PARIS — Gucci is aiming to trumpet its equestrian heritage as the main sponsor of the European Equestrian Masters, the international horse-jumping show that will be held at the Parc Des Expositions here Dec. 10 to 13.

This story first appeared in the December 2, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The four-day event includes 24 trials, where sport stars and champion riders will compete in three different riding classes, depending on one’s skill. Charlotte Casiraghi and Martina Hingis are among the bold-faced names slated to take part.

“Gucci is redefining its past,” Robert Triefus, Gucci’s worldwide director of marketing and communication, told a press conference here, adding the sponsorship deal would be long-term.

Twenty-seven nations will be represented in the event, which is being held for the first time in France. The Masters is to garner more than 870 hours of television coverage, broadcast in 180 countries.

One of the leading events will be the competition between the Rolex top 10, to be held after trials on Dec. 11. Frida Giannini, creative director of Gucci, will crown the Gucci Master, to be decided on Sunday evening.

“It’s very good for the sport of show jumping that Gucci has signed on and it will increase its publicity in France,” said French show jumper Kevin Staut, European World Champion and 11th in the world.

Staut, who is getting ready to compete next week and made the top 10 for the Rolex trials with his horse Sylvana, can be seen in a fashion editorial in French newspaper L’Equipe’s glossy Sport & Style section on Thursday. “I did a day’s shoot for Gucci, but now I really need to prepare for the competition,” said Staut.

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