Tag Archives: Dutch Masters

Daniel Deusser Wins Rolex Grand Prix at the Dutch Masters

(Photo: The Dutch Masters / Remco Veurink)

Deusser Becomes New Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender

The Rolex Grand Slam dream was reignited for Germany’s Daniel Deusser on the final day of The Dutch Masters, as he claimed the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix title in the Netherlands to become the Rolex Grand Slam live contender once more.

The course set by Louis Konickx saw a quality field of 12 horse and rider combinations master the first round without fault. Much to the delight of the sold-out crowd, a strong contingent of four Dutch riders reached the nine-obstacle jump-off, vying for a home victory.

Cheers echoed around the arena as Harrie Smolders and Monaco were first to secure a double clear in a speedy time of 38.03 secs to take pole position and apply the early pressure. Jack Ansems followed suit, but was unable to shave any seconds off the leading time and slotted into second place. Smolders had a nail biting wait with 10 still to go, which included in-form Daniel Deusser and Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z. This formidable partnership made it look effortless taking 0.13 seconds off the time set by Smolders. Deusser’s time proved to be unbeatable despite the best efforts of Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Great Britain’s Scott Brash who both posted a quicker time but had four faults at the last fence.

All eyes now turn to the second Rolex Grand Slam Major of the year, CHIO Aachen in Germany, where Daniel Deusser will not only be looking to defend is 2021 title, but will also be striving to continue his journey as the Rolex Grand Slam live contender.

Congratulations! You looked very confident in the warm-up; did that course suit you and Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z?

Yes, I was feeling confident as the horse has felt in very good shape over the last couple weeks, but you still have to bring it on the day of course. Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z jumped very well in the first round, he felt really nice, but we had a lot of competitors in the jump-off which always makes it harder and puts on a little bit more pressure. It made me think about what tactic I should play a bit more. I tried to do one fewer stride from the first to second, but I knew even when I had done my perfect round that there were good riders to come and it could maybe be beaten. I was very lucky that the ones who tried to go faster had the last down and I am over the moon with this result.

When you saw Harrie Smolders’ quick time, did that change your tactics at all?

No, I didn’t think about that when I went into the ring. I had walked the jump-off before the class started and worked out my options. It all went to plan and was exactly how I wanted to ride it and it feels very good when it all works out!

You are now the Rolex Grand Slam live contender once again; how will prepare for CHIO Aachen?

CHIO Aachen is still a long way away. I will try to plan that I make sure I have one of my best horses in the right shape to perform in Aachen. I will continue to work with the horses, see how they develop and are performing, and then I will make a decision who I take.

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© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Pieter Devos Wins Audi Prize

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder)

Thirty-eight competitors representing 14 nations made up the impressive start list for the 1m50 Audi Prize – the feature class on day two of The Dutch Masters 2022, Saturday 12 March.

Show jumping legend Marcus Ehning (GER) was the first rider to post a clear round on the score board, showcasing the harmonious partnership he shares with the stunning grey mare, Calanda 42. A total of a nine horse and rider combinations, four of which flying the flag for the Dutch, followed suit to set up a thrilling jump-off in front of the supportive crowd.

Belgium’s Pieter Devos applied the pressure, displaying a masterclass in horsemanship to record the first, and only, double clear, stopping the clock on 37.20 secs. With a strong line-up still to enter the ring, tension built among the home crowd hoping to witness the second Dutch victory of the day. The penultimate rider to face the challenging course, Willem Greve, produced a lighting quick round, but with four faults at the last fence, he had to settle for second place.

Pieter, how was that jump-off course this evening, it looked tricky?

To be honest, it was a strange jump-off course; it was not really fluid, and I didn’t think I had too much of a chance, because with my horse I can leave out strides, but it’s not so easy to do the short turns, and this was all about turning, so I was not really confident before I went in. I must say though, he did everything he could to leave the fences up, he did really well and I’m really happy with him.

What is your horse, Kannabis van de Bucxtale, like?

He’s a very special horse; he’s ultra-careful. In the warm-up, he’s quite nervous with all the other horses around, but in the ring, he really is a trier, he really wants to go clear and he tries his best. If you get him relaxed, he tries everything for you, but it’s not easy to get him relaxed.

What is it like to have to spectators back at The Dutch Masters this year?

