To celebrate the birth of the dauphin, Louis XIV organised a major carrousel on 5 and 6 June 1662. This event, the most dazzling equestrian show of the Ancien Régime, was inspired by the Arab tradition in which the horse was given a sublime, poetic role. Louis XIV greatly admired these conquering people for their dashing cavalcades, the prodigious splendour of their horses’ harnesses, and their costumes spangled with stones. A young ruler aged only 23, Louis XIV appeared surrounded by 1,300 riders in five quadrilles representing the most illustrious nations of the world: the Romans, the Persians, the Turks, the Indians and the Americans. The extraordinary splendour of this carrousel, commemorated in painted plates heighted with gold in Louis XIV’s personal copy, epitomises the importance of horses in the theatre of royal power.