Tag Archives: Martin Fuchs

The World’s Best in Action on Day Three of The London International Horse Show

Great Britain’s Tokyo 2020 individual gold medalists Ben Maher and Explosion W took centre stage in a dedicated celebration of his Olympic success. With the crowd on its feet, the pair left the arena to Alesso’s Heroes, a fitting tribute to their outstanding achievement.

The FEI Driving World Cup presented by Eurofip International came to a thrilling conclusion with World No. 1 Boyd Exell coming out on top once again.

It was a busy day for the Show Jumpers, opening with The LeMieux Six Bar, which was shared between Alfie Bradstock and Max Kühner, who both produced faultless performances across the five rounds. World No. 4, Martin Fuchs, made it a London International Horse Show 2021 treble in The Global Herbs Snowflake Stakes, with The Longines Christmas Cracker going to XX.

Other notable highlights include wins for Jessica Clarehugh with Avonwolf Beanies Dizzy Dora in The Kennel Club Dog Agility Stakes Finals, and Robert Murphy receiving the Ella Popely Award, presented each year in recognition of the rider between the ages of 18 and 25 who has shown the qualities of being a true sportsman or woman: representing the sport well, acting as a team player, and encouraging others to excel.

EXCELLENT EXELL STRIKES AGAIN

The FEI Driving World Cup presented by Eurofip International saw the top three Drivers go through to a drive-off which had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Germany’s Mareike Harm set the pace with an accurate round, finishing with clear in a time of 143.70. Koos De Ronde from The Netherlands was second in and put in an impressive performance to cross the line in 137.25 seconds; however, with four penalties to add, his score of 141.25 left the window open for last to go, Boyd Exell. The Australian was down on the time in the first half; however, a spectacular second section saw him make up over three seconds with no penalties to add, to win by a wide margin.

Exell said: “This is such a fabulous arena; the sound system is great, the crowd sound even clearer, and they are really with you for every turn. We had a change from yesterday; we were resting one of the wheelers as he had done three shows in a row. It was a tactic because we are wildcards. Annabel and Simon Brooks-Ward invited me to be here, so it’s a chance to do well but also to try some different things and it worked out today.”

Great Britain’s Daniel Naprous added: “I just want to say thank you to The London International Horse Show for being brave enough to put on the event and give us somewhere incredible to compete at. The atmosphere has been amazing tonight and I am so grateful to be here.”

JACK’S THE KING OF THE PACK

Nine combinations went through to the jump-off of The Longines Christmas Cracker. Eager to set an unattainable target, the first four to go against the clock all picked up penalties en route. Great Britain’s Jack Whitaker was the first to post a clear, jumping a smooth but relatively conservative round aboard Valmy de la Lande to ensure his place in the prizes. With those who followed also accumulating faults in their attempts to increase the pace, Finland’s Noora Forsten was rewarded for her tactics in jumping a steady clear round, finishing in second, with Harry Charles back in third, the fastest of the four faulters.

A delighted Whitaker said: “It’s difficult to put into words to be honest. I’ve been wanting to compete here since I was a little kid. I’ve been coming to this show for as long as I can remember; it’s what I’ve always dreamed of and I got lucky tonight. It wasn’t a great jump-off course for me tonight, and so when I saw the ones ahead of me knocking jumps down, I thought I might get away with just jumping a nice clear, and I did.”

The world’s best Show Jumpers battled it out in The Global Herbs Snowflake Stakes. The top 10 from the first round went through to the jump-off, carrying forward any penalties incurred. The first to secure the coveted first double clear, Austria’s Max Kühner, set the pace of 39.28 seconds; however, Martin Fuchs, already a double winner at the Show this week, pulled out all the stops to take the lead with an impressive time of 36.20 aboard Tam Tam du Valon.

The Swiss World No. 4 was looking hard to beat. Dutchman Harrie Smolders came close with a beautifully smooth round in a time of 37.72, as did Germany’s Christian Ahlmann; their efforts were only good enough for third and second place, respectively, leaving Fuchs with his third London International Horse Show 2021 victory.

The Lemieux Six Bar provided top-class entertainment. 13 starters lined up to face the six-obstacle course, run over a knock-out format, whereby those jumping clear in the first rounds went through to face the increasingly imposing course. Just two combinations made it to the fifth round, with the final fence standing at an incredible 1.90m – Austria’s Max Kühner riding EIC Coriolis des Isles and Great Britain’s Aflie Bradstock aboard H. d’Or.