It’s super to have the spectators back, that feeling that you are supported by the crowd again. We have got so used to riding by ourselves and not feeling that atmosphere when you go into the arena. Now you go in and you see the people and you feel again one of the reasons for doing what we are doing.

How are you feeling ahead of the Rolex Grand Prix tomorrow (Sunday)?

The Rolex Grand Prix is a different level, but I hope my horse is in good shape tomorrow. I am riding another one: I am riding Claire Z, so we will see; we will do our best and see where we end up and tonight gives us a lot of confidence.

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© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Martin Fuchs Wins the VDL Groep Prize

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder)

The organisers of The Dutch Masters delivered world-class sport on the opening day of the first Rolex Grand Slam Major of the year. The VDL Groep Prize was the highlight of the day with Rolex Grand Slam live contender, Martin Fuchs (SUI), maintaining his top form aboard The Sinner to claim the title. Daniel Deusser set the pace as first to go in the jump-off finishing eventual second with his Rolex Grand Prix horse, Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z.

The course designed by Louis Konickx proved challenging, with only nine horse and rider combinations, representing five nations, reaching the jump-off to battle it out under the bright lights of the Brabanthallen’s main arena. The return of spectators for the first time since 2019 was especially welcomed by the strong contingent of Dutch riders, who received a roaring echo of cheers as they entered the ring, but in the end, it was Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs who dominated the class to start his ‘The Dutch Masters’ quest in spectacular fashion.

Congratulations! What was the course like to ride?

It was a very good course; there were a lot of faults everywhere, but the course designer did a very good job. It was great to perform in front of the crowd here and I am very happy with my round.

Tell us a little bit about The Sinner.

The Sinner has always been very competitive from when I first got him, even when I wasn’t so used to him. Now we’ve had some very nice jump-offs together, so this gives me a lot of confidence entering a big jump-off knowing that my horse is able to do it, knowing what we are able to do it together, so it’s possible to make a plan and that plan went well today.

You are the live contender, and have started your bid to continue your Rolex Grand Slam journey very well. Does this give you extra confidence ahead of the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday?

It’s very nice to start The Dutch Masters with a win in the big class. For the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, I will be riding Conner Jei, who is fairly green and new at this level, but I’m very excited and looking forward to it. He hasn’t done too much indoor work recently, but he is a wonderful horse, and I am hoping to continue our Rolex Grand Slam journey with a win on Sunday.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Inside the Rolex Grand Slam – The Dutch Masters Preview

Harrie Smolders at The Dutch Masters 2021. Photo: The Dutch Masters / Digitshots.

The Dutch Masters returns from 11-13 March and will play host to the first Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the year. The three-day show will culminate with the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, where the world’s best show jumping combinations, including seven of the world’s top 10 ranked riders, will be vying to claim the prestigious trophy and become the new live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. The bright lights of the Brabanthallen will once again shine on the famous arena as crowds are welcomed back to witness world-class equestrian action.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

The current live contender Martin Fuchs will be looking to secure a win in the Rolex Grand Prix to continue his quest to become only the second rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Following his historic win at the CHI Geneva 2021, in which he was the first person to win back-to-back Rolex Grands Prix, the on-form Swiss will ride Chaplin. The bay stallion is an indoor specialist, has many Grands Prix wins under his belt already, and is armed with the agility and experience to succeed in the tight Brabanthallen arena.

Daniel Deusser is looking to secure the bonus for winning two Rolex Grands Prix out of four, after his win aboard Killer Queen VDM at CHIO Aachen in 2021. The German who has spent the majority of the year out in Florida competing in the Winter Equestrian Festival, will ride Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z, who is an expert indoor horse. Deusser has previously won the Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters twice before, so will be looking to capture a third to secure the 250,000 Euro bonus. Following on from his victory at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, Swiss rider Steve Guerdat will also be aiming for the same bonus.

Last year’s victor Max Kühner returns with all the knowledge of how to win amongst a top-class field at ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The Austrian will bring a strong team of horses to The Dutch Masters, with either last year’s winning horse Elektric Blue P or Eic Coriolis des Isles as his choice for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix.

