Tag Archives: CHI Geneva

Kent Farrington Closes the Year Winning the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, regarded as the most esteemed indoor Grand Prix on the global equestrian circuit, was won by Rolex Testimonee and World Number One Kent Farrington aboard Gazelle. Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann was second aboard Mary Lou 194 and Gregory Wathelet from Belgium riding Coree placed third.

Some 10,000 equestrian fans walked into the iconic Palexpo venue, brimming with excitement and tension as they waited for the famed curtains to open, marking the start of the most anticipated class of the four-day show, the Rolex Grand Prix.

40 horse and rider combinations had qualified to enter the iconic indoor arena at the CHI Geneva and in doing so, tackle an imposing first round course (and subsequent jump-off) designed by renowned international show jumping course designers, Gérard Lachat and Louis Konickx.

Clear rounds were hard to come by and the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Philipp Weishaupt, was unable to continue his journey in attempting to lift the most coveted trophy in the sport, as he collected nine faults in round one.

From the first 25 riders who braved the course, including Rolex Testimonees Jeroen Dubbeldam, Eric Lamaze, Bertram Allen and Steve Guerdat, none could master a clear round. It became evident that it would take an exacting and precise round to finish with a score of zero. Last year’s winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Pedro Veniss from Brazil, produced the first seemingly clear round, until the clock stopped just over the allocated time and he collected one unlucky time fault.

A clean score was finally achieved by The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, shortly followed by Henrik Von Eckermann and Gregory Wathelet. The crowd hushed to near silence as USA’s Kent Farrington entered into the arena, shortly displaying why he is the very best rider in the sport right now, producing a foot perfect round over the 13 obstacles. Cian O’Connor from Ireland completed the list of five riders progressing through to the second-round jump-off of the final Major of the year.

A revised course was presented to these elite athletes, reducing the course to eight obstacles. Harrie Smolders was first to go, setting the bar high with a clear round in just 46.89 seconds. This was fractionally beaten by Von Eckermann, who sped through the finishing gate with a time of 45.59. Wathelet was unable to challenge this, leaving it to Farrington and O’Connor. In true Farrington style, he sped through the course on the tightest of turns as the Geneva crowd sat on the edges of their seats, erupting in a cacophony of noise as the clock was stopped on 44.96 seconds, taking the World Number One into the lead. Cian O’Connor was last to go but despite giving everything, his brave grey horse Fibonacci just clipped one pole at the fourth fence, handing the victory to Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington.

After eight months as World Number One, Farrington concluded an emphatic year as the World Number One and now embarks on his very own Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey.

Commenting after his victory, Farrington said, “I’m still in shock and I can’t believe that it’s over and that we walk away with a win. I thought my horse was great today and with this win being part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, I will definitely be heading to The Dutch Masters in 2018.

“The riders are so strong here and you have the best horses in the world. With a large arena it can be difficult to set an indoor style course and in today’s sport, with as well as everyone rides, they have to make the time short. I knew it was going to be tough when I saw the course and I am so pleased with the result.”

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Kevin Staut Crowned Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final Champion at CHI Geneva

The current top 10 riders in the world gathered at the iconic CHI Geneva, Switzerland to contend for one of the most exciting classes of the year, the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. The roster of elite show jumpers who had qualified to tackle Gérard Lachat’s technically challenging and imposing course included five of Rolex’s Equestrian Testimonees: Steve Guerdat, Scott Brash, Eric Lamaze, Kevin Staut and current World Number One, Kent Farrington.

Staged over two rounds, home favourite and Swiss hero Steve Guerdat was first to go aboard his brilliant mare Hannah. The patriotic crowd was electric as he rode into the arena and despite willing the combination over every fence, the pair collected four faults.

The first clear round came from the only rider currently to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Great Britain’s Scott Brash. Ursula XII and Brash glided around the first round, setting the bar high for the remaining seven riders. Despite nearly foot perfect rounds from the 2016 reigning champion, Eric Lamaze, and 2015 champion Kent Farrington, they both finished the 12-fence course with four faults, respectively.

For the eighth time in his career, Kevin Staut had qualified for the Top 10 Final and this experience shone through as he delivered the last clear of round one.

The second round welcomed four riders with a clean sheet, Lorenzo De Luca, Harrie Smolders, Scott Brash and Kevin Staut. Rolex Testimonee Eric Lamaze produced the fastest second round of the night, with a time of 40.27 moving him up the leaderboard.

