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Le Saut, Hermes in Paris: Day 1

Follow EQ’s editor Stephanie Peters, along with photography director George Kamper, on their visit to one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events, Le Saut Hèrmes in Paris. They will capture this unique merging of sport, competition, creativity, and elegance for an EQ feature that will run in the summer issue. But meanwhile, will you please join us this week for a series of informal postings and snapshots live from Paris.

(Originally published Summer 2013)

Stephanie’s report from Day One:

Arriving at Charles De Gaulle airport after an overnight flight left me in a semi-haze. For 30 minutes I took in the scenery and architecture as the taxi meandered its way into the heart of Paris. And just like that I was jolted to unexpected excitement….everywhere I looked were hints of Le Saut Hermès! The bright orange posters are displayed all around the city in grand style, wrapped around kiosks, and framed on quintessential Paris lamposts. This is clearly a big event!

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Photographer George Kamper and I needed to rush directly to an appointment at the rarely visited by the public Hermès saddle-making workshop. If you love the smell of fine leather, appreciate the beauty of hand-craftsmanship, and luxury is an occasional indulgence, then this is heaven. It’s an intimate group of rooms perched above the Hèrmes Rue du Faubourg-St-Honore flagship store, where skilled artisans display their passion. It is truly wonderful to see the worn-handled and patinaed tools and that have been used for decades sitting prominently on the saddlers worktables. Hand-written registers, logging every saddle created, have been kept for over a century. There seems a perfect balance of technological ingenuity partnered with age-old traditions. George, as usual, has collected beautiful images to share this experience with EQ readers.

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Tomorrow, which might still be today–I’ve been up for 30 hours now–will include two great interviews with the artisans, and the start of the competition, so check back!

George and I have been given our official Le Saut Hermès badges and we are officially part of the foreign press! The day promises to be chock full of horses, riders, artisans and the splendor of the Grand Palais. Rumor has it there may be room for cocktails.

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