14th EDITION OF THE SAUT HERMÈS: LATVIA AND FRANCE SECURE VICTORY ON THE FIRST DAY

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Edward LEVY al Saut Hermès

By winning the Prix Hermès Sellier, the main class on this first day of the fourteenth edition of the Saut Hermès, Latvian Kristaps Neretnieks was the surprise champion ahead of the best riders in the world, who are competing at the Grand Palais Éphémère in Paris through until Sunday.
Kicking off the day, Edward Lévy treated spectators to the first rendition of the Marseillaise in the Prix du Grand Palais with his mare Confidence d’Ass.
In the Talents Hermès class, reserved for the U25 riders, William Ligier de la Prade also took the win for France with Galilée.

CSI 5*: Prix du Grand Palais / Class No.1: The French national anthem rings out for Edward Lévy in the event opener of this fourteenth edition of the Saut Hermès [11:15 hrs]

Late morning this Friday, French rider Edward Lévy won the Prix du Grand Palais, the first event of the Saut Hermès, hosted in the Grand Palais Éphémère arena. Riding Confidence d’Ass, a 12-year-old French Saddle mare, the 29-year-old rider managed to optimise every stride and every turn of the course created by the Spanish course designer Santiago Varela Ullastres to kick-off the competition in style. Fourth out of forty-nine riders at the start of this two-phase event with jumps set at 1m45, the Frenchman secured a reference time (22’’40) which only his compatriot Julien Anquetin, who set off in second position with Farah Tame, came close to matching less than a second behind 22’’86). “It’s fantastic to be able to begin a competition like this, especially here in Paris, at the Saut Hermès, admits the reigning French champion. When I came across Julien (Anquetin) in the paddock, he teased me and said “go ahead and try”. I immediately got into a very good stride at the first oxer and I tried to maintain the same rhythm. My mare really lends herself to this type of event. She’s incredible and is often at the top of the leader board. She’s a genius in her category. She belongs to my farrier and his wife and arrived in my stables at the end of the year at 7 years of age. Her heart is bigger than her and she has an extraordinary amount of respect! We have a lot of fun together.” Kevin Staut completes the 100% French podium with Cloe GP Z (23’’86), a mare he has only been riding for a few weeks.

Racking up a very fast time in the GL Events Dolce Deceuninck (22’’26), Olivier Perreau narrowly missed out on victory after picking up a fault as he came into the double fence, which took him out of contention for this event.

Les Talents Hermès / Class No.2: The top spot for the French U25 Champion Rider [14:00 hrs]

Following the victory of the French Pro Elite Champion by way of an opener, the French U25 Champion riders got their chance to shine in the Grand Palais Éphémère arena. Indeed, William Ligier de la Prade took the win in the first of the three Talents Hermès events, a competition reserved for riders aged under 25. Riding Galilée, a 12-year-old sBs mare, the 19-year-old rider, a member of the French team in the last European Championships, gave a masterful lesson in horsemanship. He outperformed Argentinean rider Matias Larocca on RR Vitaly (30’’31) and Belgian Mathieu Guéry on Tender Dream Hero Z (30’’62). “It was a wonderful way to kickstart the weekend, beamed the French rider, based in Mougins (Alpes-Maritimes), who was crowned French champion back in May. I hadn’t really planned to go for gold but I was into a great stride pattern so I continued to up my game and gallop. My mare is very quick over the ground, which helps a lot. I know her by heart almost. We really get on well. I just need to give her the right signs and she does what is asked of her. As young riders we’re lucky to be able to take part in an event like this and to get to ride this course. I just need to perform like this again on Saturday and Sunday!”

CSI 5*: Prix Hermès Sellier / Class No.3: The Latvian Kristaps Neretnieks takes a surprise win [16:00 hrs]

Latvia’s national anthem resonated around the Grand Palais Éphémère late afternoon this Friday as Kristaps Neretnieks bagged victory in the Prix Hermès Sellier, a course against the clock with jumps set at 1m50, which serves as a qualifier for Sunday’s Grand Prix Hermès (15:30 hrs) and for Saturday’s Saut Hermès (15:15 hrs) for the top ten women and the top ten men.

Third to enter the arena, the Latvian was paired with his 10-year-old mare Quintes and completed the course in 60’’85. To his great surprise, nobody could better it. “I honestly didn’t think I had gone that fast, smiles Neretnieks, the first rider in history to represent Latvia at the Olympic Games in 2021, the World Cup Final in 2013 and the World Equestrian Games in 2014. “I set the pace but nothing more. I didn’t think I’d done enough to win. It was a long wait as I competed very early on in the class. I watched the other riders and in the end my performance proved to be good enough. It’s a great way to start the competition. My mare is very fast and she always tries to do her best.

At the edge of the arena throughout, the 34-year-old Latvian, ranked 106th in the world, really felt the pressure right at the end of the class as he witnessed the performance posted by Julien Épaillard with Cancun Torel Z. Renowned for being the fastest rider on the circuit, the Frenchman was poised to beat his time for much of the course, that is until three jumps from the end and a crippling fault in the middle of the triple. Paired with Jade V. Bisschop, Belgian rider Pieter Devos closed to within 1’’54 of him, which was enough to snatch second place ahead of the Swedish rider Petronella Andersson on Cassina Z.

Full results here

Press release Saut Hermès (c) | Épreuve N°1 Prix du Grand Palais CSI 5 – Edward LEVY – VENDREDI 15 MARS 2024 – CRÉDIT CHRISTOPHE TANIÈRE

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