Brash continued to impress and put pressure on his competitors, executing a faultless round with a time of 42.83, putting the passionate crowd on the edge of their seats as they waited for the last three riders of the class to challenge the British rider. It was not to be for Smolders as he attempted too tight a turn and paid the price with four faults. The stage was set for Kevin Staut and Lorenzo De Luca, who was competing in this competition for the very first time and the class’s first Italian representative.

ROLEX ONE-TWO PODIUM FINISH

Staut cut every corner in order to achieve his dramatic clear round, stopping the clock at 40.90 seconds, taking him into the lead. After a valiant effort De Luca was unable to beat the exacting precision of the French rider and world number three, as he exited the arena with four faults. The final result saw Rolex Testimonees, Kevin Staut and Scott Brash, secure first and second place on the podium.

A thrilled Staut commented on his victory: “I am really really happy as not only have I won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final but I have qualified for the Rolex Grand Prix tomorrow also. It’s been eight years that I’ve been fighting to get a good result and I’m thrilled I’ve now achieved it, especially here in Geneva which is such an incredible show.”

Second placed Brash: “I don’t think I could have done any more. Ursula has a huge stride but is a slow mover. Kevin’s turns were much smoother than mine and Kevin was too fast for us today.”

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Highlights News Film from CHI Geneva of the Rolex Grand Prix and Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final

12 December 2016, CHI Geneva, Switzerland – The Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva is one of the three equestrian Majors that form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and is one of the most prestigious Grand Prix on the international circuit.

Re-live the excitement of the four-day competition at the world’s leading indoor venue, as the finest riders compete for the prestigious Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title.

Please find below a short copyright free news film, presented by Rolex.

YouTube Link

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Pedro Veniss Delights the Swiss Crowd to Win the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

11 December 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – In December the world of international show jumping turns its attention to the last equestrian Major of the year, CHI Geneva. Staged over four days, a record 42,000 spectators cheered on the world’s best riders with the excitement drawing to a close on Sunday 11 December with the climax of the competition, the Rolex Grand Prix.

The tension in the Palexpo Arena was justifiably high with Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash amongst the starters, entering the competition as the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. The stakes were especially high for Brash who had already written his name into the history books having completed this extraordinary feat at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in 2015.

Home favourite, Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat, brought a further dimension of emotion to the event having announced that the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva would be the last competitive appearance for his prize horse, Nino des Buissonnets. However, fortune favoured Brazilian rider Pedro Veniss and his brilliant stallion Quabri de L’Isle, who produced an astonishingly quick jump-off time to reign victorious as the 2016 Rolex Grand Prix winner.

The start list saw 40 of the sport’s finest riders challenging for one of the most revered competitions on the international circuit and course designer Gérard Lachat made full use of the world’s largest indoor equestrian arena, challenging these elite athletes in every corner and at every jumping effort. The vast obstacles tested the riders to their limits, and only 16 combinations conquered the first round of the course faultlessly, taking them through to the jump-off. Swiss national hero Steve Guerdat, Scott Brash, and world number one Christian Ahlmann were amongst those to advance through to the second round, heightening the excitement of the competition.

ROLEX GRAND PRIX JUMP-OFF

The crowds were kept on the edge of their seats as each combination tackled the shortened course, dramatically cutting corners to produce as fast a time as possible. The eventual Rolex Grand Prix winner, Veniss, was fourth to go and set an exceptionally tough time to beat of just 38.96 seconds. Despite valiant efforts from all challengers, it seemed no one could cut any more time off Veniss’ impressive round. It was left to the last two riders, Rolex Testimonees Kevin Staut and Scott Brash, to challenge one of equestrian sport’s most prized trophies. Staut produced an outstanding round of elegance and precision, stopping the clock after 40.04 seconds, but this was not enough to knock Veniss from pole position. The crowd hushed as the current Rolex Grand Slam live contender entered the arena and waited with baited breath for the outcome. Cheering Brash through to the last fence, the clock stopped at a time of 39.41 seconds, four hundredths of a second slower than Veniss and placing the combination into third, respectively. First and third place were separated by just 0.4 of a second, highlighting the importance of accuracy and precision timing at the very top of the sport.

After a tense and dramatic competition came to a close, a delighted Veniss spoke of his victory, “I am so happy; it is a dream come true to win the Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva. Quabri jumped fantastically in the first round and so I thought, we can go for it in the jump-off. I really tried like never before and pushed to go fast. Quabri responded perfectly.