Up first, Kühner put on a foot perfect performance to secure his place at the top of the leaderboard and placing the pressure on Bradstock. The Brit rose to the occasion with a fine display of athleticism to match Kühner’s feat and share the honours, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Celebrating his first London International Horse Show victory, Bradstock said: “It’s amazing just to even compete here, and to win something is a real dream come true. This horse is a Puissance specialist, and the Six Bar was a something extra that we thought we may as well give a go while we’re here. I never expected him to do that, but with the support of the audience he just got better and better. The crowd was fantastic; to have the home crowd cheering like that was unbelievable.”

Kühner added: “I’m really enjoying the Show; it’s fantastic because the crowd is still the same; they give us such a boost; it almost feels like we have wings. The London crowd really is stunning;S it was really special. My horse is only nine, but he is incredibly talented already, and has achieved a lot this year. He’s done a great job today and I have a good feeling about tomorrow too.”

More information about The London International Horse Show can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com

Mr Blue Sky UK Shines on a New Era for London International Horse Show

Charlotte Dujardin started the 2021 edition of The London International Horse Show in style, with victory in the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix aboard her Olympic double bronze medal-winning ride, Gio. The Afternoon Performance saw an increase in pace, with the Extreme Driving supported by Karen and Hugh Scott-Barrett won by Jerome Voutaz, and the first CSI5* Show Jumping competition of the Show – The Santa Stakes – which saw World No. 4 Martin Fuchs take the spoils.

The famous Puissance wall took centre stage at ExCeL London for the Evening Performance, with Guy Williams jumping 2.10m to win. There was a second victory for Fuchs in The Christmas Pudding Stakes. In addition to the return of annual favourites The Shetland Pony Grand National and the Kennel Club Dog Agility, there were performances by The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, horse whisperer Santi Serra, and the presentation of the Raymond Brooks-Ward Memorial Trophy to talented young rider Lottie Fry.

CHARLOTTE SHINES IN LONDON

Great Britain’s Gareth Hughes took an early lead in the FEI Dressage World Cup Grand Prix, scoring 69.605 in the new shortened test. Compatriot Richard Davison was the first to surpass the 70% mark, scoring 71.526% aboard his 15-year-old homebred gelding Bubblingh. However, his lead was short-lived, as he was followed into the arena by Britain’s joint most decorated female Olympian, Charlotte Dujardin. Dujardin, riding her 2020 Tokyo Olympic mount, Gio, set the arena alight, trending at over 80% for much of the test and setting a new personal best score of 82.553%.

Dujardin’s Tokyo Olympic teammate, Lottie Fry, riding her 2019 European Championship partner, was the next to pose a challenge. However, a score of 74.52% – which went into second place at the time – was only good enough for eventual fourth in such hot competition. The final two to go, Nanna Skodborg Merrald from Denmark and Frederic Wandres from Germany, came closest to Dujardin’s outstanding mark to finish third and second, respectively.

“I was absolutely over the moon with Gio today,” said Dujardin. “This is his first indoor show; he has only really done the Olympics and Europeans this year, so he had to up his game very quickly to go into that huge indoor arena. He took it in his stride; he went out there and did the test. I didn’t feel like I had to hold his hand through it at all. He really delivered, which made me unbelievably happy. “

FUCHS ON FLYING FORM

The CSI5* Show Jumping got underway with The Santa Stakes, a 1.50m jump-off class, which was won by World No. 4, Martin Fuchs from Switzerland, riding The Sinner. The combination picked up where they left off at the Show, returning to London following their win in the FEI Jumping World Cup in 2019.

12 combinations made it through with a clear first round, setting up for a scintillating jump-off against the clock, and in the end just 0.11 seconds separated the top three. Germany’s Christian Ahlmann took an early lead, setting an impressive target for those who followed; however, Fuchs, full of confidence following victory in the Grand Prix at CHI Geneva last weekend, put on a masterful display to take the lead at the midway point. With just three remaining, Max Kühner gave his all to put Fuchs’ lead in jeopardy, but his time of 32.93 was 0.09 seconds slower, going into second place, with Ahlmann in eventual third.

Fuchs commented: “This is a perfect start to the London International Horse Show with a win in the big class. The Sinner loves to come to London and really enjoys this Show; when he went in the ring, I could feel he wanted to do his best and he loves performing here, and so do I!”

