Paris’ Saut Hermès: Top Level Competition in an Elegant Venue
Taking place under the iconic glass roof of the Grand Palais in the heart of Paris, the ‘City of Light’, this weekend’s Saut Hermès CSI 5* is one of the most glamorous and unique Show Jumping competitions in the world.
Many of the world’s best riders, particularly from the sport’s powerhouse European nations, will be at the event, which celebrates a combination of sport and culture in the French capital. And while not part of an international circuit like the Longines Global Champions Tour, the Saut Hermès has established itself as a major date on the international Show Jumping calendar. Indeed, for many of the riders present it will be an important stop en route to the World Cup Final in Omaha, Nebraska, USA at the end of the month.
The marquee Class in Paris this weekend will be the €400,000 1.60m Grand Prix CSI 5* on Sunday afternoon. The height of the jumps and the technicality of the course — including the relatively constrained ground space and the different light and shadows cast through the glass and steel roof — make it one of the most demanding classes on the international circuit.
Host France will have the largest contingent of elite horsemen and women at the Grand Palais, including Kevin Staut, Simon Delestre and Pénélope Leprevost. And for yet more proof of the prestigious nature of the competition, one need only cite the four Germans set to ride — all in the Top 10 of the Longines World Rankings: No.1 Daniel Deusser, No.3 Christian Ahlmann, No.7 Marcus Ehning and No.10 Ludger Beerbaum.
The Grand Palais itself is one of the most stunning and recognizable buildings in Paris. Inaugurated a few years after the nearby Eiffel Tower for the Universal Exhibition of 1900 and located beside the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Beaux arts-style building is a combination of a classic stone facade, Art Nouveau ironwork and glass. In fact, the Grand Palais is said to be the largest existing ironwork and glass structure in the world, incorporating more steel than the Eiffel Tower.
With top level equestrian sport and such an elegant setting, this weekend’s competition at the Saut Hermès promises to be a beautiful battle.