property, outside the Abbey of Joy and the Pavilion of the Porterie.


In April 2016, the city of Hennebont and Lorient agglomeration officially announced that it had negotiated an agreement with the IFCE to become owners of the entire site comprising the 32 buildings, including the Abbey of Joy, spread over 23 hectares,  provided that the partners of the mixed Union are committed to helping to ensure the management of the site.  The envisaged project plans to perpetuate the activity around the horse to make the stud farm a tourist hub of the Lorient basin. Which they did!

An integral part of the history of Hennebont for over 150 years, the Haras National or national stud farm is a unique and prestigious place. The wooded park, located between the city and the countryside, houses the historic buildings of the Napoleonic stables. The birthplace of the Breton draught horse, the stud was originally bred for war horses.  If the activity of the place has evolved over time, it is always dense with reproduction of stallions, Equestrian Club, dressage, carriage rides, sightseeing, and saddlery. A discovery area of the horse is located in its enclosure.


In the great period of the stud farm, more than 200 stallions were in operation. At the beginning of the 2000’s, a total of 50 horses, including 35 traits and 15 horses of blood that live permanently at the Hennebont stud farm. In 2016, there are only a dozen horses in the stud farm.



It was after WWII,  the decline of breeds line began with the progress of mechanization. The Breton breed, by its qualities, nevertheless resists thanks to the meat market in the French and Italian markets.  The techniques evolve and the Haras now transport the stallions by truck to mount bars installed near the farms. The incentive premiums allocated during the breeding competitions encourage the continuation of the activity and allow the Haras National d’Hennebont to maintain its influence.  It also opens up to other uses of the horse, through equestrian sports by hosting the national equestrian society. The number of sports and racing horses goes up to 12 stallions in 1973.  The decline in the line workforce is thus compensated by a progress in the blood workforce.  The number of stations decreases and the techniques become sharper with the emergence of artificial insemination in 1981 to the Haras d’Hennebont,  then the techniques of freezing of semen that allow today to serve the mares without moving the stallions .

Plenty for the entire family to spent an afternoon here ;worth the detour I say. The Haras National  site offers you a two-time tour combining a free and guided course. In an old stable renovated, discover through a beautiful exhibition space with films, computer terminals, panels, the history of relations between man and horse, the activity of the Haras and its trades. Then, accompanied by a guide, you go to meet the horses in the stable n ° 1 through the saddlery of honor and the collection of horse-drawn carriages. The most for us was the animations and Equestrian shows done !

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Haras National of Hennebont

Tourist office of Morbihan on the Haras

Tourist office of Brittany on the Haras

Again lovely place worth the detour. Enjoy the Haras National d’Hennebont in my gorgeous Morbihan 56.

And remember, happy travels ,good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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