Fuchs’ winning streak continued as he made it two from two on the opening day of the Show with victory in The Christmas Pudding Speed Stakes. Drawn fourth of 34 starters, Fuchs laid down the gauntlet, making all the turns and keeping his foot on the gas throughout to post a time to beat of 53.34 seconds. Those who followed were unable to match his pace and accuracy. Great Britain’s Guy Williams, notorious for his speed against the clock, put in a valiant effort to post a time of 54.82, finishing fourth, and France’s Olivier Robert also came close with a time of 54.48. Last to go, Britain’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion Ben Maher had the sell-out crowd on their feet with an explosive gallop to the last, but despite his best efforts, he could only go into second.

Speaking after the class, Fuchs said: “I knew my horse would be very fast, so I thought I would give it go and try to put as much pressure on the rest of riders as possible. It was very tight at the end as Ben was quick, but I was happy to stay on top. The atmosphere here is amazing; performing in front a full crowd is so cool and the facilities here are amazing for the horses. I am really enjoying the Show so far.”

The LeMieux Puissance provided a fitting conclusion to the opening day of the Show. The famous red wall was raised to 2.10m in the fourth round, a height that could only be cleared by Guy Williams riding Mr Blue Sky UK. The combination, who were joint winners of the same class at the 2018 Show, was up against three other challengers in the fourth round, but Williams and Mr Blue Sky UK – who have an exceptional Puissance record – came out on top as the only pair to jump the wall without fault. Equal second was shared between French riders Mathieu Billot and Daniel Delsart, who both finished on four faults in the fourth round.

A delighted Williams said: “He jumped so well tonight; he is such a good Puissance horse and so reliable. I know him really well – I have had him since he was four, so it is great to win here again with him. The atmosphere was so good in the arena. I could hear people cheering for us, but I was trying to focus on my job and what was in front of us. My plan is to jump him in the FEI Jumping World Cup™ on Sunday as he’s feeling good, but will see how we go over the next couple of days.”

More information about The London International Horse Show, including how to buy tickets, can be found here.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / rEvolution / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com

Martin Fuchs Crowned Rolex Grand Prix Champion at CHI Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday 12 December 2021 – Martin Fuchs riding Leone Jei claimed the final equestrian Major of 2021, winning the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix at the Concours Hippique International de Genève (CHI Geneva), becoming the first rider in the history of the competition to win consecutive editions, following his victory in Geneva in 2019.

The world’s elite competitors gathered at the Palexpo arena for the Geneva International Horse Show, of which Rolex has been the Main Sponsor since 1996. The event, steeped in history and celebrating its 60th edition in 2021, is traditionally a showcase of precision and consistency, qualities demonstrated in abundance by Fuchs in Switzerland over the weekend, and reflected in Rolex’s own commitment to perpetual excellence in its watchmaking and all other endeavours.

The winning combination highlighted the critical importance of harmony between horse and rider, how trust and communication are the foundation of any successful partnership and the ability to push beyond the known limits of performance.

The demanding first round set by world-renowned course designers Gérard Lachat of Switzerland and Louis Konickx of the Netherlands saw just six of the 40 starters head through to the jump-off. First to go against the clock, Ireland’s Darragh Kenny set a fast but beatable time, leaving the door open to those who followed. Fuchs was next to go and produced a precision-perfect round aboard the nine-year-old Leone Jei, setting the time to beat of 41.54 seconds, almost two seconds faster than Kenny.

Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington followed Fuchs into the arena, and put in a fearless effort, shaving 0.19 seconds off the time, only to accrue four faults at the very last fence. Those that followed were unable to match the accuracy and pace of Fuchs, with Harrie Smolders from The Netherlands and Max Kühner from Austria finishing second and third, respectively.

Commenting on his win, the Swiss rider said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to get my second victory here in Geneva. Leone Jei jumped great in both rounds. I knew that the jump-off suited me very well; I knew that I could leave out strides and that it would be difficult for my colleagues to do the same because Leone Jei has such a massive stride. I’m delighted to once again be the live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.”

Equestrian fans will now eagerly look forward to the next Major, The Dutch Masters in March 2022, when Fuchs will be the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s ultimate challenge that rewards any rider who wins three consecutive Grand Prix at the four Majors.