“I will work really hard ahead of CHIO Aachen [2017], thinking ahead to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, but for now, I want to give this victory to my family and all of the people who are behind me.”

NINO DES BUISSONNETS’ RETIREMENT

Sunday 11 December was especially emotional for Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat, who placed twelfth in the Rolex Grand Prix, which was to be the final competition for Nino des Buissonnets ahead of a well-deserved retirement.

“The farewell was so special; it was so intense, powerful, so emotional. It was much more than I expected. The stadium was full, everyone stayed after the Rolex Grand Prix and I am very grateful to all of the public and the show, for that. It will always remain in my heart.”

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Eric Lamaze Triumphs in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva

09 December 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – The world’s Top 10 riders gathered for a thrilling competition on Friday 9 December, in the sixteenth edition of this world-famous spectacle and the twelfth time it has been staged at CHI Geneva. Crowds for the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final were treated to an evening of excitement, tension and elation as last to go, Rolex Testimonee Eric Lamaze, produced a spectacular round to take title spot and reign victorious.

Staged over two nail biting rounds without a jump-off, pin point accuracy and upmost precision is required to win the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. With five riders jumping fault-free in the first round, the stage was set for an exhilarating final round.

Christian Ahlmann took a commanding lead in round two, setting a superb time of 43.05 seconds which looked hard to beat. The last three riders of the class to go were Rolex Testimonees Steve Guerdat, Kevin Staut and Eric Lamaze. Even the elite riders, Staut and Guerdat, were unable to push Ahlmann out of title spot, leaving it to Canada’s Eric Lamaze to challenge the German rider. In true Lamaze style, he looked to shave off hundreds of seconds at every corner aboard his mare Fine Lady 5. With the packed crowd on the edge of their seats, and fixated on the clock, he finished in a time of 42.56 seconds, providing Lamaze with the narrowest of margins to win the class for the first time in his career and adding this title to his stellar roster of global equestrian achievements.

Speaking after his victory, a delighted Lamaze said, “We all saw Christian go in the jump-off; I thought the competition was over. Fine Lady is naturally very fast but I knew I didn’t have any option but to try everything. I was lucky enough to have a galloping distance to the Rolex oxer at the end. I took the opportunity and I think that made the difference.

“Fine Lady 5 is an amazing horse, to win the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final; I could not ask for any more.”

CHI Geneva will now look ahead to Sunday where it will see the retirement of Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat’s wonder horse, Nino des Buissonnets, in an emotional farewell after the Rolex Grand Prix, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Guerdat obtained third spot in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, with a superb performance riding Corbinian.

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Scott Brash Aims for Show Jumping Perfection at Geneva, Dec. 2016

30 November 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – The 2016 global equestrian season comes to a close in scintillating fashion with the third equestrian Major of the year hosted by CHI Geneva.

The 56th edition of this prestigious show takes place from 8-11 December 2016 in Rolex headquarters’ pristine home city of Geneva. The Swiss indoor show has been voted the world’s best show jumping event for the 8th time by many of equestrian’s greatest riders and Rolex is proud to have been the presenting partner since 1996.

As the only one of the three Majors that comprise the Rolex Grand Slam to be hosted indoors, CHI Geneva is unique in its setting and atmosphere, creating an entirely fresh challenge for riders and horses alike.

ROLEX GRAND PRIX

CHI Geneva builds to a climax on Sunday 11 December with the Rolex Grand Prix, one of the three Majors that together form equestrian sport’s most sought-after award, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

As one of the most renowned competitions in the show jumping season, winning the Rolex Grand Prix at the Palexpo stadium in Geneva will require supreme courage and immaculate timing. With an imposing course set to defy the world’s foremost riders, an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd creates a cacophony of noise to complete an atmosphere unparalleled in equestrian sport.

SCOTT BRASH EYEING HISTORY

To date Scott Brash is the only winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s greatest prize. By winning the three equestrian Majors in succession in 2015, a feat even more impressive considering it was achieved on the same horse, Brash secured his place in equestrian sport’s illustrious hall of fame.

After winning the 2016 CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, in Spruce Meadows, Brash arrives to Geneva as the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam, once again in a position to take home the ultimate prize. He will need to demonstrate passion, determination and exceptional performance to continue his quest towards a second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title.

