The Cadre Noir is an equestrian display team based in the city of Saumur in western France. The troop was founded in 1828, and gets its name from the black uniforms that are still used today. It is one of the most prestigious horsemanship schools in the world.
In 1972, the National School of Équitation was constituted around the Cadre Noir, which form its core teaching staff. Today, there are about 50 horses and a team of elite riders, usually limited to 22. The members of the Cadre Noir are either under a civilian or a military status. Some of the riders have reached the highest level of international sport, being olympic or world champions.
The equitation on which the school is built was taught by Francois Robichon de la Gueriniere, the French riding master to King Louis XV and author of the book École de Cavalerie, which was published in 1731.
The Cadre Noir mainly uses Thoroughbreds, Anglo-Arabians, Hanoverians and Selle Français, but also keeps Lusitano horses to demonstrate the 16th and 17th century baroque style of riding. The Thoroughbreds and Anglo Arabians are used for the Grand Prix dressage, and perform individually, pas de deux (two horses), pas de trois (three horses), and dûe quantité (four or more horses). They may be either displayed in hand or ridden.
The Selle Français are used to display the 'airs above the ground.'