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

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

Martin Fuchs Wins Rolex Grand Prix, Becomes New Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

The world watched on in anticipation, as the final Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of 2021 – the Rolex Grand Prix – played out at CHI Geneva in Switzerland, with 16 out of the world’s current top 20-ranked riders each staking their claim for a distinguished place in equestrian history. The culmination of four days of the highest level of show jumping, the Rolex Grand Prix would be decided over one round and a jump-off, should more than one rider go clear.

Representing 15 nations, the international field of 40 horse and rider combinations included the esteemed winners of the year’s previous three Majors: Max Kühner from Austria (winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters); Swiss Steve Guerdat (winner of the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’); and Daniel Deusser from Germany (winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen). As Live Contender, Deusser would settle for nothing less than victory in order to keep his Rolex Grand Slam journey alive, while Kühner and Guerdat would be looking to trigger the ‘two out of four’ bonus, which they were both in contention for.

As well as Deusser and Guerdat, Rolex was represented in CHI Geneva’s headline class by a further six of the world’s very best equestrian athletes, including Harry Charles (GBR), Bertram Allen (IRL), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Kent Farrington (USA), Kevin Staut (FRA), Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion, Scott Brash (GBR), and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA).

After a little over an hour, none of the first 23 partnerships to tackle the 14-obstacle, 18-effort test were able to go clear, with the majority struggling to master the course’s tricky combinations, particularly the oxer at 13a. However, that was soon to change when Ireland’s Darragh Kenny produced a faultless round, much to the delight of the well-informed crowd. Kenny’s clear was immediately emulated by local rider, Swiss hero Martin Fuchs, who cleared the final vertical to rapturous applause. Co-designed by Swiss Gérard Lachat and Louis Konickx from The Netherlands, the course then claimed the scalps of a trio of top-level riders, including Deusser, Guerdat, and reigning Olympic Individual champion, Ben Maher. The opening day’s winner of the Trophée de Genève, American Kent Farrington, was once again on top form, immaculately negotiating the course with his 15-year-old mare, Gazelle, and booking his place in the jump-off. After another handful of combinations were unable to go clear, it was Kühner and his brilliant 10-year-old gelding, Elektric Blue P, who made no mistake, ensuring they were still in the running for the non-consecutive ‘two out of four’ bonus. Representation in the jump-off from the United States was soon doubled when Laura Kraut and Baloutinue crossed the finish line without a fault. Shortly afterwards, Harrie Smolders became the final rider to go clear, and in doing so setting up a scintillating six-horse jump-off.

First to go in the jump-off, Kenny became the first rider to record a double clear. Next up, Fuchs and his nine-year-old Leone Jei made it two out of two, comfortably beating Kenny into second place by nearly two seconds in a time of 41.54 seconds. Farrington looked as though he would make it three out of three; however, after a typically blistering round, he was denied the honour after putting down the final Rolex vertical. Despite going double clear, Kühner was unable to knock Fuchs off top spot after the Austrian finished 0.68 seconds off the pace. With Kraut putting two fences down, Fuchs’ destiny would lie in the hands of last to go, 41-year-old Smolders; however, the Dutchman fell agonisingly short, eventually finishing in second place, just 0.23 seconds off the time of 2021 Rolex Grand Prix champion and the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender, Martin Fuchs.

On his special and hugely talented nine-year-old gelding, Fuchs commented: “Leone Jei is very unique in the qualities that he has. The way that he jumps – he does it so lightly and effortlessly, which is impressive to see in a nine-year-old horse. He is very good in his head, he is so motivated, and he always wants to do his best, so I really appreciate having a horse like that in my stable and being able to look forward to the future together.”

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Equestrianism’s Finest Head to CHI Geneva for Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final and Rolex Grand Prix

Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 7 December 2021 – The Concours Hippique International de Genève (CHI Geneva) returns to the Palexpo arena from 9-12 December for the 60th edition of the prestigious show. The Rolex Grand Prix and the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final are notable highlights during four days of elite competition.

The partnership between Rolex and the Geneva International Horse Show was established in 1996, with 2021 marking the 25-year anniversary, and remains 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 revered on the equestrian calendar, demonstrating an unwavering dedication to continuous improvement and quality that fits perfectly with Rolex’s own pursuit of perpetual excellence.

THE ROLEX GRAND PRIX

The competition will culminate on Sunday with the Rolex Grand Prix, one of the four Majors that form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. As ever, it will be a showcase of the precision, bravery, and athleticism required by horse and rider, working in harmony to take on the challenge set by world-renowned course designers Gérard Lachat of Switzerland and Louis Konickx of the Netherlands.

