Bourgelat, an equestrian writer

François VALLAT

Docteur vétérinaire, Docteur en Histoire
10 rue Jean Pigeon, 94220 Charenton-le-Pont
francoisvallat@hotmail.com

Before the creation of veterinary colleges, young Claude Bourgelat heads the Academy of horse riding in Lyon since 1740, whereas François Robichon de La Guerinière, already famous for his École de Cavalerie writings, heads the one at the Tuileries in Paris. Bourgelat’s tract on horse riding, the Nouveau Newcastle (1744), will never meet the reputation of the prestigious La Guérinière’s one, which encourages the author to get more involved in other subjects taught by horsemen, hippology and horse medicine. In accordance with the contemporary scientific approach, his works, especially on horse mechanics, will give him a name of specialist to the eyes of politics who will offer him to start veterinary teaching. What is striking about the beginning of Bourgelat’s career is that he shaped himself by being a rival and a mimic of La Guérinière, a support he left by quitting horse school for horse medicine.

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Ref. : Bull.soc.fr.hist.méd.sci.vét., 2015, 15 : 155-178

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