From getting up close with the finest saddlery, wild ponies and a game of horseshoes – here’s what you may have missed.
TEXT Astrid Hiort PHOTOGRAPHY Hermès
Setting the scene under the glass roof of the Grand Palais, the 9th edition of the glorious Saut Hermès took place over the weekend. After three days of intense competition between elite showjumping champions, Simon Delestre – one of Hermès’ partner riders – took home the Grand Prix trophy on his horse Hermès Ryan.
But it wasn’t just the jump offs that captured the audience at the Saut. Here are some of the other things that went down in between – and don’t forget to watch the backstage video.
It wasn’t only game on in the arena. Hermès invited everyone for a round of horseshoe pitching both on a real pitch equipped with a stake and horseshoes, but also on smartphones through the H-pitchhh app – still available on the App Store and Google Play. If you weren’t having any luck there, one could also go hunting for five fly bonnets hidden around the Grand Palais scenery.
Taking a break from the hold-your-breath-moments during the competition, Hermès let seventy young Welsh ponies loose with no trainers present. Running in between each other and playing with one another, the show presented the carefree nature of the animals to the amusement and delight of the audience.
BUILDING THE COURSE
No game without obstacles – and Hermès really knows how to deliver on that front. Created by the two course designers Santiago Varela Ullastres and Grégory Bodo for each class, the riders and their horses had to clear Hermès-themed obstacles from a large orange H to the arcades of the 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré store – in miniature, of course.
SNIFFING FOR BOOKS
There was also plenty of time to catch up on some reading. All you had to do was drop by the bookshop, where a variety of equestrian books were presented. From equestrian training and the history of horses to photography and biographies, there was something for everyone. If only this bookstore was open all year round, sigh.
PRESENTING YOUNG TALENTS
Spotted around the age of twelve and nurtured through a mentoring programme, young riding talents and their adorable ponies took to the stage as well during the three competition days at Grand Palais. Who will be next to participate in the Grand Prix? Only time will tell.
SADDLERY – A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
During the tournament, Hermès gave an insight into its long heritage of saddlery by showcasing the making and finishing of saddles. Alongside the house’s master saddler Laurent Goblet, Hermès collaborates with partner riders and their horses to make the perfect saddles such as the Steinkraus after Bill Steinkraus and the Hermès Cavale designed with Simon Delestre. So there were plenty of chances to pamper your horse.