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, comprising The Dutch Masters, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, the CHIO Aachen, and the CHI Geneva, was initiated in 2013 and rewards a rider who wins three consecutive Grands Prix at these events. The most coveted prize in show jumping, it has been achieved by only one athlete, Scott Brash of Great Britain, whose epic feat began at Geneva in 2014 and was completed with victories at Aachen and Spruce Meadows in 2015.

Germany’s Daniel Deusser heads to Geneva as the current live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam following his exceptional performance at Aachen in September, taking victory aboard Killer Queen VDM.

THE ROLEX FAMILY OF TESTIMONEES

A strong roster of Rolex Testimonees will challenge Deusser for the Rolex Grand Prix title. Leading the way will be home favourites Martin Fuchs and Steve Guerdat.

Fuchs will be hoping to retain his crown following a successful year that has included team gold and individual silver medals at the European championships. The Swiss World No. 4 said: “CHI Geneva is particularly special for me as it’s my home Major and a show that I always want to do well at. Winning the Rolex Grand Prix in 2019 was an unbelievable feeling and I will be doing my very best to repeat my performance.”

Guerdat is a three-time winner (2006, 2013, and 2015) of the CHI Geneva Rolex Grand Prix, and was also victorious in the 2010 and 2018 Rolex IJRC Top 10 Finals. He heads to Palexpo with the prospect of securing a Rolex Grand Slam bonus after winning the CP ‘International’ at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ earlier this year.

Brash, currently ranked No. 6 in the world, also understands the accuracy, courage, and determination required to win a Major, as does Kent Farrington, winner of this event in 2017 with his brilliant mare, Gazelle. France’s Kevin Staut and Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa join the roll of former winners looking to reclaim the title, while Ireland’s Bertram Allen and Great Britain’s Harry Charles will be seeking to add their names to this illustrious list.

THE ROLEX IJRC TOP 10 FINAL

In the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, the world’s top 10 ranked riders compete against each other for the right to be crowned champion. The unique event, which in 2021 celebrates its 20th anniversary, has been supported by Rolex since its inauguration, and acknowledges the achievements of the best show jumpers over the course of the season.

Farrington will contest the 2021 edition as reigning champion, having ridden Austria 2 to victory in 2019. His second success – the American also triumphed in 2015 – marked the seventh consecutive win for a Rolex Testimonee in the event. He will be up against a strong contingent of in-form riders, including Deusser, Fuchs, Brash, Guerdat, and Staut.

IJRC Director Eleonora Ottaviani commented: “We are extremely proud to support this unique concept, bringing together the best riders in the world each year. As with the Nitto ATP Finals in tennis, the Top 10 Final is unparalleled in equestrian sport, producing the finest level of competition from the world’s best athletes. In 2021 we mark the 20th anniversary of the event, a testament to its long-standing success, made possible through the partnership with Rolex, a brand that has demonstrated a continuous and invaluable commitment to equestrianism for more than 60 years.”

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

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

Who to Look Out For at CHI Geneva 2021

Martin Fuchs and Clooney 51 (Photo: CHI de Genève / scoopdyga.com)

After nearly two years of waiting, the highly anticipated CHI Geneva returns from 9-12 December, representing the fourth and final Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the year. The show will host an impressive number of world-class horse and rider combinations, including all of the current top 10-ranked riders, 17 of the current top 20, as well as featuring seven Rolex Testimonees. The show will celebrate its 60th edition, as well as the 20th anniversary of the IJRC Rolex Top 10 Final. As ever, CHI Geneva will be a truly international affair, with those riders competing representing 16 nations, and the home nation boasting a squad of 19.

After his remarkable maiden victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen in September, Live Contender and current world number two, Daniel Deusser, has confirmed his talented mare Killer Queen VDM will travel to the Swiss capital in his quest to continue his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey. CHI Geneva, the pinnacle of the international indoor show jumping calendar for top riders, will once again provide one of the toughest tests in the sport when it culminates with the Rolex Grand Prix, which requires the highest level of talent and horsemanship in order to be crowned champion.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

Current world number one, Peder Fredricson from Sweden, looks incredibly competitive and the one to watch heading into the final Major of the year. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team champion has strength in depth in his talented team of horses, and will be the rider to beat in the Geneva Arena in front of the Palexpo’s knowledgeable crowds.

