Tag Archives: CHI Geneva

Exclusive Interview with Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender Martin Fuchs

Martin Fuchs (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

The Rolex Grand Prix win at CHI Geneva was obviously very emotional for you; can you talk about what that win meant for you, especially in front of your home crowd?

Geneva has always been a good show for me. I’ve never been close to winning the Rolex Grand Prix there though, so when I qualified for the jump-off, I was very excited. Clooney was in great shape and I knew the jump-off would suit us both. I kept focused and tried to go as fast as I could whilst sticking to my plan. It was then hard for me to watch the others go and I was quite sure that what I’d done wasn’t enough and one of the best riders would beat me. When Darragh Kenny, who was the last rider in the ring, had a pole down, I realized I’d won. It was an incredible moment, made even more special winning in front of my home crowd, my family, and my friends.

Looking ahead to The Dutch Masters, which has a much smaller arena, does that change your preparations at all?

Our preparation doesn’t change at all. Clooney is very good in the smaller arenas, so in a way it’s better for him. I’m excited as this will be my first time at The Dutch Masters; we will be competing at a 2-Star event with Clooney also in Holland a few weeks prior to The Dutch Masters in order to be as prepared as possible.

Clooney 51 is a superstar horse; how did your journey start and how have you grown together?

We bought Clooney through one of my best friends, when he was seven years old. In the beginning, he was a bit difficult, but he’s always been a great horse to ride. When he was eight years old, I realized that he could be a special horse, as he’d often placed in big Grands Prix. As a nine-year-old he placed second in a 5* Grand Prix in Doha. To become the team we are today, we’ve worked very hard on our dressage and his confidence. I try my best to keep him happy and give him the confidence he needs to perform, then in the ring he normally doesn’t let me down.

What do you think are the qualities he naturally has that make him so special?

Clooney is very careful and clever at the fences; he’s very aware of his surroundings and always knows where the poles are. He’s a very intelligent jumper, with his own style; he doesn’t over-jump and never runs through the fences.

Do you plan on taking Clooney to The Dutch Masters?

I will definitely be taking Clooney; we’ve been training hard and preparing, so we have a good chance to do well.

You have achieved so much already but what are your next dreams and ambitions, what do you want to achieve?

I was ecstatic to become world number one; it was obviously a huge success and a dream come true for me, especially considering I’m still quite young. The Rolex Grand Prix victory in Geneva was the best possible outcome for me, which makes me a live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam. My main goals for this year are the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping and of course the Olympics in Tokyo, which I’m incredibly excited for.

The Rolex Grand Prix win at CHI Geneva was obviously very emotional for you; can you talk about what that win meant for you, especially in front of your home crowd?

Looking even further ahead to CHIO Aachen, again another completely different arena, does Clooney grow in an arena like Aachen? How does it affect him?

Clooney can be a little spooked in the big grass arenas, which makes things a little bit more difficult. Aachen is over the course of a whole week, which gives me the chance to get Clooney in the ring a couple of times before the Grand Prix, which will help us be more prepared. Last year he jumped really well and had clear rounds; however, during the second round I didn’t ride so well, but ultimately, I’m looking forward to bringing him back to the show.

Scott Brash won Rolex Grand Slam with Hello Sanctos; do you think Clooney could be a potential horse that could emulate their success?

I have complete faith in Clooney. I know he can win in any arena in the world, in any class. This gives me a lot of confidence, but I’ve not even dreamed about winning the Rolex Grand Slam because it’s so difficult. Anyone involved in our sport knows what Scott Brash has achieved is incredible and the odds of it happening again are so low. Of course, Clooney and I will try our best but who knows what the future holds?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I don’t think I’ve had a standout piece of advice given to me. I’ve learnt a lot of important values from a variety of people; the most important things I believe are to work hard, be dedicated, try to understand your horse, and do your best every day.

When you’re not riding and competing, what are you doing? Do you have any hobbies outside of showjumping?

I’m quite laid back, so when I’m not competing, I like to go for long walks on the beach by the water, but sometimes I also go into the city. I try to relax as much as possible when I’m not training or competing. I think that’s important if you want to do well.

© 2020 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Inside the CHI Geneva: Martin Fuchs Wins Rolex Grand Prix

Photo: CHI de Genève / scoopdyga.com.

Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs becomes the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender following his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva. The formidable duo of Fuchs and Clooney 51 once again showed the strength of their partnership, producing a speedy clear round in the jump-off (38.60 seconds) that proved impossible to catch. Great Britain’s Scott Brash was just 0.05 seconds behind his fellow Rolex Testimonee securing second place with Hello Senator and Belgium’s Jérôme Guery finished in third.

How does it feel to win your first Major?

Wow! This is a huge win for me; it is certainly a career highlight and tops off an unbelievable year for me. I am so happy.

What does CHI Geneva mean to you now?

It is one of best shows in the world and one that every rider wants to win. I am so happy that I was able to be so competitive at this Rolex Major and to win the Rolex Grand Prix in front of my home crowd is so special.

Clooney 51 is a superstar; how did he feel?

Clooney is a phenomenal horse and his performance was exceptional. Everyone saw what he did in the arena; he tries so hard and is just amazing.

Super Saturday at CHI Geneva

The biggest U25 class at the CHI Geneva, the Grand Prix des Espoirs, was won by USA’s Coco Fath and her chestnut gelding, Exotik Sitte. The 19-year-old from Fairfield Connecticut produced an electric jump-off to seal the victory in the time of 34.89 seconds.

Fath commented on her win: “I am so honored and humbled to just be a part of this legendary event but to win here is a dream come true. I am lucky to have such an incredible team behind me at Amethyst Equestrian with Rodrigo, Alexa, and Fran (our groom) all here supporting me, as well as the equally incredible team at home cheering from afar! And of course, the inimitable Exotik Sitte a.k.a. Scotty who is the best partner I could ask for!”

It was an emotional Saturday evening at the CHI Geneva as the show jumping world bid goodbye to Scott Brash’s legendary horse, Hello Sanctos, in a special retirement service. Brash paid tribute to the horse that helped him become the only rider to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: “He’s made all my dreams come true and I really can’t thank him enough for what he has done. I also need to thank my owners for believing in me and believing in Sanctos. We had an incredible partnership and I hope he will be remembered as a superstar.”

Watch here the tribute video.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Inside the CHI Geneva: Kent Farrington Wins Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

It was another victory for Kent Farrington who claimed the coveted Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final title at CHI Geneva. Partnered with his new bay mare, Austria 2, the fast duo knocked 2.22 seconds off the time set by Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, in spectacular fashion.

That was an incredible performance from Austria 2. What she’s like to ride?

Yes, she’s amazing. I started riding her in May and as soon as I tried her, I thought she was an exceptional horse. She’s really small in stature but she’s got a huge heart and is a tremendous jumper. This is the biggest class she has ever jumped in her life, so to go on and win is amazing; she is unbelievable.

How was the atmosphere?

It was great. It’s my favourite show and maybe even the best in the world; here and CHIO Aachen are very close. The crowd was amazing; everybody wants to win here, especially this class. So it really is a special night.

You have already won two classes here; do you think you can make it a hat trick and win the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday?

I think I can win! I am going to try my best, give it my all, and hope it all comes together on Sunday.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Inside the CHI Geneva: Kent Farrington Wins the Trophée de Genève

Kent Farrington (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

USA’s Kent Farrington produced a lightning fast round aboard his notoriously fast mount, Creedance,  to claim the Trophée de Genève at CHI Geneva. This victory secures Farrington’s spot in Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix, where he will be hoping to emulate his success of 2017 and become the next Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender.

How did you produce such a fast round?

I brought Creedance here because he is so fast and he does a lot by himself, so I just try to stay out of his way and let him go, which is usually the best plan. He’s actually won this class before, so he really knows what he’s doing and he showed that tonight.

You have had a lot of success at this Major; how does it feel to be back?

Yes, I think this is one of the best, if not the best show of the year. All the top riders, all the greatest horses are here, and every class feels important. Each class is hard to win and, of course, it’s part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping so it’s very special. I’m just really glad I have started off so well and hopefully we can keep it up.

Looking ahead to Sunday, which horse will you be riding in the Rolex Grand Prix?

The plan is to ride Gazelle. I am going to do the normal routine, let her get some small rounds under her belt for her confidence, and the go for it on Sunday.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

World’s Best Riders Return to Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final and Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland, 9 December 2019 – From 12-15 December, two of the most prestigious competitions on the show jumping calendar, the Rolex Grand Prix and the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final, will take place in the Palexpo arena at the Concours Hippique International de Genève (CHIG).

ROLEX GRAND PRIX
On Sunday 15 December, an elite field of international riders will contest the year’s final Major, the CHIG Rolex Grand Prix, which forms part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. They will compete on a typically imposing course created by world-renowned designers Gérard Lachat of Switzerland and Louis Konickx of The Netherlands.

A founding supporter of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping in 2013, Rolex is a partner to all four constituent Majors, each one endowed with its own unique history. The Rolex Grand Slam is arguably the most coveted prize in show jumping, awarded to the rider who wins three consecutive Grand Prix at these events. It is also one of the most challenging, requiring unparalleled displays of courage, determination, and precision. Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash of Great Britain is the only person to have achieved the feat to date, starting with victory at the CHIG in 2014, followed by further triumphs at the CHIO Aachen and the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in 2015.

The partnership between Rolex and the CHIG is a key element of the brand’s long-standing commitment to equestrianism that dates back more than 60 years. Inaugurated in 1926, the event is among the most esteemed in the equestrian world, where the relentless pursuit of excellence – by horse and rider combinations and the event organizers – fits perfectly with Rolex’s own quest for outstanding performance in everything it does.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES
After highly successful seasons, Rolex Testimonees Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs have both already qualified to contest in the CHIG Rolex Grand Prix. The Swiss riders currently lead the world rankings, Guerdat at No. 1, Fuchs at No. 2, and will endeavour to continue this form in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. Crowned the European champion earlier this year, and second place to Guerdat in the FEI Jumping World Cup Finals, Fuchs will be a formidable opponent for his compatriot. Guerdat, a three-time winner of the CHIG Rolex Grand Prix (2006, 2013, and 2015), who was also victorious in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in 2010 and 2018, said: “Competing in the final Major of the year is always a fantastic experience, particularly as it is hosted in my home country. Entering the arena to the eruption of support from such a patriotic crowd is a feeling like none other, and I can’t wait for the 2019 edition.”

Joining these riders will be Canada’s Eric Lamaze, in a bid to repeat his 2008 victory in Geneva. Aiming to set his sights on the top honours will be Kent Farrington of the United States, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen this year and the CHIG in 2017. Brash and France’s Kevin Staut, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIG in 2010, will be joined by Rolex’s newest Testimonee, Britain’s Harry Charles as they also look to contest the Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva. Dutch rider, Jeroen Dubbeldam, former World and European champion, and Rolex’s longest-standing equestrian Testimonee, Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa, who won the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIG in 1993, 2000, 2002, and 2004, will be hoping to complete the strong roster of Testimonees competing.

ROLEX IJRC TOP 10 FINAL
At the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, the world’s top 10 riders are invited to compete against one another. This unique concept, supported by Rolex since its inauguration in 2001, acknowledges the achievements of the best show jumpers over the course of the season, and has established itself as a highlight of the equestrian calendar.

Guerdat will contest the 19th edition of the event as World No. 1 and reigning champion, having ridden his horse Alamo to victory over two faultless rounds last year. His success was the fifth in a row for Rolex Testimonees, following in the footsteps of Brash, Farrington, Lamaze, and Staut. He will defend his title against fellow Testimonees Fuchs and Farrington, along with other members of show jumping’s elite group of riders.

IJRC Director, Eleonora Ottaviani, comments: “We are extremely proud to hold our unique event at the CHI Geneva for the 15th time, one of the most iconic shows worldwide. Similar to the ATP Finals in tennis, the Top 10 Final is unrivalled in equestrian sport. It is a privilege to be associated with Rolex, a brand that continuously demonstrates its commitment to equestrianism, providing fundamental support and developing its long-standing success.”

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0) 22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
mhaydon@revolutionworld.com
+44 (0) 7748 186 833

Riders to Watch in Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

Photo: Rolex / Kit Houghton.

From 12-15 December 2019, show jumping fans will travel to Switzerland for what is widely regarded as the world’s greatest indoor competition, CHI Geneva. The event, which spans four days, marks the final Major of the year and will welcome the world’s best equestrian combinations. Each rider will compete in front of around 42,000 people at Palexpo, the biggest indoor jumping arena in the world, as they seek to gain show jumping’s highest honors.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

Visitors attending the 2019 edition of CHI Geneva will witness world-class equestrian action at an event that has been voted the world’s best show jumping competition nine times. With several of the world’s most prolific horse-and-rider combinations set to compete, there will be numerous contenders vying to be crowned the next Rolex Grand Slam live contender, further adding to the hype of the highly anticipated event.