“To win the three equestrian Majors back to back, and accomplish a second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title, would be incredible. It’s what every rider wants to be a part of. I am delighted to be back on track and am looking forward to attempting to take the next chapter in this extraordinary challenge.”

Having triumphed in 2014 aboard Hello Sanctos, Brash knows exactly what is required to win CHI Geneva, putting him in an excellent position to compete against his fellow equestrian elite.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES SUCCESS AT CHI GENEVA

The last three victors in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva have all been Rolex Testimonees, underlying the exceptional talent of this group of supreme athletes.

Steve Guerdat has enjoyed the most successful record at CHI Geneva, winning the title in 2006, 2013, and most recently in 2015. The Swiss favorite will be looking to return in 2016 and contend for his fourth title. The champion equestrian athlete will be riding Nino des Buissonnets, in what will be the gelding’s last competitive appearance and third CHI Geneva title if the pair win. It seems only fitting that Guerdat will be retiring his prize horse at his home show.

The 2008 champion, Eric Lamaze, will be looking to add a second Geneva title to his extensive list of titles when he enters the Palexpo arena riding Fine Lady 5.

Kevin Staut, who was victorious in 2010’s jump-off, and Great Britain’s Scott Brash complete the list of Rolex Testimonees who have triumphed at the world’s premier indoor equestrian show.

Winning his first ever Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva aboard Voyeur would be a superb way for Kent Farrington, current world number four, to complete a victorious 2016 season in which he won Team silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, arguably Germany’s greatest show jumper of all time, has one of the finest equestrian resumes in history and with the Rolex Grand Prix missing off that impressive list she will be hoping to make amends riding her gelding Fibonacci 17.

The newest Rolex Testimonees, Jeroen Dubbeldam riding SFN Zenith N.O.P., and Bertram Allen, will also be vying to win their first Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva, adding to their long list of equestrian accomplishments.

ROLEX IJRC TOP 10 FINAL

The Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final is one of the highlights of the CHI Geneva programme. Held on Friday 9 December 2016, this exciting competition brings together the world’s best horse and rider partnerships in one of the most prestigious classes in the global equestrian calendar.

With only the world’s Top 10 ranked riders invited to participate, the roster of the Top 10 Final is unrivalled in world equestrian sport. Winning the coveted title requires impeccable precision and timing.

Rolex Testimonee and defending champion Kent Farrington will return to CHI Geneva to defend his Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final crown, having enjoyed an immaculate year that included helping Team USA to silver at the Rio Olympic Games.

Alongside Kent Farrington, Rolex Testimonees Eric Lamaze, Steve Guerdat and Kevin Staut have also qualified to compete in the 2016 Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. Rolex has proudly supported the IJRC Top 10 Final since it’s inauguration in 2001 and five of its equestrian Testimonees have claimed the sought-after trophy: Rodrigo Pessoa (2003 and 2005), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (2004 and 2006), Steve Guerdat (2010), Scott Brash (2014) and Kent Farrington in 2015.

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Highlights Film from the Rolex Grand Prix and the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva

Re-Live the Excitement of the World’s Leading Indoor Show Jumping Event

The Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva is one of the three Majors that forms the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and is the most prestigious indoor grand prix on the international equestrian circuit. CHI Geneva is also host to the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, the only show jumping competition that invites the world’s Top 10 riders to compete over two rounds at the end of year finale.

Re-live the excitement of the four days of competition at the world’s leading indoor show jumping event, and watch Rolex Testimonees Steve Guerdat and Kent Farrington win the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix and Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final titles, respectively.

Please find below a short copyright free news film, presented by Rolex:

YouTube link

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Steve Guerdat Displays Precision Timing to Win Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

Steve Guerdat and Nino Des Buissonnets. ©Rolex/Kit Houghton.

13 December 2015, CHI Geneva, Switzerland – The world of international show jumping reached its season climax at the greatest indoor show – CHI Geneva. Staged over four days, the show built to its peak today with the Rolex Grand Prix, one of the three Majors that comprise show jumping’s ultimate prize – the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Roared on by the near 9,500 spectators packed into the world-famous Geneva Palexpo Arena, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat riding his champion horse Nino Des Buissonnets, demonstrated their impeccable partnership, exceptional skill and perfect timing to win the Rolex Grand Prix in dramatic style for a impressive third time.