Fredricson’s compatriot, Henrik von Eckermann, played an integral role in Sweden’s Olympic success in Japan this summer. Currently ranked number two in the world, von Eckermann, who recently won the Nations Cup Final in Barcelona aboard his trusted partner, King Edward, will be aiming to add a Major win at CHI Geneva to his superb year.

Reigning Olympic Individual gold medallist, Ben Maher, will take his magnificently gifted gelding, Explosion W, to CHI Geneva. Winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show in May this year, the Briton will be looking to round off an exceptional 12 months with a win at 2021’s final Rolex Grand Slam Major.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Fuchs Seals Second-Leg Win with Cracking Performance from Chaplin

Martin Fuchs and Chaplin. (FEI/Christophe Taniére)

“My horse gave me his all today – he has such a big heart,” said Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs after winning the second leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2021/2022 Western European League in Lyon, France partnering the 14-year-old stallion Chaplin. Spectators were treated to a real edge-of-the-seat thriller, with an 11-horse jump-off that saw Brazil’s Eduardo De Menezes finish second with H5 Chaganus, while Austria’s Max Kühner and Elektric Blue P pipped Britain’s Holly Smith and Denver for third place.

With seven of the top ten athletes in the world bidding for precious qualifying points for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2021/2022 Final in Leipzig, Germany next April, this leg of the series was never going to be easily won. Out of ten French contenders, only Edward Levy made the cut into the jump-off in which Argentina’s Jose Maria Larocca and Finn Lente, who could have lulled everyone into a false sense of security with their effortless pathfinding run first time out, led the way once again.

Clever track

French course designer, Grégory Bodo, set them another clever track and when the Argentinian duo left two the on floor, Britain’s Smith and Denver lowered the final vertical and Switzerland’s Bryan Balsiger and AK’s Courage had three fences down, then the door was still wide open. So when De Menezes stepped in with a brilliant clear with his 13-year-old stallion, he shot right out in front.

The Brazilian had produced the smoothest of smooth first rounds and again cruised home to set the target in the fast time of 35.14 seconds. When last weekend’s winners, young Dutchman Kevin Jochems and Turbo Z, hit the very first fence, Ireland’s Denis Lynch and Cristello collected eight faults and world number two, Germany’s Daniel Deusser riding the brilliant mare Killer Queen VDM, hit the first element of the double at the halfway stage on the course, then De Menezes was still in the lead.

Max Kühner and his 11-year-old gelding Elektric Blue P made no mistake when fourth-last to go, slotting temporarily into runner-up spot when breaking the beam in 35.87 seconds. Then Fuchs and Chaplin set off like a whirlwind, and even though several of the fences didn’t come up as the pair would have liked, they stormed through the finish in 34.50 seconds to take over at the top of the order.

He couldn’t be sure he had it in the bag, because compatriot and defending Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion, Steve Guerdat, was following him into the ring with Victorio des Frotards. But when this pair lowered both the first element of the double and the final fence and Frenchman Levy’s mare, Rebeca LS, had one down, then the story was all about the formidable Fuchs who was celebrating his third consecutive Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ victory in Lyon.

Over-motivated

He gave all the credit to the big-striding Chaplin who, as Fuchs explained, is so keen to do his job well that he can sometimes get a little “over-motivated.” Organising their ride down the line from the penultimate vertical to the final oxer was a case in point, but Fuchs said, “He’s such a fast and careful horse, that in a jump-off I know I can beat anyone – and the best in the world were in that jump-off!

“I didn’t get a great shot to fence two and I felt I had to take all the risks over the rest of course. He’s a real fighter so it’s not always easy to have the smoothest round with him, because he gets so aggressive and excited and wants to do well, so I try to stay quiet on top. With him it’s a thin line between too much excitement and being too careful,” he explained.

Eduardo Pereira De Menezes was delighted with his second-place result with H5 Chaganus, the horse that carried him to team gold at the Pan-American Games in 2019. It seems the 41-year-old rider keeps a cool head under pressure.

“In a jump-off like this you have to concentrate on yourself, and not on the rest of the riders, when you have such great riders against you. I also had an extra stride (to the second fence). I saw the previous one but didn’t risk it. My horse has a big stride and two lines on the course came up too easy, so I knew I was a little too slow,” he said.

Third-placed Kühner said, “The course was demanding but good, and great to ride. The course designer did a good job.” He felt in retrospect he might have taken out a few strides in the jump-off and been better placed, but that “qualifying for the Final is definitely an aim and I will not put all the pressure on my top horses. I want to bring new horses to the top of the sport.”