Current reigning Olympic individual champion and World No. 5 Ben Maher finished last year off in exceptional fashion with a win at CHI Geneva in the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final aboard the infamous Explosion W. The British star who has also based himself out in Florida for the winter season, will return to Europe to contest The Rolex Grand Prix in ‘s-Hertogenbosch for the first-time aboard the striking chestnut gelding, who was born approximately 10 kilometres away from the world-renowned Brabanthallen.

Compatriot Scott Brash, the only rider to claim the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, will be aiming to restart his quest to win the elusive title once more. The Dutch Masters is the only one of the four majors that has eluded Brash, so he will be sure to bring his top horse to win this prestigious class.

Rounding off a strong contingent of British riders is the up-and-coming Harry Charles. Following a stellar end to the year in 2021, the 22-year-old is now the Under-25 World No. 1, and will be looking to claim his first Rolex Grand Prix. Will one of these riders be able to become the first British winner since Robert Smith’s victory in 2003?

The home crowd will be hoping to see Harrie Smolders do one better than his second-place finish in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2021. The Dutch fans will be sure to be alight with excitement when Smolders enters the arena. The Dutchman will be joined by 12 of his fellow nationals, including Maikel van der Vleuten and Jur Vrieling.

2020 team Olympic Games gold medallist, Henrik von Eckermann, will also be contesting the Rolex Grand Prix. The Swede won here in 2019 and will be looking to emulate his success as one of only two Swedish riders competing at The Dutch Masters, after World No. 1 Peder Fredricson withdrew from the competition.

As excitement builds for the first Major of the year, will Fuchs’s quest for show jumping’s most coveted prize continue or will there be a new live contender?

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

World’s Best Riders Return to Dutch Masters for First Major of Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Geneva, Switzerland, 1 March 2022 – The world’s elite horse and rider combinations will gather at The Dutch Masters for three days of world-class competition in show jumping and dressage. The indoor event, held in the Brabanthallen in ’s-Hertogenbosch, culminates on Sunday 13 March with the Rolex Grand Prix, the year’s first Major of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, which rewards any rider who wins, consecutively, three of these highest-status events.

Inaugurated more than half a century ago, The Dutch Masters is one of the most revered occasions on the equestrian calendar. Since 2014, Rolex has been Main Sponsor of the event, where respect for tradition is matched by a commitment to constant innovation, making it a perfect partnership.

THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING

World No. 2 Martin Fuchs had an exceptional 2021 season, which concluded with victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at the Concours Hippique International de Genève (CHIG). The Swiss rider heads to The Dutch Masters as the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender. Fuchs said:

“I am really looking forward to returning to The Dutch Masters. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the most esteemed title in our sport, and I am hoping to emulate my success at CHI Geneva to maintain my winning momentum.”

Fuchs will be joined in the Netherlands by a strong contingent of fellow Testimonees. These riders will aim to showcase the harmony they have developed with their horse in their quest to win this coveted Major.

Harry Charles of Great Britain had a remarkable 2021, competing in his first Olympic Games at the age of 22, and has risen to the top of the Under-25 World Rankings. He will look to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Scott Brash, the only rider to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, completing the feat in 2015.

Daniel Deusser, a two-time winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters, and victorious at the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen last year, heads to the Brabanthallen fully aware of the precision, skill, and trust between horse and rider that is required at this level. Victory in ’s Hertogenbosch would enable the German World No. 3 to collect a Rolex Grand Slam bonus for winning two of the four Majors within a year. Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat is another with a chance to claim a bonus following his victory in The CP ‘International’ at Spruce Meadows in September.

Frenchman Kevin Staut, twice a Rolex Grand Prix winner at The Dutch Masters, and Great Britain’s Brash will be drawing on their extensive experience as they join their fellow Testimonees in the quest to make the perfect start to their challenge for the ultimate equestrian prize, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

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

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

Inside the Rolex Grand Slam: Road to The Dutch Masters 2022

Left to right: Harrie Smolders (NED), Martin Fuchs (SUI), and Max Kühner (AUT). Photo: www.scoopdyga.com.

Live contender interview with Martin Fuchs

How does it feel to know you made history by winning consecutive Rolex Grands Prix at CHI Geneva in front of your home crowd?

It is always amazing to win a Rolex Grand Prix, but to win one back-to-back, and in front of my home crowd, made it so much more special to me. Leone Jei is such a young horse as well; it was certainly a very big win for me!

