PARIS — Hermès International is back in the saddle, partnering with GL events for an international show-jumping event to be held at the Grand Palais here April 3 to 4.

This story first appeared in the December 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“Authenticity is key,” Patrick Thomas, chief executive officer of Hermès, said at a press conference here Tuesday. “The roots of Hermès are linked to saddles.”

Called Saut Hermès, the event’s highlight will be an obstacle-jumping competition with a twist, as riders from the same nations will be paired up to compete. The event will include the top 30 show jumpers in the world, including Kevin Staut, Marcus Ehning and Rodrigo Pessoa.

The luxury firm has had links to equine pursuits since 1837. After ending its connection with the Prix de Diane, a major horse racing event in Chantilly, France, which the company sponsored from 1982 to 2007, Hermès has become involved with Galop Hermès, a horse race held every summer in Deauville.

Similarly, the Grand Palais is going back to its roots, having been the venue of choice from 1900 to 1957 for equestrian events.

Tickets will be sold to the event, which is expected to draw about 4,000 people. As well as the competitive rounds, there will be a 50-horse spectacle by Bartabas, the French horse trainer, to be held on April 3.

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