NEW ROLEX GRAND SLAM CONTENDER

16 riders made it through the challenging first round course into the jump-off. Guerdat was ninth to go, chasing an incredibly fast time of 41.45 seconds set by Rolex Testimonee Eric Lamaze from Canada. Steve Guerdat knew he had to be fast, and as he entered the arena the Swiss fans went wild. The crowd then hushed and held its breath as Guerdat expertly guided Nino around the course with a new time of 40.94 secs taking him into first place ahead of Lamaze. With seven more riders still to follow to try and beat his time, Guerdat could only watch on. France’s Simon Delestre held nothing back and came within a breathtaking 0.03 seconds of Guerdat’s time.

It was then left to fellow Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington from the USA, to beat Guerdat. Typically, Farrington gave it everything and went clear, but his time of 41.47 was not quite fast enough on this occasion. Having already written his name into the history books, Scott Brash from Great Britain, riding Hello Sanctos, came to CHI Geneva as the first, and so far only, rider to succeed in completing the extraordinary feat of winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: he won the three Majors of the year – the Rolex Grands Prix of CHI Geneva 2014, Switzerland; CHIO Aachen 2015, Germany; and the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2015, Canada.

Unfortunately it was not to be his day this time around, as Rolex Testimonee Brash just clipped fence 11 in the first round, taking him out of the competition. So a new cycle of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has now began at CHI Geneva 2015, with Steve Guerdat – who must now win all three Majors in succession to claim the biggest challenge in the history of the equestrian sport.

Steve Guerdat said: “The beginning of the jump-off was a little bit difficult for me and Nino, but he is a special horse – he is a genius. The rest of the jump-off went like we planned and I am really happy with the result. This show is really, really important for me. I always plan it as it is one of the main weekends in the year for me – for me it is not just another show so I try to plan in long in advance and come with fresh horses like it was a Championship for me – the crowd always helps me and luck must do the rest.”

ROLEX GRAND PRIX QUALIFICATION

After four qualifying classes at CHI Geneva, 40 of the world’s best horse and rider partnerships secured themselves a place in the Rolex Grand Prix. Staged over two courses, the riders had to memorize the layout and route of two of the hardest 5* Grand Prix courses in the world. Every second counts in order to take them to victory with the challenge of having to clear 26 fences over the two courses covering a total of 770 meters, and completing the first course within just 71 seconds.

ESTEEMED INTERNATIONAL RIDERS

The roll-call of riders in the Rolex Grand Prix was a truly star-studded cast, with riders travelling from 18 different countries. These included some of the world’s top current riders: the reigning double World and European Champion, Jeroen Dubbeldam from the Netherlands; Daniel Bluman from Columbia; and Lauren Hough from USA.

The Rolex family of equestrian Testimonees was well represented with six riders qualifying for the Rolex Grand Prix. These included Kevin Staut; Rolex’s youngest Testimonee, Bertram Allen; Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping winner Scott Brash; Eric Lamaze; Kent Farrington; and the new 2015 CHI Geneva Rolex Grand Prix winner Steve Guerdat.

All eyes now turn to CHIO Aachen in July 2016 for the next leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – the sport looks to Guerdat to see if he can now continue on where he left his journey after winning the CHI Geneva Rolex Grand Prix in 2013 to write himself into the history books once more.

2015 CHI GENEVA ROLEX GRAND PRIX RESULTS

1. Steve Guerdat (SUI), riding Nino Des Buissonnets, 40.94 secs
2. Simon Delestre (FRA), riding Qlassic Bois Margot, 40.97 secs
3. Eric Lamaze (CAN), riding Fine Lady 5, 41.45 secs
4. Kent Farrington (USA), riding Voyeur, 41.47 secs
5. Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA), riding Admara, 42.01 secs

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Kent Farrington Wins Thrilling Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva

Kent Farrington Riding Voyeur ©Rolex/Kit Houghton.

11 December 2015, CHI Geneva Switzerland – When the Top 10 riders in the world gather under one roof to battle it out to be crowned champion, excitement, tension and world-class competition are guaranteed. The crowds watching the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva were privileged to have experienced a thrilling encounter in this year’s competition, with Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington riding the wonderful Voyeur, racing to the top of the podium and taking his first ever win in the competition.

Speed and accuracy are essential to winning the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. Staged over two rounds with no jump-off, and with eight riders taking a clear into the final round, expectation was high that the final round would produce a classic in this, the fifteenth edition and the eleventh time that it has been staged at CHI Geneva.

