Surely, I kid. With all these horsemeat scandals in processed foods now (hey! another reason not to eat that unrecognizable merde!) you never know, right?
Salon de l'Agriculture wasn't just a county fair for gourmands. There was lots of livestock as well.
The beautifully be-dreadlocked Poitou donkeys.
Having a long history of agriculture, most of the local horse breeds happen to be big draft animals, used to plow the fields and pull the wagons to market. So many of the breeds are fairly rare outside of France, and the long-declined need for draft animals means that most are usually kept up by a handful of devoted fans.
It's hard to feed something that weights close to a ton and doesn't have a lot of practical use anymore. Happily, some devoted small organic farms prefer them over tractors.
I've always been a fan of the draft breeds. They have big, kind eyes and they are almost always sweet-tempered (at least compared to those heinous Shetland ponies anyway). Plus they are generally like riding a comfy couch with their big, round backs and steady stride.
This donkey decided the deep sand in the arena was just too irresistible and went for a good roll to try and dislodge his pack saddle.
Not all the horses were so docile and corporative, and it seemed like there were enough amateur riders out there that occasionally someone would just nonchalantly pop off and land on their derrière.
It was so crowded around the ring, I could barely get to my camera, nevermind trying to move around to get different angles and interesting shots. It didn't stop me from taking hundreds of pictures though. I'll have more pretty horses for you in tomorrow's post.