Bertram Allen won the Prix Hermès Sellier for a second year in a row. Photo © Frédéric Chehut / Hermès.
The beautiful Saut Hermès event kicked off in Paris today inside a sunfilled Grand Palais, and just like last year it was Bertram Allen and Romanov that won the 1.50 speed class Prix Hermès Sellier.
Cheered on by a large crowd, the Irish rider posted the fastest time in 50.71 seconds as third to go riding his now 18-year-old stallion by Heartbreaker x Fedor. None of the other 33 riders managed to better 20-year-old Allen’s time, not even the reigning European and World Champion Jeroen Dubbeldam. Riding Carusso LS La Silla (Montebello la Silla x Joost), the Dutch rider crossed the finish line in 52.75, just one tenth of a second ahead of Jessica Mendoza who took the last place on the podium. The 19-year-old British rider, who took part in the Talents Hermès last year, was riding her mare Spirit T (Tornado x Carnaval Drum).
“I’m over the moon,” said Bertram Allen. “I won this class last year with Romanov, so it looks like he enjoys the Saut Hermès! He is 18 now, but he is still performing really well. I hope he’ll be in the same kind of form for the Grand Prix Hermès on Sunday. I’m using my other horse, Quiet Easy 4, for the mixed-pairs class tomorrow evening: the Saut Hermès.”
Indeed, the Prix Hermès Sellier is a qualifying class for Saturday’s Saut Hermès which is contested by mixed pairs made up of the ten best male and ten best female riders over the first day. Since there were only 10 female riders in the Prix Hermès Sellier on Friday, they are all qualified for Saturday’s event.
In the first CSI5* competition, a 1.45 class, Swiss rider Pius Schwizer got off to a winning start on his 10-year-old gelding Leonard de la Ferme (Landjuweel x Indigene de Corday). The world number 24 rode the fastest of the 14 clear rounds, finishing with a time of 26.48, less than a second ahead of the world championship silver medallist Patrice Delaveau, riding Carijno*HDC (Cascavelle x Landgraf I).
“I felt really great,” said Pius Schwizer. “Leonard de la Ferme is a horse that is naturally fast over the ground and a very good jumper. He was a little nervous in the arena, but very obedient. I’m really happy! Now, the aim is to qualify for the class on Saturday, the Saut Hermès, with my second horse, Chellatus.”
Source: Press release from Saut Hermès