Second round clears were proving hard to find until Kent Farrington and Voyeur came into the arena. Living up to their deserved reputation as one of the fastest partnerships on the circuit, they sped around the course whilst the crowd held their collective breath, and laid down a lightning fast 37.54 second round; it looked difficult to beat. Both Simon Delestre and Daniel Deusser followed Farrington onto the course and although both succeeded in going clear, they simply could not match Farrington’s time. It was left to the final two riders, Rolex Testimonees Bertram Allen, the youngest rider to ever compete in the Final at just 20 years old, and the 2014 winner, Scott Brash, to challenge Farrington. Valiant in their efforts, not even the combined athleticism of equine superstars Molly Malone and Hello Sanctos could match Voyeur, and Farrington was crowned the winner in only his second time of competing.

Speaking after his victory, Kent Farrington said, “My horse was amazing today; I had to go early in the second round and I knew that some of the fastest riders were coming after me. This is a great way to start off with Voyeur at the show ahead of the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday. My horse has been on form so I hope he continues for the weekend.”

The Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final was started in 2001 by the International Jumping Riders Club and similar to the ATP Finals in tennis, is the only competition that rewards consistency throughout the season, by inviting the top 10 highest-ranked riders in the world to go head-to-head over two rounds of jumping. The competition has been won by several of the greatest names in the sport, including Rolex Testimonees Rodrigo Pessoa and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum. Kent Farrington now joins this group of legendary names engraved on the exclusive winner’s trophy.

All eyes now turn to Sunday and the Rolex Grand Prix, where one rider will start his or her journey towards emulating Scott Brash in winning their first stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

The results of the 15th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final:

1st Kent Farrington (USA), riding Voyeur
2nd Simon Delestre (FRA), riding Hermes Ryan
3rd Daniel Deusser (GER), riding First Class van Eeckelghem
4th Christian Ahlmann (GER), riding Codex One
5th Penelope Leprevost (FRA), riding Flora De Mariposa
6th Scott Brash (GBR), riding Hello Sanctos
7th Bertram Allen (IRL), riding Molly Malone
8th Gregory Wathelet (BEL), riding Algorhythem
9th Luciana Diniz (POR), riding Fit For Fun
10th Ludger Beerbaum (GER), riding Chaman

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World’s Most Decorated Riders Anticipate 55th Edition of CHI Geneva

03 December 2015, CHI Geneva, Switzerland – The high-stakes world of international show jumping moves around the globe from one glamorous location to another until it reaches a climax in December at the end-of-season CHI Geneva, Switzerland. From 10-13 December 2015, the world’s elite horse and rider pairs will gather for this world-renowned indoor show, which dates back to 1926 and for which Rolex has been a presenting partner since 1996.

The event plays host to two of the sport’s greatest contests: the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final, and the Rolex Grand Prix. In April 2013, the CHI Geneva formed an alliance with CHIO Aachen and the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, joining forces to create the esteemed Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

ROLEX IJRC TOP 10 FINAL

The Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, held on Friday 11 December 2015, is one of the most thrilling and intensely competitive classes of the year. The top-10 highest-ranked riders in the world for 2015 are invited to go head-to-head. Only an athlete who has shown consistently brilliant form all year will qualify to compete for the coveted title.

This year three Rolex equestrian Testimonees have qualified for the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final: Great Britain’s Scott Brash, Ireland’s Bertram Allen, and the USA’s Kent Farrington. While Brash will be aiming to retain his 2014 title, this will be the first time Allen has competed, whilst Farrington returns for his second attempt to claim the trophy.

Rolex has supported the IJRC Top 10 Final since its inauguration in 2001, and several of its equestrian Testimonees have won this prestigious title – Rodrigo Pessoa (2003 and 2005), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (2004 and 2006), Steve Guerdat (2010), and Scott Brash (2014).

ROLEX GRAND PRIX

The show builds to a peak on Sunday 13 December with the Rolex Grand Prix, one of the three Majors that comprise show jumping’s greatest prize – the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

The Rolex Grand Prix is the most prestigious competition of the winter season, taking place in front of knowledgeable and enthusiastic spectators. With formidable courses guaranteed, winning will require the utmost courage, perfect timing and exquisite skill from each horse and rider pair.

