Inaugurated in 1996, the Polo Club de Chantilly, near Paris, has quickly become a showcase for Polo in France, and the jewel in its crown is a unique 205-hectares property boasting a long history of grandeur.
The Ferme d’Apremont was originally a vast farming complex within the forest belonging to the Château de Chantilly, a property whose history is inextricably linked to that of the Condé princes who established their court there from the 17th century onward, rivaling Versailles itself. Legend has it that Louis II de Bourbon-Condé, known as le Grand Condé, believed he would be reincarnated as a horse and ordered the construction of stables worthy of a palace. The resulting Grandes Ecuries remain the largest in Europe to this day.
Over the next century, Chantilly strengthened its position as a prestigious equestrian center, thanks to the Grandes Ecuries and its racetrack, hosting the annual Prix du Jockey Club and the Prix de Diane.
In 1995, the Ferme d’Apremont became available for rent, and the Institut de France granted a fifty-year lease to a group of friends who dreamed of creating an internationally renowned polo club. Among them was Patrick Guerrand Hermès, a descendant of the Hermès fashion house founder, who channeled all his energy into turning this dream into a reality. Nearly thirty years later, the gamble seems to have paid off.
While the success of the Polo Club de Chantilly is inseparable from the considerable teamwork that ensures its existence, the exceptional setting has certainly facilitated things greatly. The buildings, dating from the early 18th century, constitute a remarkable structure in and of themselves.
Philippe Perrier, director of the club since its creation, is particularly proud of the quality of its facilities: players have access to 30 paddocks (ranging from 7 to 14 acres), 9 meticulously maintained playing fields and 2 additional sand fields for all-weather use, 200 stalls with a seasonal extension of up to 400 temporary stalls, a club house, and more. This ambitious infrastructure enabled Apremont to very quickly host large competitions, forging its reputation on the international polo scene.
The club is also proud to have played a role in the burgeoning popularity of women’s polo, notably by organizing the first proper Ladies Open on the international circuit in 2012. The year 2015, which marks the arrival of Richard Mille as official timekeeper for the Polo Club de Chantilly, will see no downtime when it comes to competitions, with tenth of tournaments scheduled per year.
The refined setting and equally prestigious competitions are complemented by the Polo Club de Chantilly’s mission of promoting polo to a wider public, in keeping with the wishes of its founding members.
The Ferme d’Apremont is also home to France’s leading polo school, offering high-quality instruction to both beginners and advanced players on over thirty horses suited to all levels of polo practice (classes or tournaments) and every type of physique.