The host nation’s Edward Levy slotted into sixth with his single second-round error, and that leaves him lying eleventh on the league table going into the next round in Verona, Italy next weekend. So he was well pleased with his result too.

“The crowd gave me wings today!” he said. “It was amazing and the sport was great. This show has brought us back to normal life and it is great to be back in the ring with the grandstands full again,” he added.

Celebrated

Meanwhile, winning rider Fuchs was feeling on top of the world as he celebrated his third consecutive win at the French fixture, and a big moment on the home front. “It is really amazing to win a Grand Prix three times in a row, and to do it here in Lyon is even better! All the riders want to come here and bring their best horses. I’m so happy tonight! With Clooney coming back home last week and Chaplin, his stable-mate, winning today, it’s just amazing,” he said.

It was the great grey Clooney who carried him to victory on both previous occasions in Lyon in 2018 and 2019. Clooney also carried him to individual silver at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2018, to the individual European title in 2019, to European team bronze in 2015 and 2017, and to runner-up spot behind compatriot Guerdat at the last Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg in 2019. The pair was an extraordinary partnership, but the horse was injured in a freak fall in his paddock in August. However, he has made an amazing recovery and after a period of rehabilitation at a clinic in Zurich is settling into happy retirement after some worrying months for Fuchs and his tight-knit team.

“He’s going out to grass and behaving well; he’s very happy to be back in his old stable surrounded by his friends and we are all so happy to have him home. He’s had such a great reaction from people all around the world who love him, and that has helped us all get through this,” Fuchs said.

So no wonder he’s feeling good, and after this success, he’s looking forward to the rest of the Western European League season – and very proud of Chaplin who is also owned by Clooney’s owner, Luigi Baleri. “I’m going to Verona next week and then Madrid,” the Swiss star said.

FULL RESULTS

by Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Who to Look Out For at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters 2021

(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof)

The CSIO 5* Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ returns from 8-12 September 2021, and will play host to the second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the year: the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, which will be staged in the impressive International Arena on the final day of the competition.

After winning the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in April – and in doing so becoming the live contender – Austrian Max Kühner has confirmed his attendance, alongside a stellar list of competitors, including five out of the current top 20-ranked riders in the world, and five Rolex Testimonees. As ever, the five-day competition promises to be a truly international affair, with 15 nations represented, with the hosts welcoming no fewer than 42 of its very own home-grown athletes.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch

Current world number three Martin Fuchs travels to Calgary brimming with confidence, following Switzerland’s win in the team jumping competition at the European Championships, which he and his gelding, Leone Jei, played a crucial role in. The 29-year-old will be accompanied at Spruce Meadows by his talented 10-year-old gelding, Conner Jei, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at the Jumping International de Dinard.

British rider Scott Brash returns to Spruce Meadows, where he was crowned the first ever Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion in 2015 with his legendary gelding, Hello Sanctos. The current world number four brings Hello Vincent to Calgary, with whom he finished a very credible fourth in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique in June.

Fuchs’ compatriot and the current world number 10-ranked rider, Steve Guerdat, has also added the Team European champion accolade to his impressive list of titles. The three-time World Cup champion (2015, 2016, 2019) will compete at Spruce Meadows with his dependable 12-year-old gelding, Venard De Cerisy, who he took to this year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where the duo finished fifth in the Team competition.

Rio 2016 Olympic Team silver medallist Kent Farrington leads the charge of athletes from the United States, and in a clear demonstration of intent, brings seven horses with him to Spruce Meadows. Of note, the current world number 13 will compete with his 15-year-old mare, Gazelle, 14-year-old gelding, Creedance, and nine-year-old hot prospect, Orafina.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Takes Centre Stage for 2nd Leg of Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday 7 September 2021 – The prestigious showgrounds of Spruce Meadows in Canada will once again welcome the world’s top horse and rider combinations for the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex. The esteemed 5* competition, which forms part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, will take place on Sunday 12 September 2021, providing a spectacular finale to the five-day CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament.

Staged in the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, the event is widely regarded as the leading equestrian event in North America. Rolex’s affiliation with Spruce Meadows dates back to 1989 and is part of its long-standing support for the sport. For more than six decades, the brand has forged close relationships with elite international events and athletes who share its commitment to perpetual excellence.

