Paris, France – March 20, 2022 – Back in action after two postponed editions, the €400,000 Hermès Grand Prix CSI 5* rounded off the twelfth edition of the Saut Hermès with really dazzling style in the Grand Palais Éphémère at Paris’ Champ-de-Mars. Riding Cheppetta, the Olympic team champion Kevin Staut (FRA) performed brilliantly to take first prize in the tricky Grand Prix Hermès created by legendary course designer Santiago Varela Ullastres (ESP). Among the twelve pairings qualified for the jump-off, the world number twenty-five was the only one of four couples who delivered a double clear to cross the finish line in under thirty-six seconds (35’’50).
“The mare has made her sporting comeback after previously posting some fantastic performances, so we’re well aware of her talents. We’ve only recently paired up. We enjoyed a rise in power in Vilamoura (Portugal), where she’d already won a three-star Grand Prix, but it’s fair to say that we’re way above that level here. I’m thrilled! I’m thrilled for the whole history of this mare. She’s a one-off. She’s always happy to jump. I’ve been lucky enough to ride some very good horses in my career and she’s one of the best pairings I’ve had! It’s no mean feat to win a Grand Prix like this! Whilst walking the course, I sensed that it was difficult. This was the highest possible level in the world here today. Everyone came into this Saut Hermès with the same ambitions: to win and to shine! I’m delighted for all these people, who have enabled me to ride her, who have invested their time and energy. Winning here in Paris, after the event was postponed for two consecutive years, sure feels good. We need elements like this so that we, us riders in the French team, can get ourselves running on all cylinders and heading in the right direction again. I think that this has done everyone the world of good. This win really is a team victory and a victory for all the French people, as well as, somewhat selfishly, my own victory. On arrival here, I relished the new setting and, I have to say, it doesn’t disappoint me today!” admitted an emotional Kevin Staut.
The French rider takes the crown ahead of two Swedish athletes. The last to compete in the jump-off, Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) finished second on King Edward (36’’05), just ahead of his compatriot.
The number one ranked rider in the world, Peder Fredricson (SWE) and Hansson WL also registered two penalty-free performances, earning silver honors in 36’’22.
The final horse and rider combination to get a double clear, José Maria Larocca (ARG) was fourth with Finn Lente (36’’38).
Final Results – €400,000 Grand Prix Hermès CSI 5*
1) Kevin Staut (FRA) & Cheppetta – 0 / 0 – 35.50
2) Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) & King Edward – 0 / 0 – 36.05
3) Peder Fredricson (SWE) & Hansson WL – 0 / 0 – 36.22
Source: Press Release from Saut Hermès
Photos: © Saut Hermès / Christophe Tanière / Jessica Rodrigues