Grand PalaisCredit : Scoopdyga
Monday 19 March - 11h52 | Ian Clayton
Simon Delestre was in the spotlight this weekend at the CSI5* Saut Hermès in Paris as the first French rider to win the €400,000 Grand Prix at the competition, on his 13-year-old mount Hermès Ryan. But as with any major competition, there is a lot going on behind the scenes to put on such an event – from the preparation of the venue to the arrival and care of the horses. Below: three videos from Hermès showing some of the background action this weekend in and around the Grand Palais.
Credit : Scoopdyga
In the first video, horses disembark from trucks into the temporary stables beside the Paris landmark, located between the Champs-Élysées and Seine river. An official explains that the priority of organizers is to get the animals into their lodgings as quickly as possible after voyages of up to 10 hours by truck. He notes that about 120 horses were arriving at this year's Saut Hermès in 80 vehicles. The official adds that most of the elite sport horses are used to traveling around the world, and so are often less agitated than the people handling them, who want to get them installed as quickly as possible. A groom also talks about taking her mount out for a trot to unwind after the long hours on the road.In the second video, the eventual Grand Prix winners Delestre and Ryan warm up in the Grand Palais with their counterparts, and the rider discusses the importance of horses being relaxed in body in mind before the event. He talks about Hermès Ryan, whom he and Philippe Berthol purchased from Canada's Eric Lamaze in 2008, being one of the top horses in the world, and offers him a carrot.
The third video shows some of the preparations of the venue itself, similar to other large equestrian sports competitions around the world, but in this singular Parisian setting. Next year’s edition of the Saut Hermès will be its 10th anniversary edition, with renovations to the Grand Palais taking place in following years leading up to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. At those Games, equestrian sports are expected to take place on the grounds of the Chateau de Versailles outside the French capital. For more on this weekend's competition, see Grand Prix's report on Eurosport. More information on the Saut Hermès can be found here. Videos below by Hermès.
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