Parisian horse parade returns for December's Salon du Cheval

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The Independent Online

The Salon du Cheval, a week long festival of equestrian sport and tradition, will once again commence with a parade of Paris on December 5 following a two year absence.

The 26 kilometer (16 mile) procession sets out from the Longchamp Racecourse on the French capital's eastern side, taking in many of the city's major landmarks and famous avenues on its way.

Starting out at 10am, fifty carriages and riders trot through the Bois de Boulogne before stretching out past Parc de Monceau, Porte de Clichy and Barbès before doubling back at Place de la République to arrive at the Palais Garnier opera house for noon.

Then, passing the Louvre and crossing the river Seine in order to reach the Pont de l'Alma with its famous Flame of Liberty monument by 12:30pm, the equestrian train's fifty carriages wind their way past both the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe on the return to the Parc des Expositions at Villepinte.

The parade comes on the final day of the Gucci Masters, the Salon du Cheval's international show-jumping competition.

Also forming part of the week's entertainment is the International Dressage Competitions for Young Riders during the day on December 7 and 8, while most of the biggest events are reserved for the Salon's final weekend.

The World Arabian Horse Championship, an exhibition of purebreds under competition conditions, takes place from Friday 10 to Sunday 12, and an equestrian show, La Nuit du Cheval de Paris, is scheduled for the evenings of December 10 and 11.

The International Vaulting Masters, the traditional harness races of the Paris'Cup, and the women's Horseball Championships are on December 11 and 12.