Discover each day life on the farm
Our Camargue farm, a genuine ‘Mas’, breeding Camargue bulls and horses
We have been breeding
Camargue horses since 1955
.... the year Pierre’s first mare, Cygale, was born. Ever since he was a child, Pierre followed his uncle Roger Gauzargues around his Manade located on the grounds of Notre Dame d’Amour, adjoining those of Saint Germain, to the north of the Vaccarès pond.
« Giving birth » is what Pierre really enjoyed, and that pushed him to own his first mares: Cygale, Santenque, Saladelle de la Tour du Valat, Chapironne de Joseph Gallon, and his first stallion, Santen, from Henry Dupuis’ Le Sambuc stud farm. Before the Breed’s studbook was created, he bought another stallion from Grand’s herd, followed by a stud mare from the Rozière manade, to bring new blood to the breeding farm.
Today, the stud farm is a family business, and each one of us has his own mounts, which is essential for working in the bull and cow's herds. The horse is mainly used to round up the cattle to select and sort the one(s) that will go out on a race, as well as those to whom we must provide with veterinary care. The Camargue horse is gentle and generous.
His attitude is perfect for leisure riding and equestrian tourism.
Present when the Camargue breed studbook was created and recognized, we breed our horses in a traditional way to maintain their natural adaptation to the highly specific Camargue environment. The servicing happens freely; births take place naturally inside the herd under our attentive yet discrete surveillance. Horses live in harmony with the native land that shaped them over time ...
A family run Mas
A rare fact nowadays in the Camargue, the family’s sixth generation established itself on the family domain in 2005. The prohibitively expensive maintenance costs of existing buildings and the extortionate inheritance taxes have forced even the eldest of Camargue families to sell their estates. We however have managed at Saint-Germain to resist and come through - to the image, one would say, of this small village of indomitable Gaul - but only just! We have thus kept alive a knowhow from the past. Second generation André organized the farming business and introduced winegrowing and rice paddies. Then Pierre took over and kept on practicing a balanced mixed farming – which is another particularly rare fact in the Camargue even to this day – by introducing the breeding of Camargue horses and bulls.
The vineyards were replaced by meadows. Monique created the rural tourism business which saved all of Saint Germain’s unique traditional buildings: the sheepfold, the dovecote, the bread oven, the stables the mansion, the gardian and shepherd’s cottage, the farm workers’ lodgings, the cellar… All profits made from tourism have been reinvested every year for the past 30 years to maintain and renovate the buildings!
We have almost finished the main structural renovations. Yet another 4 to 5 years of efforts to go!
Laure, Anne and Germain, the children, tackle the task of maintaining this fragile balance by spending all their time and energy to the smooth running of the many activities which constitute the apparatus of the domain.
We are Camargue bull breeders
Having always lived around livestock farming, Pierre got an opportunity to create his own Camargue bull breeding farm in 1990. He was soon efficiently joined by his son who eventually became the manade’s current manager. The entire family herds on horseback when it’s necessary to sort or care for the bulls.
During the visit of the Manade, we will explain all the specific features of this wild breed.
The Camargue bull which earns the “Cocardier” status becomes an artist that plays a major part in the Camargue traditions.
A ‘Cocardier’ bull is pampered and shown respect. When it takes part in a Camargue race, the Camargue bull defends the colours of his manade in the arena for 10 minutes with a red cockade tied to its horns that the ‘raseteurs’ (competitors) try to catch.
Once the race is over, the bull joins the herd back in the meadow.
In the Camargue, some bulls have made actual careers through their long lives and have become living legends known to all.
Le Mas Saint Germain in a video
We have recently welcomed a camera crew from the Regional Nature Park of the Camargue during their shooting of a short documentary for the Escaparcs Website.
Find new ideas of outings on the web site.