Equestrian, world traveler, connoisseur—Christine Chauvin is all of these. Her boutique travel agency Adventures on Horseback, founded in 1994, is the mirror of a lifelong passion for outdoor discovery in the most romantic and exotic destinations on earth. Every itinerary is designed and led by Christine personally, with her unrivaled attention to detail. Whether basking in the immemorial aura of the Oasis of Siwa, in Egypt, where Alexander the Great secretly consulted the oracle, cantering across the flood-plains of the Patanal in Brazil, or traversing the vibrant landscapes of Rajasthan, Christine’s riders are guaranteed memories they will treasure forever. Parties are limited to 8 or 10 people. As a former show jumper, three-day eventer, and trainer of champions, with experience in the practice of a leading equine veterinarian, Christine is adept at matching mounts to riders, whether the rider be expert or of the weekend variety. She insists on horses that are well mannered, well loved, and in excellent condition, outfitted in tack that is impeccably maintained. Her standards for guides are likewise of the highest. It goes without saying that rider safety is at all times her paramount concern. Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Egypt, India, Kenya…: Christine gravitates to locales that are off the beaten track, untouched by the ravages of our eventful century. But getting away from it all
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never means roughing it—on the contrary. Whether accommodation is in camps or private estancias, homes or palaces, Christine’s devoted clientele has come to expect every creature comfort in an atmosphere of understated luxury. Gracious hosts receive them as honored friends. Meals are prepared to the highest standards, of the finest and freshest local ingredients and often in the local style. Service is unfailingly attentive and gracious. After 4 to 6 hours in the saddle, nothing is more refreshing than a leisurely dinner among friends in scenic surroundings, comparing impressions of the day. With Adventures on Horseback, Christine brings back the soul-healing civility of a bygone era that may in truth have existed only in nostalgic fantasies. Born in southern France to a French father and an English mother, Christine has been devoted to horses as long as she can remember. Growing up, she also studied ballet in a serious way. She gained her first significant work experience in the yachting world. Later, she served for several years as a senior executive at Sotheby's in London and New York. High on her list of leisure pursuits are ballroom dancing, the theater, the opera, converts, film, yoga, Pilates, water painting, and visiting with friends old and new.
Rosie Paddon began her hospitality career in hotels and bars in her native New Zealand before heading for adventure overseas. By funding travels working in London pubs she eventually managed her own London pub and restaurant before leaving to work as a chef in grand English houses, settling for a while in a Lords household in the Hampshire countryside. Here she met her husband (constructing a waterfall for the grand gardens at the time,) Marcus Paddon whose work in the landscape and construction industries has proved invaluable in being able to set up their latest venture. Since moving to France in 2001 they have run their own building and catering businesses respectively, with Rosie adding Wedding planning to compliment the expanding wedding catering. This year, the opportunity arose to purchase a derelict former restaurant in the village that Rosie has always coveted! With much luck and total renovation of the building required, it is opening in June 2015.