Do you think that Leone Jei could be the next Clooney 51?

I do not compare them; Clooney 51 was the most successful horse in the history of Swiss show jumping. So, I really cannot expect to have the next Clooney 51 straight away. However, I do think that Leone Jei has shown that he has all the qualities and I think that he is one of the best horses on the circuit right now.

Looking ahead to The Dutch Masters next month, which horses will you compete with, and who have you selected for the Rolex Grand Prix?

I will ride Chaplin in the Rolex Grand Prix. He is in very good form, and I think that The Dutch Masters will really suit him. I am planning to take Leone Jei to the bigger outside rings, such as CHIO Aachen, as I think that they suit him better.

Which horse and rider combinations do you think have what it takes to win the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters?

I don’t think that there is one specific combination. At every Rolex Grand Slam Major, you find the best horse and rider combinations, and therefore everyone there has a chance to win. In my opinion that is why the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is so special and unique. I think that our sport is different from most other sports: it is much harder to win regularly or back-to-back, as we work with animals which makes the sport so unpredictable. This makes winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, like Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos did, such an incredible achievement.

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Inside the Rolex Grand Slam: 2022 Majors Preview

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

The 2021 show jumping calendar was filled with exceptional entertainment, featuring not only the sport’s most decorated competitors but also welcoming a new generation of future stars who shone brightly at the year’s four Rolex Majors. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping continues to be at the forefront of every rider’s ambition, none more so than Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs, who starts the year as the Rolex Grand Slam live contender following his stunning victory at CHI Geneva in December.

Opening this year’s Rolex Major season in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands from 11-13 March is The Dutch Masters, the latest addition to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. The largest indoor show in The Netherlands and one of two indoor shows on the Rolex Grand Slam calendar, The Dutch Masters brings a rich with traditions dating back to 1967. This year, show jumping’s very best riders will descend upon the Brabanthallen for four days of world-class competition, culminating in the Rolex Grand Prix on the show’s final day. Hosting the tightest arena of the four Majors, the trust between horse and rider is more crucial than ever, as the combinations navigate the sharp turns, which give them little room for error. Last year’s winner, Austrian Max Kühner, rose to the occasion alongside his talented 11-year-old gelding, Elektric Blue P, and in doing so claimed his first Major victory.

The second Major of the season, CHIO Aachen – often referred to as the ‘Wimbledon’ of the equestrian world – will once again take place in the North Rhine-Westphalia city in the west of Germany. Dating back to 1924, CHIO Aachen is a show steeped in history and continues to attract more than 350,000 knowledgeable fans across 10 exhilarating days of equestrian sport, which will this year run from 24 June – 3 July. One of the most prestigious competitions on the annual show jumping calendar, CHIO Aachen’s highlight class, the Rolex Grand Prix, takes place on the show’s final day and is the one every rider wants to win, etching their name into equestrian history on the iconic winners’ wall. 2021 saw Germany’s Daniel Deusser and his phenomenal mare, Killer Queen VDM, take home the spoils after fulfilling a lifelong dream to be crowned champion. Hot on Deusser’s heels was the young, up-and-coming American rider, Brian Moggre, who at 20 years old displayed incredible levels of skill and determination to fight off a field of former world number ones and Olympic, World, and European Individual champions to secure second place.

From 7-11 September, attention turns to Calgary in Canada for the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’. With a reputation of being one of the most demanding courses in the world, it takes a very special partnership to be victorious in the CP ‘International’. Steve Guerdat and his 13-year-old gelding Venard de Cerisy epitomised this, producing two precise and fault-free rounds, the only pair to go double clear and ultimately clinch the coveted trophy. The Rolex Grand Slam has fond memories of this Major, as it was here in 2015 that Great Britain’s Scott Brash became the first winner of the revered Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping following a flawless round aboard his legendary gelding, Hello Sanctos, a feat no rider has been able to emulate since.

The Major season culminates in Switzerland when riders return indoors to compete at CHI Geneva. Held from 8-11 December in the Palexpo complex, CHI Geneva is one of the most historic and prestigious international shows and has been voted the world’s best show jumping event a record nine times. Hosting the sport’s most accomplished riders, the Rolex Grand Prix is the highlight of the four days of elite competition. Local hero Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs rode to victory in 2021 with his 10-year-old gelding, Leone Jei, and made history by becoming the first rider of the competition to win consecutive editions after triumphing in 2019.

