We have been following 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. Over the four days, they have captured this unique merging of sport, competition, creativity, and elegance for an EQ feature that will run in the summer issue. We hope that you enjoyed this series of informal postings and snapshots live from Paris.
Today was the exciting conclusion to three intense days of world class championship jumping, here at Hermès Le Saut. The Grand Palais was at its best today with brilliant sun flooding the arena, serving as natures spotlight on the Grand Prix jumpers.
Before the final event, an equestrian ballet by Claude Lergenmuller’s troupe of acrobats, and the Cadre Noir de Saumur entertained the audience.
From high above the attentive audience, an acrobat, trailed by a willowy flow of orange chiffon, floated through the air as the horsemen marched in cadence below.
The precision of the cadre was a perfect precursor to the much-anticipated Grand Prix finale.
Next 35 starting riders were narrowed down to a final field of 14.
These riders and their horses performed in front of a full capacity audience, hushed to complete attention, as the riders negotiated jump heights of 1.60m. Combined with the technically (and artfully) challenged course, this event is the most demanding class at International level.
Our own Reed Kessler, riding last in the jump off, finished a stunning second–only .20 behind Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum.
The audience was rewarded ten fold, having watched the world’s best competitors perform at the highest level.
This has been a thrilling event to witness. Hermès is to be congratulated, as are all those who competed, for presenting three days of exhilarating competition and elegant pageantry under the glass dome of the Grand Palais.
George and I have enjoyed every moment of our time at Le Saut. We’ve shot fancy French eggs and world-class jumpers. We’ve met with artisans and craftsmen and photographed children awed by the scale of champion horses.
This has been a visual feast, as well as a riveting event to observe. Look for a full gallery of George’s photography in the summer issue of EQ!
Au revoir à Paris.
Stephanie et George