Le Saut Hermès is a very original class involving mixed-pair teams, made up of a male and a female rider. The pairs are decided by draw and the teams compete in a class over two rounds. The ranking is established by adding the scores over the two rounds, with the time of the second round used to separate teams if they finish with the same overall score. Two pairs managed to ride clear rounds in the first round: The British rider Jessica Mendosa and the French rider Roger-Yves Bost, as well as the Finnish rider Anna-Julia Kontio and the Swiss rider Romain Duguet, a Hermès partner rider. In the second round, Roger-Yves Bost and Record d’Oréal unfortunately knocked a bar off meaning that he and his team-mate Jessica Mendosa finished 4th in the final rankings. However, Anna-Julia Kontio (24 years old), riding the French horse Pacific des Essarts, and Romain Duguet, riding Twentytwo des Biches, managed to hold firm to the end! Nonetheless, there was enormous pressure on the Swiss rider’s shoulders since he was the last rider out and needed to complete a clear round for his “duo” to win the class. Romain Duguet, who was born in France, is one of Hermès’ partner riders. “I love this competition at the Grand Palais and I am lucky enough to have great horses to ride here. On top of that, the luck of the draw gave me a fantastic team-mate in Anna-Julia! Twentytwo des Biches is only nine years old and is still learning, but she is constant and performs well. I’m really pleased with her.” Romain will ride the same mare in tomorrow’s Grand Prix Hermès, to try win the class for the second year in a row, although he was riding a more experienced horse last year. “Obviously, it will be harder for Twentytwo tomorrow, but we’ll give it our best shot!” Lucy Davis (USA) and Kevin Staut (FRA) finished second with one fault and a time of 76’’22, with the British rider Laura Renwick and the German rider Daniel Deusser in third place, also with 4 points and a time of 76’’92.
Photo: FRÉDÉRIC CHÉHU / HERMÈS