The four prize-winners of the Longines Ladies Awards 2014: Sylvie Robert, Patricia Laffon-Parias, representative of Criquette Head-Maarek, Jing Li and Bo Derek, with Liz Price, master of ceremony and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice-President and Head of International Marketing of Longines.
By Johan Blom
LADIES AWARDS (CHANTILLY, FRANCE)
Held for the second consecutive year, the Longines Ladies Awards ceremony took place in the Grand Stables of the Princes of Condé, on the sumptuous Chantilly Domain. In front of an audience of prestigious guests, the jury, including Longines Ambassador of Elegance, Kate Winslet rewarded four leading women in the equestrian world.
The French Revolution marked the brutal end of these princely times but the Grand Stables was miraculously saved, thanks to its occupation by the army. Only two statues would be destroyed for their lead: the Court of the kennels statue and its fountain, and Fame, which overlooked the dome’s roof. A copy of the latter was reinstated and donated to the Institut de France, two centuries later, in 1989, by Yves Bienaimé, as part of sponsoring operation.
Architect Jean Aubert built the Grand Stables at the request of Louis-Henri de Bourbon, the seventh prince of Condé.The legend says that the Prince was convinced he would be reincarnated as a horse and therefore wished for stables worthy of his rank.
At the end of the nineteenth century, in 1886, the Duke of Aumale, fifth son of King Louis-Philippe and last resident of the Chantilly Estate, donated his property (château, Hippodrome, Stables, forest, Condé Museum, library and archives) to the French Institute under the condition that everything be maintained in its state.
he Grand Stables, built almost 300 years ago in 1719, is truly one of the most breathtaking equestrian buildings in the world. Back in the 1700s it housed a whopping 250 horses and 300 hunting dogs.The Grand Stables form part of the opulent Chantilly Estate, surrounded by its manicured lawns, lakes, gardens and acres of lush forest. In the evenings, Prince Louis-Henri would hold sumptuous dinners under the building’s monumental dome, which soars 28 metres high.
SPORTING HORSE Issue 19
July 2014 Edition of Sporting Horse Magazine