Monday, April 15, 2013

Saut Hermes 2013

Samdi 13 Avril Saut Hermés 2013

This past weekend I hung out with the horsey set in Paris at Saut Hermés. I'd noticed the tents last year along the Champs-Élysées and when I saw them again this past week I vowed I was going inside. Ha

The annual horse jumping competition takes place inside the Grand Palais. The competing horses are paddocked in the white tents.
I marched inside with as much aplomb as I could gather and asked for the presse desk. turns out one must apply at two months in advance for accreditation. OK.
Here is a plan of the action inside the Palais from the catalog by French artist Mathieu de Muizon
It turns out a lot of action takes place behind the Grand Palais at the back entrance. 
You can see the horses being led into the ring.
And being lead out back to the paddocks.
Sometimes, though rarely, a competing rider comes out on his horse...
What does one wear to an event like this?
NO Hermés scarves or Birkin bags please.
Skinny legs help
No Hermés orange in fact at all. 
If you're a competing rider you can get away with a touch of Hermés orange.
If you're participating in the event, a horse owner or associated in any way you wear an orange ribbon with the appropriate identification tag so the guard lets you in.
If you're 'somebody' you only show a mere smidge of the orange ribbon. Ordinary workers from the paddock show the whole ribbon bien sur. Little subtleties like this reveal who is upper crust and who isn't. And you only pick it up at the back door in my opinion.
Of course the winning horses are decked out in full Hermés orange blankets they wear proudly as they prance out the back door.
If you want to see more of what went on look here and here.
Champion Ludger Beerbaum came in 1st and American 19 year old Reed Kessel took second place.
Only this Parisian dog was wearing orange on the outside looking in.
A l'annee prochain j'espere.


  1. The very thought of the terrifying horsey set is alarming!
    Quelle hauteur.....etc etc.
    We think Buster is tres elegant with his sleek new 'do'
    however, he will get fluffy again in no time.

    Looks very chilly there!

    1. Yesterday was in the 80's or it felt like it
      Today is another gorgeous day
      Everyone is stripping down in Paris

    2. I would say its less about hauteur and more about expertise, finess, excellence of the highest order. Plus very beautiful animals.
      Positively thrilling.

  2. You painted them so well les chevaux..You can paint everything!

    1. Thanks Monique, I was sketching on the spot. Very exciting. This was one of the most thrilling events I've attended in Paris. The tension was palpable.

  3. They must really mean business when you have to apply so early for the press pass. A look behind the scenes from your perspective would have been a treat! x Katie

  4. But this IS a look behind the scenes perhaps more so than if I was hanging around the ring

  5. Anonymous11:12 AM

    What a very cool post today! I love horses and your paintings are so fine! Beautiful. Being behind the scenes is really unique. Then you get to experience the actual size of the horses and their very essence. I never really thought about horses in Paris. You always find the excitement. Thank you for that!

    1. Thanks!
      It was just luck and getting lost that I found the back door. Just as exciting as any couture show in Paris. The horses were something else!

  6. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Love the water color.
    Love the blog..

  7. Anonymous1:01 PM

    WONDERFUL post today!

    I'm a semi-retiree of the horsey set, and I can tell you (as I roll my eyes) you should NEVER be intimidated. It's just "Best in Show" with les chevaux! Most love their horses as much as we love our chein.

    Again, lovely, thank you!

  8. Suoerb sketch! :-)

    Amazing, all those horses in the city.

  9. Thank you for this. My daughter participated in jumping competitions on a local level when she was a youngster and I've loved watching them ever since. I've always wondered what that big glass topped building in Paris was! You blog is the best!

    1. Many top couture show are held at the Grand Palais and horse shows since the 1900's.

  10. Hi Carol, so brilliant that you are now sneaking in thro' the back door to get all the info you need ! It took us awhile to realise that the less info you gave the further you got. Looks like you had a fantastic day with the horsey set !!

  11. Your opening sketch is great.
    The photos are perfect, too. I especially like the one of the horse being walked to the paddock. Such great lines to that animal!

  12. Great post! Eileen and I were walking by there on Sunday and wondering what in the world was in the pointy top tents. I thought it must be something to do with horses, but no idea it was the horses themselves! And to have an equestrian event inside Grand Palais? Incoyable!

  13. Inside, amazing! What a fun serendipity for you & it sounds like it was fun sketching on location. I used to draw horses a lot when i was a kid. Great sketches at the top.

  14. Beautiful sketches as always ! I think horses are hard to sketch, am I wrong ? I'm following your blog for a few years now... and when I'm hungry and in need of something sweet, like pastries, macarons, I come here to see your blog and I always wish I were in Paris... but today, pas de dessert !!! :)))

  15. Such a fascinating Paris insight today Carol. I had no idea such an event existed, and especially at such a glamorous location. I've never been inside the Grand Palais, but may get there this year. Pity there won't be any horses, just their memory.


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