Romain Duguet and Anna-Julia Kontio won the team competition in Paris. Photo © Tiffany van Halle.
Finland’s Anna-Julia Kontio and Switzerland’s Romain Duguet won the Le Saut Hermès competition in Paris on Saturday. The Le Saut Hermès is a very original class involving mixed-pair teams, made up of a male and a female rider. The pairs are decided by draw and the teams compete in a class over two rounds. The ranking is established by adding the scores over the two rounds, with the time of the second round used to separate teams if they finish with the same overall score.
Two pairs managed to ride clears in the first round: British rider Jessica Mendoza and French rider Roger-Yves Bost, as well as Finnish rider Anna-Julia Kontio and Swiss rider Romain Duguet, a Hermès partner rider. In the second round, Roger-Yves Bost and Record d’Oréal (Cartier v. Heffinck, Bwp x Quiniou) unfortunately knocked a rail down putting him and his team-mate Jessica Mendosa finished 4th on the final rankings.
However, Anna-Julia Kontio, riding Pacific des Essarts (Diamant de Semilly x Totoche du Banney), and Romain Duguet, riding Twentytwo des Biches (Mylord Carthago*HN SF x Kalor du Bocage), managed to hold firm to the end. Nonetheless, there was enormous pressure on the Swiss rider’s shoulders since he was the last rider out and needed to complete a clear round for his duo to win the class.
Romain Duguet, who was born in France, is one of Hermès’ partner riders. “I love this competition at the Grand Palais and I am lucky enough to have great horses to ride here. On top of that, the luck of the draw gave me a fantastic team-mate in Anna-Julia! Twentytwo des Biches is only nine years old and is still learning, but she is constant and performs well. I’m really pleased with her.”
Romain will ride the same mare in tomorrow’s Grand Prix Hermès, to try win the class for the second year in a row, although he was riding a more experienced horse last year. “Obviously, it will be harder for Twentytwo tomorrow, but we’ll give it our best shot!”
USA’s Lucy Davis and France’s Kevin Staut finished second with four penalties and a time of 76.22 seconds, with British rider Laura Renwick and German rider Daniel Deusser ended third also with four faults and a time of 76.92 seconds.
Source: Press release from Saut Hermès