Hans-Dieter DREHER © Frédéric Chehu / Hermès
Les Talents Hermès CSIU25-A / Class 8 – 11:50 am : Two English prodigies win Les Talents Hermès
The third and final class of Les Talents Hermès - a competition reserved for riders under 25 years old - involved teams of two riders competing over two rounds. Ten different countries took part in the competition. At the end of the first round, only two teams had managed to ride double clear rounds: Ireland (Eoin Mcmahon – Michael Duffy) and Great Britain (Millie Allen – Emma O’Dwyer). France had a score of 9 points, following the refusal of Titouan Schumacher’s mare (who had won Saturday's class) and a fault by Camille Condé Ferreira on Pirole de la Chatre.
In the second round, the two English riders both managed clear rounds again, finishing the class with no faults. Ireland still had the opportunity to win as the team’s last rider Michael Duffy went out. However, the pressure was undoubtedly too much and two bars fell during his round, pushing the team down into 4th place, behind they United States and the Netherlands, who both scored 8 points but posted better times than Ireland.
Millie Allen (18 years old) and Emma O’Dwyer (20 years old) are two young riders who already have an impressive record. Millie was the individual and team gold medallist at the 2012 Pony European Championships and a dual silver medallist in 2013. In 2015, she won two bronze medals at the Junior European Championships on the horse she rode today in Les Talents Hermès, Balou Star. “It’s just unbelievable to win in such an amazing place. It was the first time Emma and I had teamed up together. I can’t find the words to express how happy I am! Now, my dream is to come back and win the five-star Grand Prix of the Saut Hermès!”
Millie ALLEN – Emma O’DWYER © Frédéric Chehu / Hermès
Charlotte VERHAGEN © Frédéric Chehu / Hermès
Grand Prix Hermès CSI 5* / Class 9 - 3:30 am : Abdelkebir Ouaddar, on the road to the Olympic Games!
Having recently obtained his qualification for this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio, the Moroccan rider Abdelkebir Ouaddar seems to have grown wings. Riding his faithful 12-year-old stallion Quickly de Kreisker, the world number 44 managed the pressure of the event right through to the last jump. Taking to the arena as the 16th and final couple in the jump-off, the Moroccan rider was the only one to cross the finish line in less than 37 seconds (36’’40). “My horse had already given me a wonderful gift by helping me qualify for the Olympic Games. Today, he gave me so much again by winning the Grand Prix Hermès, in front of this great public that gave me all their support! Today, I would like say a very special thanks to the French public and the King of Morocco, because it is thanks to him that I have the opportunity to do the most wonderful sport in the world. There were 16 riders who made it through to the jump-off, some really great riders! I’m just over the moon; this shows that my horse can do anything, and maybe even win a medal at the Olympic Games.”
Abdelkebir Ouaddar is the first Moroccan rider to win a class at the Saut Hermès, and he finished ahead of some of the world’s top riders. Scott Brash, the world number 2 from Scotland was second on Hello Forever, more than two seconds behind Abdelkebir Ouaddar (38’’78). The German rider Christian Ahlmann came third on Epleaser van’t Heike. Pénélope Leprévost, the only French rider qualified for the jump-off, finished 11th on her mare Nice Stéphanie.
Abdlkebir OUADDAR © Frédéric Chehu / Hermès
Scott BRUSH © Frédéric Chehu / Hermès