A NEW GRAND SLAM CHAPTER COMMENCES

In Geneva this December the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping torch will be lit once more. Whoever wins the show’s feature class – the Rolex Grand Prix – will have the chance to carry that torch forward and establish their own opportunity to make history and become equestrian legends as Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos have so memorably done this year after winning all three Rolex Grand Slam Majors in a row.

If an athlete can harness physical talent, an exceptional work ethic and the right support system, he or she can then aspire to be the best. As the 2015 show jumping year comes full circle, Scott Brash can reflect on a remarkable 12 months. At CHI Geneva in 2014, the young British rider launched himself on a journey that seemed almost impossible: to win his sport’s greatest prize – the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. He would have to triumph in the three Majors of the year – the Rolex Grands Prix of CHI Geneva, Switzerland; CHIO Aachen, Germany; and the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, Canada. It had never been done, but with brilliance, bravery and true horsemanship, Brash and his incomparable equine partner, Hello Sanctos, conquered this extraordinary challenge, and will forever be immortalized as legends of show jumping.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES AT CHI GENEVA

The exclusive group of supreme athletes who can call themselves Rolex equestrian Testimonees has a tremendous record at CHI Geneva – Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, Canada’s Eric Lamaze, and France’s Kevin Staut have all won the Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva’s Palexpo in recent years. Guerdat will be aiming for his third Rolex Grand Prix victory, after taking the honours in 2006 and 2013 aboard Jalisca Solier and Nino des Buissonnets, respectively. Similarly, Lamaze, who with the late, great Hickstead fought off stiff competition from fellow Rolex Testimonee, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, to take 2008’s crown, and Staut, who effortlessly guided his mare, Silvana de Hus, around the arena to win 2010’s jump-off, will each be hoping to add a second Rolex Grand Prix win to their already impressive list of top-level triumphs.

Kent Farrington, currently number two in the world rankings, and USA’s highest ranked male rider, will be hoping to claim his first CHI Geneva Rolex Grand Prix victory.

Rolex’s newest Testimonee, Scott Brash, will be competing at CHI Geneva in an effort to not only retain his 2014 Rolex Grand Prix title, but also to launch his quest for an unimaginable second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping accolade.

Brash commented, “I’ve ridden at CHI Geneva for the past two years and it’s definitely my favourite indoor show of the year. The arena is big, the atmosphere is great, and I just love riding there. All the top riders want to compete there; the event gathers the very best horse and rider pairs worldwide.”

One of Germany’s most successful show jumpers, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, will be competing for supremacy at Geneva with Fibonacci 17. Michaels-Beerbaum has been having an excellent year with her equine star, whom she rode at the European Jumping Championships in Aachen in August 2015.

Rolex’s youngest Testimonee, Bertram Allen, will be hungry for a major victory to end what has been a promising year for the rising athlete. The 20-year-old competed in last year’s Rolex Grand Prix for the first time, and he hopes that the experience gained will set him in good stead this time around.

ROLEX GRAND PRIX PAST WINNERS

2014 Scott Brash (GBR), Hello Sanctos
2013 Steve Guerdat (SUI), Nino des Buissonnets
2012 Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Itôt du Château
2011 Alvaro de Miranda (BRA), AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan
2010 Kevin Staut (FRA), Silvana de Hus
2008 Eric Lamaze (CAN), Hickstead
2007 Ludger Beerbaum (GER), All Inclusive NRW
2006 Steve Guerdat (SUI), Jalisca Solier
2005 Thomas Frühmann (AUT), The Sixth Sense

ROLEX IJRC TOP 10 FINAL PAST WINNERS

2014 Scott Brash (GBR), Hello Sanctos (Geneva)
2013   Daniel Deusser (GER), Evita van de Veldbalie (Stockholm)
2012   Christian Ahlmann (GER), Taloubet Z, (Geneva)
2011   Billy Twomey (IRE), Tinka’s Serenade, (Paris)
2010   Steve Guerdat (SUI), Jalisca Solier, (Geneva)
2009   Marcus Ehning (GER), Plot Blue, (Paris)
2008   Michel Robert (FRA), Kellemoi de Pepita, (Brussels)
2007   Jessica Kürten (IRE), Castle Forbes Libertina, (Geneva)
2006   Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Shutterfly, (Geneva)
2005   Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), Baloubet du Rouet, (Geneva)

*Names in bold denote Rolex equestrian Testimonees

ROLEX EQUESTRIANISM PRESS ROOM
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