French Masters Take Spotlight in ParisBy Paula Parisi December 7, 2015
Just three weeks after the attacks that plunged the world and the City of Light into mourning, French riders elected to wear their French team jackets in all classes at the Longines Masters of Paris, Dec. 3-6. So it was fitting that native son Patrice Delaveau won the CSI5* show jumping contest’s top prize, the $380,000 Longines Grand Prix.
Riding the 11-year-old Holsteiner gelding Lacrimoso 3 HDC, Delaveau triumphed with two clear rounds and a finishing time of 36.08 seconds in the 1.60m class, narrowly beating countryman Simon Delestre – second on Hermes Ryan in 37.94 – and 14 others who made the jump-off in the climactic close to the event, at the Nord Villepinte exhibition center.
The event itself concluded the 44th edition of the Salon du Cheval de Paris 2015. Billed as France’s largest equestrian event, the Nov. 28-Dec. 6 Salon drew 2,000 horses, 450 exhibitors and 150,000 visitors, taking part in events that included the World Arabian Horse Championships and the Master International de Voltige CVIW vaulting tournament.
The event was marked by increased security and an emotional outpouring of national pride and international solidarity. Many riders wore a #PrayForParis badge pinned to their collars. Representing the USA over Belgian designer Luc Mussette’s courses were riders Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, Lauren Hough, Audrey Coulter and Alexandra Crown.
On Saturday night, the Dec. 5 Gucci Gold Cup culminated in Delestre and Delaveau taking their place on the podium in reverse order – Delestre and Chesal topped the field, while Delaveau placed second on Leontine Ledimar ZHDC. Some 6,000 spectators improvised the French national anthem as the cup was presented.
At the beginning of Friday’s Longines Speed Challenge on Dec. 4 the house joined in a tribute to France as the riders entered the arena by nationality to listen to a message of peace addressed to the world.
World affairs did not prevent Equestrian Events Management (EEM) from from rising to its usual level of excellence for the Longines Masters of Paris, planting its flag at the nexus of art, style and equestrian sport. The show marked the first year Swiss watchmaker Longines took over as title sponsor from longtime brand partner Gucci.
The arena was dressed with stylized, colorful lighting, while tables of the Masters Club were featured discreet origami lamps from the IN-EI Issey Miyake collection for Artemide , while sculptures from the collection illuminated the Bar Lounge. Around the paddock sculptures from the renowned French artist Richard Orlinski were on display, celebrating his new role as artistic ambassador for the international Longines Masters series (which also includes events in Los Angeles and Hong Kong).
For the three prizes awarded on Sunday Orlinski created a trophy in the shape of a scaled-down model of his silver prancing horse, exhibited for the first time last year at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles.
Once again the Prestige Village offered selections from elite vendors, including the best in saddlery and fashion. Gucci presented its Cruise collection for men and women along with its capsule collections GG Blooms and GG Caleido. The designer Jean-Baptiste Rautureau made his return to the Masters of Paris with his eponymous brand of shoes for men and his women’s shoe label, Free Lance. The Italian women’s equestrian fashion label Miasuki made a noted entrance on the first evening, launching its online store by offering the public a fashion show of 40 outfits on an elevated catwalk that ran right around the warm up ring. Another splashy development: Hermès Sellerie made its Paris Masters debut, as did Longines with more than 100 watches on display, including the official watch of the Longines Masters of Paris, DolceVita.
For complete results for all classes, click here.
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