Bertram Allen and Romanov. Ph. Jessica Rodrigues
The coveted Saut Hermès CSI5* kicked off today in the center of Paris, France under the glass done of the famed Grand Palais.
The €25,000 Prix Hermès Sellier, a speed class with 1.50m obstacles, rounded off the first day in style. Cheered on by a large crowd, Bertram Allen of Ireland posted the fastest time in 50’.71 seconds. Riding his veteran mount Romanov, an 18-year-old KWPN stallion (Heatbreaker x Fedor) owned by Billy Twomey, 20- year-old young Allen was untouchable.
None of the other 33 entries managed to better his time, not even reigning European and World Champion Jeroen Dubbeldam of The Netherlands, although he came closest. Riding Carusso LS La Silla, the Dutch rider crossed the finish line in 52.75 seconds. Dubbledam just recently took over the reins of Carusso LS La Silla, a 14-year-old SLS stallion (Montebello la Silla x Joost) owned by Club Hipico La Silla AC & Stal de Sjiem, and previously ridden by Mexico’s Alberto Michan.
Dubbledam’s time was just one tenth of a second ahead of Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza who took the 3rd place on the podium. The 19-year-old rider, who took part in the Talents Hermès under 25-division last year, was riding her own mare Spirit T, a 13-year-old AES mare (Tornado x Carnaval Drum).
“I’m over the moon,” said Allen about his victory. “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.”
Today’s feature class was a qualifier 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. Now, we just have to wait for the draw to discover who their partners will be!
The Saut Hermès CSI5* continues through Sunday, March 20th, with the culminating class the €400,000 Grand Prix Hermès CSI5*. All events are available to view free on livestream at www.sauthermes.com.
Full results of the €25,000 Prix Hermès Sellier are available here.