As the current live contender, Fuchs will be under the spotlight as he prepares to continue his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey at The Dutch Masters. Could 2022 see a new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion crowned?

Read more here.

© 2022 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Max Kühner Wins Rolex Grand Prix at Dutch Masters, Becomes Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder.

Three days of spectacular CSI5* international show jumping at The Dutch Masters culminated with the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix, the first Rolex Grand Slam Major of 2021. The equestrian world’s eyes were on 28-year-old Swiss Rolex Testimonee, Martin Fuchs, who travelled to ‘s-Hertogenbosch as Live Contender, following his Rolex Grand Prix win at the CHI Geneva in December 2019.

Partnered by his talented grey gelding, Clooney 51, Fuchs faced formidable opposition from a string of experienced riders, including Scott Brash from Great Britain, American Kent Farrington, current world number one-ranked rider, Steve Guerdat from Switzerland, and Frenchman Kevin Staut. Other established names, such as German trio Marcus Ehning, Christian Ahlmann, and Daniel Deusser, US rider Laura Kraut, and Peder Fredricson from Sweden, helped to make up a truly impressive list of 43 starters from 15 nations, many of whom were more than capable of becoming the new Live Contender.

With Brash and his 12-year-old gelding, Hello Jefferson, and Farrington and his 13-year-old mare, Austria 2, both retiring, Fuchs and Staut each picking up eight penalty points, and many others failing to navigate the Louis Konickx-designed course fault-free, just eight combinations progressed to the jump-off – a seven-obstacle, 330m final test of ultimate skill, determination, and precision.

Philipp Weishaupt was the only one of the eight jump-off riders to have triumphed in a Rolex Grand Slam Major before (CHIO Aachen 2013 and CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2017), giving the German a slight edge in terms of experience. Weishaupt’s opposition included fellow countryman Christian Kukuk, Belgian duo, Jerome Guery and Gudrun Patteet, Luciana Diniz from Portugal, Brazilian Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, Max Kühner from Austria, and home favourite Willem Greve.

First to go, Weishaupt set the early pace, jumping clear in a time of 33.71 seconds; however, his lead was short-lived, as Christian Kukuk and his 11-year-old grey gelding Checker 47 went next, stopping the clock 0.14 seconds under Weishaupt’s time. With none of the following four riders able to better Kukuk’s performance, the Grand Prix’s fate lay with Modolo Zanotelli and Kühner. The penultimate partnership to go, Kühner and his 10-year-old gelding, Elektric Blue P, set off at blistering pace, crossing the finish line over a second ahead of Kukuk, etching his name at the top of the leaderboard, where he was to remain after the 32-year-old Brazilian couldn’t quite find enough speed at the last fence, slotting into a very respectable second place.

Delighted with his performance, the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender, Max Kühner, commented: “The Rolex Grand Slam has always been a big aim for me, so I’m very happy that it worked out today.

“I bought Elektric Blue [Elektric Blue P] when he was a two-year-old. I saw him do one free jump on a video, and I said I like him, and the auction was already running, so we bought him. He’s always done everything very well, he was always a very good horse, and he never disappointed me. He has unbelievable possibilities, as jumping is quite easy for him. He has a good character and likes to do the sport. At home he gets bored quite easily, so we have a special programme for him. We hack him and drive him to where he can climb a little bit in the mountains.

“Spruce Meadows and Aachen in September were already on my schedule. It’s still far away, but we will try to make a plan as early as possible. We will aim to take Chardonnay [Chardonnay 79] to Calgary, as he finished third in the last CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex in 2019, where he jumped very nicely. And maybe we’ll take Elektric Blue to Aachen.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Jack Whitaker Victorious in the Audi Prize

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder.

Forty-one horse and rider combinations from 15 nations made up the start list for the feature class on Day 2 of The Dutch Masters 2021 – the 1m55 Audi Prize. The star-studded line-up – which included former Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender, Philipp Weishaupt, 20-year-old rising British star and the next generation of show jumping talent, Jack Whitaker, and the on-form American, Laura Kraut – promised global equestrian fans watching online and on television a masterclass in show jumping skill and horsemanship.