Launched in 2013, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the most coveted prize in equestrianism, rewarding the rider who wins the Grand Prix at three of the four Majors in succession. To date, Scotland’s Scott Brash is the only competitor to achieve the feat, having done so in 2014-2015 with Hello Sanctos.

To aspire to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping requires a unique harmony between horse and rider, a special bond crafted over years with infinite patience, care, and expertise. Once trust and communication have been established, a pairing can push the boundaries and confront all obstacles placed before them. The bar is almost impossibly high, which is why only the finest riders keep rising to it.

The CP ‘International’ is the Grand Slam’s second Grand Prix of 2021. Max Kühner will head to the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament as the Rolex Grand Slam live contender following his victory at The Dutch Masters in April.

As the winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2019, World No. 3 and recent European Championship team gold and individual silver medallist Martin Fuchs travels to Canada with the opportunity to claim a bonus for winning two of the past four Rolex Grand Slam events. He will be joined by compatriot Steve Guerdat, who will be looking to add this title to his long list of honours, which includes individual gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Rolex Grand Prix victories at CHI Geneva and CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Scott Brash, the current World No. 4, is a two-time Grand Prix winner at this venue, including in 2015 when he completed the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. He will return full of confidence following excellent recent results, including a victory in the Netherlands on the eve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, where he finished equal seventh in the individual jumping competition.

Canada’s Eric Lamaze will also be seeking his third Grand Prix title, at an event where he has enjoyed so much success, and Kent Farrington will join in taking on the testing course designed by Leopoldo Palacios. Farrington heads to the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in top form following a successful week at the CSI Spruce Meadows ‘National’, culminating in victory in the RBC Grand Prix of Canada with his exceptional 15-year-old mare, Gazelle.

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

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

Summer Rolex Grands Prix Season Results

Jessica Springsteen rocks the Rolex Grand Prix presented by Audi at the Brussels Stephex Masters (Photo: Sportfot)

The period between 2021’s first two Rolex Grand Slam Majors – The Dutch Masters in April and the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in September – played host to no fewer than five top-class show jumping events, each featuring a prestigious Rolex Grand Prix as the pinnacle class of the show, which attracted the world’s very best riders and horses.

The 1m60 Rolex Grand Prix presented by Audi concluded five days of entertaining jumping from 23-27 June at Knokke Hippique in the north-west of Belgium. After nine riders progressed to the jump-off, local hero and Tokyo 2020 Team bronze medallist, Jérôme Guery, and his bay stallion, Quel Homme de Hus, proved far too strong for the rest of the field, finishing over six seconds ahead of second-placed riser and Rolex Testimonee, Kevin Staut.

Royal Windsor Horse Show’s crowd in the iconic Castle Arena in the shadow of Windsor Castle witnessed a dominant display of horsemanship on 4 July, after another local hero, Ben Maher, and his extraordinarily talented stallion, Explosion W, took the honours in the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix ahead of Swiss Rolex Testimonee, Steve Guerdat. The Briton’s next stop would be Tokyo 2020, where he and his dependable equine partner were eventually crowned Individual Olympic champions.

Rolex was warmly welcomed to The Masters of Chantilly, as the show’s Official Sponsor, Official Timepiece, and Title Sponsor of the Grand Prix. Staged on the manicured lawns of the Hippodrome de Chantilly from 6-11 July, it was Nicolas Delmotte, who brilliantly continued the local hero theme. The Frenchman and his gelding, Urvoso du Roch, triumphed by just 0.36 seconds over Swiss Martin Fuchs, yet another Rolex Testimonee who had to settle for second place.

Brittany’s Emerald Coast provided an exquisitely picturesque location for the Jumping International de Dinard as spectators were welcomed back in the tribunes from 15-18 July, where Fuchs superbly made amends for his Chantilly disappointment. Paired this time with his gelding Connor 70, the current Individual world champion pipped Ireland’s Denis Lynch to top spot in the show’s finale, the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix de Dinard.

The Brussels Stephex Masters 2021 climaxed on Sunday 29 August with its showpiece class: the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix presented by Rolex. After nine combinations progressed to the jump-off, after navigating the 13-obstacle, Uliano Vezzani-designed course fault-free, it was the USA’s Jessica Springsteen and her 14-year-old mare, Rmf Zecilie who prevailed by a tenth of a second over Germany’s Daniel Deusser, with Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca slotting into third place over a second further back.

Read more here.

© 2021 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam