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)
Saturday began like any other day. We arrived at the Grand Palais and were escorted directly to brunch, where once again we were welcomed with edible art.
But even in Paris, George is not without his Starbucks.
There was clearly a heightened energy in the Palais today. The crowds filled the seats and shops, refreshment areas (escale gourmande) were filled to capacity and the warm-up arena was surrounded by enthusiasts. Le Saut is a sold out event.
The energy and anticipation of watching the world’s top jumpers navigate the course was palpable. People are here to watch, with intensity, cheering on all of the riders. There is an interesting paradox to the audience. I would describe them as avid fans with quiet reserve. Etiquette is in abundance.
Even the show program is beautifully designed.
This is my first European equestrian event and it’s wonderful to see such enthusiasm for show jumping and the athletes, who are celebrities in Europe much more so than in the U.S.
It was an absolute thrill to see Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut, Kent Farrington, Reed Kessler, and Richard Spooner receive the same applause and regard as the Europeans as they entered the ring.
My day ended with an exquisite dinner, hosted by the president of Hèrmes at the Potocki Palace. He and his wife greeted each guest personally. The evening began with champagne, led to a menu of culinary fantasy served in choreographed unison, and ended with wonderful new acquaintances.
Some people have asked about my focus on the beauty and design of the event rather than on the scores. Well, there are competition results all over the web, so I won’t get into those details here. But if you’d like to see more about the results, click here.