The celebrated riding masters of the Cadre Noir captivated spectators at the Paris World Cup Finals for an artistic display of precision and harmony between man and horse. The Cadre Noir of Saumur places focus on equitation and genuine connection between horse and rider.

It was a recess from the nail-biting, fierce competition of the dressage and show jumping finals – both of which were topped by two women who had won the title before. German dressage icon Isabell Werth took home her fourth world cup on Weihegold OLD on an amazing 90.65, beating out American rival Laura Graves and Verdades by just over a point. And it was Beezie Madden who would soar to a winning finish in the jumping, winning her second title.

But in this much-loved display of French tradition, the horses and riders of the Cadre Noir displayed an exquisite level of focus and communication that rivaled that of the elite athletes in the jumping and dressage, for which thousands had gathered in Paris to see.

Photos by Thomas Reiner for NF Style.