They will all be there: two World champions, an Olympic champion, the European champion, the world number one, the American number one and the French number one. The Gucci Paris Masters is the place to be for the world’s best show jumpers.
Winning in Paris, against the backdrop of the Gucci Paris Masters is a particularly sweet victory. The Gucci Grand Prix Trophy is a prized possession in a rider’s trophy cabinet. Riders are attracted by the iconic Parisian event unlike no other with an incredibly enthusiastic crowd, unique competition formats and a scintillating atmosphere and set up.
French number one Kevin Staut, who has already tasted victory here as the holder of the Gucci Grand Prix 2013, Patrice Delaveau, double silver medallist at this summer’s World Equestrian Games and European Champion Roger-Yves Bost will play host to an international elite including the two Dutchmen who beat France in the Games, Maikel van der Vleuten and Gerco Schröder.
The Olympic champion, the Swiss Steven Guerdat and the team Champions, the British Scott Brash (world number one and second in last year’s Gucci Grand Prix) and Ben Maher will compete against the German cavalry with the legendary Ludger Beerbaum, World Cup holder, Daniel Deusser, ex world number one and World Cup winner, Christian Ahlmann, along with the only woman to have been world number one and to have won the World Cup three times, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum.
The lady riders include Luciana Diniz of Portugal, the Americans Laura Kraut (former Olympic Champion), Gucci ambassador Jessica Springsteen and Georgina Bloomberg (who came third in the Los Angeles Longines Grand Prix), the Longines ambassador Jane Richard Philips (winner of the Longines Speed Challenge in Los Angeles in September), the Australian ambassador for Gucci and former world number one female rider, Edwina Tops-Alexander. But the darling of the Parisian crowd will surely be Pénélope Leprévost, until recently the number one female rider in the world, who made Gucci Paris Masters’ history with a memorable win on Mylord Carthago in 2011. The Battle of the Sexes promises to be a real challenge.
The Battle of the Sexes Longines (8pm on Saturday) is one of the original competitions created by the Gucci Paris Masters. There is a qualifying round and a final round pitting ten men against ten women. The Longines Speed Challenge (Friday at 10pm) and Style & Competition for Amade (Saturday at 10.30pm) are also both exclusive to the Masters Grand Slam Indoor.. The first is a speed challenge while the second a costumed event for the AMADE charity chaired by HRH Princess Caroline of Hanover.
Of course, the jewel in the crown of the Gucci Paris Masters is the Gucci Grand Prix, one of the biggest on the international circuit, with 350,000 € in prize money at stake. All riders dream of winning it.
Other events will follow in the Prestige and Invitational Trophies, which will feature former and budding champions and personalities such as Jennifer Gates, Nicolas Canteloup, Benjamin Castaldi, Julien Courbet and Gucci ambassadors Charlotte Casiraghi and Guillaume Canet who will all be in the saddle, cheered on by the Parisian spectators.
After Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the Gucci Paris Masters - European leg of the Masters Grand Slam Indoor - has become the ”must” event of the equestrian season for the elite of show Jumping, horse-lovers, but also celebrities and opinion leaders all attracted by the spectacular sporting action, glamour and show this unique event has to offer.