After 10 starters, Kevin Staut and his 12-year-old bay mare, Visconti Du Telman, were the only pair to go clear, proof that course designer Louis Konickx had set a tough 13-obstacle, 16-effort test for both horse and rider. The Frenchman was soon to be joined in the jump-off by the only rider to have ever won the prestigious Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title, Scott Brash, who steered his talented 12-year-old stallion, Hello Vincent, effortlessly around the Brabanthallen’s stunning arena. Current world number one-ranked Swiss rider Steve Guerdat also went clear, setting up a scintillating and fascinating 11-horse jump-off.

Second to go in the jump-off – a demanding seven-obstacle challenge – Brash was the first of the 11 riders to go double clear, setting off at blistering pace, navigating the course with typical precision, and stopping the clock on 36.16 seconds, a target that looked tough to beat. With just two additional riders managing to go double clear – Marlon Modolo Zanotelli from Brazil and German Christian Kukuk – it appeared as though the Scotsman had proceedings sewn up. However, Jack Whitaker had other things on his mind, and full of confidence, the Yorkshireman and his black mare, Scenletha, shaved a decisive 0.37 seconds off Brash’s time. Whitaker will have watched last to go Kent Farrington with his heart in his mouth, but the American was unable to topple him, eventually slotting into second place.

Thrilled with his win, Whitaker commented, “The feeling is fantastic! It’s what everyone comes here to do, and it’s what I came here to do, but amongst some of these world-class riders it’s a bit surreal when you win, so I’m a bit stuck for words, to be honest – it’s fantastic! It’s my first 5* win, and it hasn’t sunk in. But as I say, it’s what you come here to do, and I knew it was just a case of when it was going to eventually happen, and it finally has.

“Scenletha is unbelievable; she’s such a nice horse. She’s so consistent and she’s got a lovely character, but she’s also feisty. Tonight, she fought for me a bit, and I can’t thank her enough. She’ll get plenty of polos and pats later!

“I’d just like to say thank you very much to the young Riders Academy for putting me in this position, and for everything they’ve done so far. I just hope that they can continue supporting and helping young riders like me.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Daniel Deusser Wins VDL Groep Prize

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder.

The VDL Groep Prize was the highlight of Day 1 of the 2021 edition of The Dutch Masters, and attracted 41 leading horse and rider partnerships, among them 13 of the world’s top-20-ranked show jumpers, including Swiss world number one and Rolex Testimonee, Steve Guerdat, world number six, Pieter Devos from Belgium, and American Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington, currently ranked seventh.

Local course designer, Louis Konickx, set a fair 13-obstacle 1m55 test in the Brabanthallen’s main arena, with 10 combinations eventually progressing to compete in the jump-off. Christian Kukuk from Germany and his grey gelding Checker 47 set the quickest first-round time of 71.29 seconds, and they were joined by riders from six different nations, including two local Dutch riders – Kim Emmen and Marc Houtzager – making it a truly international spectacle and final showdown.

Second to go, it was Emmen and her 12-year-old stallion, Jack van het Dennehof, who set the early pace; however, it was Rio 2016 team bronze medallist, Daniel “Double D” Deusser and his 12-year-old gelding, Casallvano, who ultimately proved too strong for her and the rest of the field, as they breezed around the seven-obstacle jump-off, fault-free in a time of 35.66 seconds to claim the honours.

Thrilled with his victory, the 40-year-old German commented, “Having walked the course, I was quite surprised that there were so many clear rounds. My strategy in the jump-off was to try and win the class. I have to say, all the lines and the turns worked out really well, so I’m absolutely delighted for my horse tonight.

“Casallvano is actually a really scopey horse. He’s a little bit shy when he comes into the ring, but that’s also a positive part of being very careful on the jumps. I have to say that although he’s a very fast horse, I had in the last one or two weeks a couple of turns that didn’t work out like I expected, and I finally came to that point today where everything works out, which makes me very proud.

“Considering the circumstances, it’s not normal that we can do our job at the moment. The organisation here and the sponsors did a great job to make that happen and let us ride again.

“I will ride Scuderia Tobago [Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z] in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday. He is in great shape and he had a couple of very good results in Wellington a couple of weeks ago, and I hope to continue in the same shape on Sunday.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam