The Horse Circus: 3.14.14

The Horse Circus

We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

Saut Hermes Wide Banner

The Saut Hermès at the Grand Palais 2014

In the world of horse showing, there are admittedly a number of pretty high-class events.  But it’s hard to imagine anything more elegant than Saut Hermès.  Simply pointing out that it’s a Hermès event says a lot.  But if a picture’s worth a thousand words, then just get a load of the Grand Palais location!

Le_Grand_Palais

Photo courtesy of Eric Pouhier

Hermes Long and Full

The Grand Palais is situated in the heart of Paris, just a stone throws away from the Champs-Élysées, and the main atrium has hosted equestrian competitions dating back to 1901.  Saut Hermès, taking place this year from March 14 to 16, has been a fixture at Grand Palais for the past five years.

Thirty-five of the world’s greatest equestrians will compete in the CSI 5 * event, including the winner of the last edition Ludger Beerbaum and Reed Kessler for the United States.  Showpiece classes include the Grand Prix Hermès, as well as two unique events: the Saut Hermès and the Talents Hermès.

The Saut Hermès features the 10 best male riders and the 10 best female riders after the qualifier on the first day.  Mixed pairs then compete in two rounds determined by the clock.  Final placing reflects cumulative points from both rounds and the time of the second round.

The Talents Hermès are special classes restricted to twenty riders aged under twenty-five mentored by competitors taking part in CSI 5* classes.  The third class is a pairs competition similar to the Saut Hermès, except that the teams are determined by nationality.

The combination of the Grand Palais, top equestrian and equine competitors, and unique events make for some wonderful pictures!

Winner of "Les Talents Hermès" - Louise Saywell on Winner. © Frédéric Chehu

2013 Winner of “Les Talents Hermès” – Louise Saywell on Winner. © Frédéric Chehu

Winner of the "Grand Prix Hermès" - Ludger Beerbaum on Chaman. © Frédéric Chehu

2013 Winner of the “Grand Prix Hermès” – Ludger Beerbaum on Chaman. © Frédéric Chehu

In addition to the competition, spectators will be treated to “Metamorphosis,” a show produced by Bartabas for the Equestrian Show Academy of Versailles. The show is based on the discovery of the Emperor Qin’s mausoleum in 1974, with its thousands of life-size warriors and horses.

Académie du spectacle équestre de Versailles, Grand Palais, Paris, 2014. © Arter – François Tomasi

Académie du spectacle équestre de Versailles, Grand Palais, Paris, 2014. © Arter – François Tomasi

If you are in Europe, you can fantasize about being at Saut Hermès while watching the event live on their website.  As for the rest of us, we’ll eagerly await more beautiful photographs!

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