One of the favorites to claim this year’s title is legendary Swiss rider and World No. 1, Steve Guerdat. The Rolex Testimonee has built up a great run of form this season after winning the ‘Pan American’ Grand Prix presented by Rolex in Spruce Meadows this summer and finishing second in the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in March. Already a three-time winner of Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Guerdat will be eager to impress once more in front of a vibrant home crowd.

American rider Kent Farrington sits just outside of the world’s top 10 but has already established himself as one of the best riders in the world after magnificently winning the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen with his outstanding mare Gazelle. The Rolex Testimonee has been on fine form this season, making him a prime contender for the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva title, which he previously claimed back in 2017.

Never far from success is Germany’s Daniel Deusser, who currently sits at third in the Jumping World Rankings. Given his recent form, including a second-place finish in the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen back in July, Deusser is expected to be one of the top performers at this year’s event in Geneva.

Current World No. 2, Martin Fuchs, is another rider who will be looking to secure the Major win in his native Switzerland. The young rider has already achieved much success in his career, including a silver medal in the Individual Jumping at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™, and is the current European Champion. Fuchs’ recent results have helped the 26-year-old establish himself as one of the world’s very best competitors, so there will be a high level of expectation for him to finish off the year with his first Rolex Grand Prix title.

A field of 40 combinations will battle it out in the hope of seizing the final Major victory of the year in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping at CHI Geneva, which promises to be a weekend of enormous competition starting on December 12th.

© 2019 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

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

10 December 2018, Geneva, Switzerland – The Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva is one of the four equestrian Majors that form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and is one of the most prestigious Grand Prix on the international circuit. The Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, also hosted at the CHI Geneva, is an elite competition which invites the top 10 riders to compete to be named the best among them.

Re-live the excitement from the four-day competition at one of the world’s leading venues, as the finest riders compete for the prestigious titles. Discover more on http://on.rolex.com/29ZQji4.

YouTube link

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Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
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rEvolution
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Marcus Ehning Wins Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, the Final Major of the Year

09 December 2018, Geneva, Switzerland – CHI Geneva welcomed 40 of the best riders in the world to compete in the most esteemed class of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix, the final Major of the year in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

A spectacular competition saw Germany’s Marcus Ehning riding Pret A Tout victorious, repeating his success from CHIO Aachen where he won the Rolex Grand Prix in July earlier this year. Second place went to Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat (SUI) riding Albfüehren’s Bianca and third place went to Darragh Kenny (IRE) riding Balou du Reventon.

Over 42,500 fans gathered over the four days for the 2018 edition of the CHI Geneva with a packed arena witnessing a thrilling two-stage Rolex Grand Prix competition between the global elite. Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash (GBR) was the first rider to go clear, later joined by his fellow equestrian Testimonees Steve Guerdat and USA’s Kent Farrington in the line-up of riders going through to the jump-off. The Swiss crowd erupted into applause as one of their home favourites, Guerdat, went clear, sailing around the challenging course.

With 11 clears in the first round, the equestrian fans were enraptured as they waited for what promised to be a breath-taking jump-off, with three Rolex Testimonees, the world number one and a previous Major winner included in the line-up. Whilst all riders gave everything, it was Marcus Ehning who prevailed with a precision performance demonstrating his exquisite horsemanship and sporting skills.

The world’s equestrian elite will now look to The Dutch Masters, the first Major of 2019, where Ehning will be travelling as the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
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+44 (0)7748 186 833

Steve Guerdat Riding Alamo Wins Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva

07 December 2018, Geneva, Switzerland – The top 10 riders from around the globe competed in one of the most exciting classes of the year, the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, at the iconic CHI Geneva. A class where only the world’s top 10 ranked riders are invited to compete to be named the best among them. The elite roster of riders that gathered to take on this imposing course included Rolex’s equestrian Testimonees, Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs.

World-renowned course designer, Gérard Lachat, formulated an imposing and technically challenging course staged over two rounds, ensuring a thrilling competition for the enthralled crowd. First to enter the infamous Palexpo arena was Great Britain’s Ben Maher riding Explosion W, leaving the equestrian fans gasping as he hit the first fence in the Rolex combination and left the arena on 19 faults.

