Bertram Allen and Edwina Tops-Alexander have won the pairs competition at the Grand Palais in Paris.
The Saut Hermès CSI5* is contested by the 10 best female riders and 10 best male riders, after the qualifier on the first day. The riders then jump in mixed pairs, which are decided by drawing lots.
Bertram and Edwina led from the start, after they both jumped clear in the first round. Edwina was clear again in round two with Lintea Tequila, which took some of the pressure off Bertram.
The 23-year-old Irish rider had one fence down with Christy Jnr, which was enough to keep them in the top spot.
‘Over the moon’
“It went right down to the wire,” said Bertram. “Edwina made my job easier by doing two clear rounds. I knew I could only afford to make one mistake if we wanted to win, so I am really happy. What’s more, my nine-year-old horse is still a novice at this level of competition. He is still learning, so I am really happy with him.”
Saut Hermès is a lucky show for Edwina as she won the Grand Prix there last year, before taking time off to have her daughter, Chloe. The baby is now five months old and Edwina is on better form than ever, despite suffering from wrist tendonitis.
“I’m over the moon with our victory,” said Edwina. “To win the Saut Hermès, just one year after I won the Grand Prix Hermès, and particularly after my long break following the birth of my daughter, I really am very happy.”
Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson and French rider Kevin Staut were second, while the all-French pairing of Margaux Bost and Cedric Angot took third place.
British rider Jessie Drea was teamed up with Simon Delestre. Jessie had an unfortunate 13 faults in the first round, but jumped clear second time out, gaining just one time fault. Simon jumped a double clear, which helped them secure fourth place.
It was a great weekend for Simon, who went on to win the Grand Prix on the final day.
You can watch both competitions online on Horse & Country TV and Amazon Video. Saut Hermès 2018 premieres on 22 March at 7.30pm, while the Grand Prix Hermès 2018 goes out on 23 March at 8pm. Both shows will then be available to watch on Catch Up.