Le Saut Hermès 2024 C’est du concours de saut d’obstacles!


This year, it was the 14th time that Le Saut Hermès was held in Paris and the third that it was done at the Grand Palais Éphémère. Beginning next year, it will return to the renovated and reopened not-so-ephemeral Grand Palais.

Le Saut Hermès is a professional show jumping competition held by the House of Hermès. On a March weekend, more than 75 riders from 20 different countries and over 130 horses gathered at the Grand Palais Éphémère. The 55 riders in this CSI 5* competition – the highest category classified by the French Equestrian Federation (FFE) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) – and the 20 young promising talents participating in the Talents Hermès events for the under-25s competed on the courses created by the course designer Santiago Varela Ullastres.

CSI 5* means "five stars," so the highest obstacles and points scored by riders in these competitions are included in the world championship standings. For this reason, the leading riders of the World Jumping rankings performed at Le Saut Hermès — the Swede Henrik won Eckermann, who moved to its top in 2023, followed immediately by the British Ben Maher, the fourth-ranked Swiss Steve Guerdat, the Frenchman Julien Epaillad who occupies the sixth position, as well as the Tokyo Olympics champion in team competitions, the Belgian Jerome Guery, the Hermès rider. The obstacles in question have their own names — chevrons, bank, bounce, etc. — and here they are created by the artists who play up everything related to the House — there is inevitably a letter H, a blue chess knight figure, and the elements of the façade at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the historical headquarters of Hermès.

The horses competing in such tournaments can be worth more than a million euros, and they are all counted and known by sight or, in their case, by their muzzle, and some of their owners are the top clients of the House Hermès.

Show jumping is a very French affair, which arose and moved into the category of competitions back in the mid-19th century France. It first became an Olympic discipline in 1900, at the II Olympic Games in Paris. The complex set of rules of show jumping actually boils down to the fact that the rider-horse pair must overcome obstacles placed on the field in a certain order while racing against the clock. The winner, consequently, is the one who does it the fastest and cleanest: penalty points are added if the horse bypasses an obstacle and does not jump (and if it does not jump on the third attempt, the pair is eliminated from the competition) or touches it. The rider needs to gallop, when the speed can reach up to 60 km/h, ride through the entire course in a given order, calculate all the approaches (they are indicated by flags, red on the right, white on the left), send the horse into a jump — all the while keeping up the speed, that is, doing it all as quickly as possible.

This time, the winners of CSI 5* races included the Frenchmen Simon Delestre and his horse Olga van de Kruishoeve (Prix GL events, €62,000 in prize money) and Roger Yves Bost and Ever De Turan (Prix du 24 Faubourg, €62,000), as well as the Swedish rider Angelica Augustsson Zanotelli and her horse Kalinka van de Nachtegaele (Le Saut  Hermès, € 100,000). And the Frenchman Julien Anquetin and Blood Diamant du Pont won the Gand Pix Hermès (€400,000) with the highest hurdles of 1.60m on the final day of the competition. Les Talents Hermès CSIU25-A competitions for the young riders under the age of 25 were also held.

In addition, as custom has it, equestrian performances are organized at Le Saut Hermès between competitions. To create the performances, the House of Hermès invites the most famous figures of the equestrian and artistic world, such as, for example, Bartabas, who founded the equestrian performing show Zingaro and the Académie du Spectacle Équestre in the Palace of Versailles. This time, a show was staged by the duo I Could Never Be A Dancer. In it, Carine Charaire and Olivier Casamayou created two universes: one is the real Paris address of Hermès at 24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, and the other is the fantastic Horse City.

All told, there are many traditions here, from a champagne bar hidden behind the stands and the artisans sewing Hermès saddles in front of the public to a bookstore dedicated to horses and horse racing, where the guests can get their purchased books signed by the authors. And there is another one — each year, the House of Hermès releases something special for Le Saut, something limited, of course, which is sold here during the competition. And this time, Christine Nagel, the perfumer of the House, created a perfume with the traditional Hermès name Paddock. This is the first time that the name has been applied to a fragrance, whose bottle is designed in the style of the Hermessence collection. The perfume can only be bought in the Parisian Hermès boutiques and only for three weeks after the end of Le Saut Hermès 2024. As for the smell, it is, of course, associated with horses, meaning it’s very animalistic, but also floral and woody at the same time — and this is perhaps the most spectacular and surprising equestrian-themed perfume out there

Text: Elena Stafyeva