The first clear of the night came from Niels Bruynseels riding Gancia de Muze, exhibiting precision and determination as he glided around the course, finishing in 63.03 seconds, therefore setting the bar high for the forthcoming riders.

As the curtains to the arena entrance opened to unveil one of the home favourites and Rolex’s newest Testimonee Martin Fuchs, the crowd rose to their feet to witness his immaculate clear round riding in his first Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. World no.1, Harrie Smolders, came next, producing an effortless round and going clear in the second quickest time, finishing just behind Bruynseels on the leaderboard. The arena was then treated to a second Swiss rider, as Rolex Testimonee and 2010 winner Steve Guerdat contended. Guerdat has been on top form this year and the mesmerized crowd produced a deafening applause as he cleared this demanding course in a time of 63.78 seconds.

Daniel Deusser, McLain Ward, and Henrik von Eckermann also went clear, ending the first round in the competition with a total of seven clears and ensuring an exciting climax in the second round of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final.

The second round welcomed the first four riders, Peder Fredricson, Marcus Ehning, Daniel Deusser, and Steve Guerdat. Deusser put pressure on his competitors by producing a fast-paced faultless round in a time of 41.53 seconds, moving him to the top of the leaderboard. However, next to come was Steve Guerdat, electrifying the arena with his bold and precision riding, executing a perfect clear round and beating Deusser’s time by 1.78 seconds.

Fellow Swiss rider and Rolex Testimonee, Martin Fuchs, produced a beautiful clear but despite his best efforts was unable to beat Guerdat’s time. Clear rounds were also executed by Henrik von Eckermann and McLain, but neither rider could top the leaderboard. Hoping to emulate his earlier round, Harrie Smolders made a valiant attempt, but it was not to be as he exited the arena on four faults. Winner of The Dutch Masters in March this year, and last to go, was Niels Bruynseels; known as one of the fastest riders on the circuit, Bruynseels attempted to out-pace Guerdat but paid the price by bringing a fence down.

The patriotic crowd was enraptured as Guerdat riding his brilliant gelding Alamo remained unbeaten and was crowned victor of the 2018 Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. Henrik von Eckermann and McLain Ward secured second and third place.

A thrilled Guerdat commented on his victory. “I planned Alamo for the Final; he’s a nervous horse but I had a good feeling on him in the warm-up and in the first round, so I decided to go for it in the jump-off. Alamo responded beautifully to what I was asking him to do. I am very proud of him.”

Guerdat continues the successes of fellow Rolex Testimonees, Scott Brash, Kent Farrington, Eric Lamaze, and Kevin Staut, with Testimonees securing the title for five consecutive years.

The passionate fans of the equestrian world will now be eagerly awaiting the Rolex Grand Prix, taking place on Sunday. This is the last Major in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and one of the most anticipated classes of the year.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Virginie Chevailler
Rolex SA
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

Merrick Haydon
rEvolution
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+44 (0)7748 186 833

Daniel Deusser Wins Trophée de Genève, the First Rolex Grand Prix Qualifier of CHI Geneva

Daniel Deusser riding Calisto Blue at the Trophée de Genève (Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Kit Houghton)

The first qualifier for the Rolex Grand Prix saw nine horse and rider combinations compete in a hotly contested jump-off. Setting the bar high, Daniel Deusser riding Calisto Blue was the first to produce a clear round with a thrilling time of 37.31 seconds.

Last to go, Pieter Davos, looked on par to emulate Deusser’s clear round but was a fraction too slow and had to settle for second place, with Simon Delestre finishing in third, both excellent contenders for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday.

How did the course feel?

Daniel Deusser: The time was really tight in the first round so everybody was forced to ride forwards, and in the end the horses got quite long which accumulated a lot of faults. There were 10 combinations clear and a couple more with time faults, which is a good amount for a jump-off, but it was certainly not an easy class.

Going into the jump-off did you think you were in with a good chance?

Daniel Deusser: To be honest, I was not sure. There were a lot of fast combinations to compete against and I thought that one or two might be a little bit quicker, but I think my clear round put the pressure on and some of the horses were forced to go quicker which made them go a bit flat. I had a good round and was really pleased with my horse.

Looking ahead to the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, who do you think your biggest competition is?

Daniel Deusser: There are quite a few really good competitors here this weekend, so it is hard to say. I think McLain Ward and Clinta will go well, Steve Guerdat and Bianca are hard to beat when they are on form as well – it will be a good competition for sure.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam