Hermès doesn’t need Marie Kondo’s minimalist message to know that less is more. The maxim was never more evident than at the preview for its Vivace show jumping saddle during a clinic and luncheon hosted by partner rider and Olympian Anne Kursinski at Fairlane Farm in Wellington, Fla., on Feb. 26. Designed by master saddler Laurent Goblet, the sleek heir to the Steinkraus saddle is his last design before retiring this year. Flat, thinned panels bring rider and horse in closer contact without losing flexibility and comfort, and its calfskin is available in natural or black.
“It’s a real game changer, and I’ve had all the models,” said Kursinski, who invited Under 25 riders Caitlyn Connors; Karen Polle, who’s also a partner rider, and Lucy Deslauriers, an Hermès partner rider as of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival, to demonstrate its capabilities. “Everyone who picks it up says, ‘It’s so light,’ and the horses like that, too.”
The intimate clinic — spectators stood close enough to pat the horses — follows a similar event in Germany for the Vivace preview tour. Another clinic is planned on March 22 to coincide with the Saut Hermès at the Grand Palais in Paris. It was Kursinski’s first time in welcoming the brand and 25 guests — including Hermès partner riders Daniel Bluman, Nick Dello Joio, Rodrigo Pessoa and Ben Asselin — to the Kellogg family’s farm in the Mallet Hill enclave across from the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. She’s rented the prized property for the past seven years.
“This is where we do our homework,” said Kursinski, who teaches a mix of professional, amateur and junior students and has 14 horses, mainly jumpers and hunters.
Running the young riders through the motions, she selected a broad variety from dressage’s lateral movements to galloping for real-life action. A tropical sprinkle forced everyone under a tent on the lush lawn, where chilled lobster and key lime pie waited on a flower-filled table.
When an attendee commented that the Vivace took but a year to produce, Kursinski had to remind the group about the house’s heritage.
“I mean, their craftsmen have only been doing this for a couple hundred years,” she said.