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30 years !

I first came to Pebble Beach and attended the concours in the mid-1980’s. I was so impressed by what I saw that I decided to return the following year, expecting to be disappointed after a first experience that had been so strong. It was even better!

That is what prompted me to organise a concours in Paris where I lived at the time and many of you will remember the so-called Bagatelle event launched in 1988. At the same time, I approached Jules Heumann, the co-chairman of Pebble Beach and we agreed on exchanging our Best of Show winners for a few years as well as a couple of judges. I was first invited to judge in 1989.

Fast forward to 2019. Sunday will be my 30st year judging at Pebble Beach! It will also be my final year. Time to make room for a younger generation with fresh ideas, new eyes and perhaps different tastes… Friends to whom I spoke of my intention asked me: why leave now? and insisted I should continue. This is music to my ears of course, but I rather quit whilst you still say nice things to me than wait until you’ll start asking yourselves why I am still here…

I do however not want to take a French leave! I am grateful to Sandra who is very graciously giving me the opportunity to say an early good bye. Thank you, Sandra. It was a fantastic 30 years or, better said, by Sunday, it will have been a fantastic 30 years of friendship and shared of passion.

Being invited to judge at Pebble Beach is an honour and a privilege, and I never took the invitation for granted. It is also a serious responsibility because there is no other concours in the world where results matter as much as here!

Before going, I would like to say a word of praise to the Pebble Beach Company. During all those 30 years, I stayed at The Lodge and it always felt like a second home to me.

Thank you and … almost good bye!

August 2019


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