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Commandant Gardefort (Jacques Dufilho), horseman at the Cadre Noir Riding Academy in Saumur, having given up hope of promotion decides to retire. To fill his time until then, he buys a mare, Milady, and in two years trains her to the highest dressage haute ecole standards. But he finds himself in dire financial straits over his divorce, and is obliged to sell the mare. She is bought by a rich Belgian banker (Claude Giraud), who transforms Milady into a circus horse. Visiting him, Gardefort resolves the situation in the only way he sees fit.