Saddling Up

One of the rising superstars in the world of show jumping, Ben Asselin, has been chosen by Hermès to join their elite group of partner riders. The Calgary native, now riding under the iconic orange and brown banner of the prestigious French maison, is the first Canadian partner rider and joins the ranks of American Nick Dello Joio and Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa.

The son of two-time Canadian team member Jonathan Asselin and Nancy Southern, whose family founded Spruce Meadows, one of the world’s premier show jumping and equestrian facilities south of Calgary, Asselin began riding at the age of three and was competing by the time he was eight. He has racked up countless wins, notably his breakthrough victory was the $205,000 top prize Encana Cup at the Masters in 2013. Asselin credits his family’s support for not only shaping his career but also for his dedication and love for the sport. “We all share the same passion and everybody is behind each other,” says Asselin, adding, “If I had liked soccer, they would have supported me in that as well.”

Asselin will be the hometown favourite when the Masters CS105 international competition at Spruce Meadows begins on September 9. Over a five-day period, the world show-jumping elite will participate and Hermès will also have a presence at Spruce Meadows in the form of a custom built 700-square-foot booth staffed by Hermès’s own artisans showcasing the art of saddle making and craftsmanship of equestrian gear.