Tag Archives: Rolex Grand Prix

Marcus Ehning Wins the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen

Marcus Ehning riding Pret A Tout (Photo: Rolex/Kit Houghton)

Germany’s Marcus Ehning gave the 40,000 patriotic spectators a reason to celebrate at CHIO Aachen, as he clinched the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix title aboard his 15-year-old chestnut gelding, Pret A Tout.

Although this is the fourth Major Ehning has won, his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey has only just begun, as he becomes the new live contender. We spoke to Ehning following his incredible performance, which left him two seconds clear of his closest rival, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz:

What were your thoughts when you walked the course?

I thought it was a really good course. I thought there would be about 10 clears and, in the end, there were 11. There wasn’t anywhere specifically that looked too challenging or that my horse couldn’t jump, but my horse has performed amazingly in past years here, and he gave me a confidence that I could really trust him and believe that we could go all the way. He is a very flexible horse and I am very lucky to be riding him.

Which round was more difficult, the first or second?

For me the first round was more difficult; a few times I didn’t have the perfect rhythm that I wanted but I was very happy to be clear. The second round was amazing; from the first jump to the last, we were fast but there was a lot of control and I really enjoyed it.

Where you nervous watching Luciana’s round?

I was nervous watching Luciana; she is a good rider and has come close to winning here a few times.

You are now the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender; will you be competing at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in September?

Before this win today I was only focusing on the World Equestrian Games, but obviously now this is a very different situation. I need to speak to my team and my owners to work out a strategy and think about what we do.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Inside CHIO Aachen: A Sneak Peak

Niels Bruynseels at Knokke Hippique (Photo: Knokke Hippique)

The second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, takes place on 22nd July and is expected to attract over 40,000 spectators to witness the prestigious competition. The course, set by Frank Rothenberger, is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding 5* tracks. The sport’s finest horse and rider partnerships are tested to their limits, displaying enviable skill and talent, striving to make history and to be crowned the Rolex Grand Prix champion.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With the world’s best horse and rider combinations set to take center stage for Rolex Grand Prix, there are some notable contenders whose recent performance would state they are on track for a Rolex Major win:

Niels Bruynseels, the current Rolex live contender, has continued his great form since producing a lightning jump-off round at The Dutch Masters aboard his 12-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in March. The notoriously fast duo took the top prize in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique following a speedy and faultless jump-off. With the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping very much in his sites, Bruynseels will be pulling out all the stops to make sure his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues.

One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat, has had a successful summer so far. His most notable victory was in front of HM The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. Seeing off top-class competitors, Guerdat rode an impeccable round to snap up the Rolex Grand Prix victory. Guerdat is no stranger when it comes to winning Majors; crowned champion at CHI Geneva on more than one occasion, Guerdat stays calm under pressure and will certainly be a formidable contender for the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen.

Fellow Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze, has prepared well for the CHIO Aachen. At the Rolex Grand Prix in Windsor, he shaved time off Guerdat’s winning result, but a light touch on the pole resulted in four penalties. Fresh from his victory in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with his 15-year-old mare, Fine Lady, Eric Lamaze will be hoping to continue his recent form as he eyes up the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca is also looking strong, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome (Piazza di Siena). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax Van Het Kluizebos, jumped two immaculate clear rounds, stopping the clock at 45.37 secs, making him one to watch.

Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has tasted victory at CHIO Aachen once before, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2005 on her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shutterfly. Michaels-Beerbaum will have the patriotic home-crowd support, willing her to repeat her 2005 success thirteen years on.

Rolex Testimonee, Scott Brash, the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, brings a wealth of experience and always performs well under pressure.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

CHIO Aachen Hosts the Second Major of the Year

11 July 2018, Aachen, Germany – From 13 to 22 July the world’s top international riders will travel to West Germany to showcase their talents to over 360,000 spectators as they compete in the second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix, at the spectacular CHIO Aachen.

The heart of equestrian sport beats at this magnificent venue, showcasing show jumping, eventing, dressage, driving and vaulting. This breathtaking nine-day event is known as the best equine sporting competition in the world and a highlight of the annual equestrian calendar.

The focal point of the competition, the Rolex Grand Prix, will take place on Sunday 22 July. As part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, CHIO Aachen hosts the second Major of 2018 in the main jumping arena, a stunning setting that accommodates over 40,000 passionate supporters. Widely acknowledged as one of the most demanding show jumping courses in the world, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen epitomizes show jumping, and is the show against which all others are measured.

The most recent addition to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, The Dutch Masters, held in March, saw Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels triumph. Revelling in his success, Bruynseels will be hoping to maintain his position as the live contender for the premier contest. “Aachen is the next stop in my journey, and of course one of my number one goals right now is to go there and win,” Bruynseels affirmed.

THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING

The first Major of the year took place in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where 11,500 fans gathered to witness this new addition to the Rolex Grand Slam prize. Bright lights illuminated the beautiful indoor arena, for the highlight of the event, the Rolex Grand Prix. Now all eyes will turn to CHIO Aachen for a contrasting competition, held in one of the greatest outdoor arenas, on grass.

A monumental challenge for the horse and rider combinations, the Majors require perfect performances in order to reach the final stage. World-renowned course designer, Frank Rothenberger, creates the imposing, technical course seen each year in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen. His course will demand faultless precision, courage, and determination from all competitors as they contend for the highly sought-after victory.

The greatest riders from all over the world will be heading to CHIO Aachen with the goal of being crowned champion. With one Major success already this year, spectators will keep a close watch on Bruynseels to see if he can continue his winning streak.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES AT CHIO AACHEN

World number eight Steve Guerdat is aiming for victory at CHIO Aachen. Having recently triumphed at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show in the Rolex Grand Prix, the Swiss hero is at the top of his game and will be a formidable contender.

The first and only rider to ever win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Britain’s Scott Brash, and 2016 Olympic Team gold medallist Kevin Staut (FRA), are also set to compete at CHIO Aachen. Joining them will be the masterful Canadian Eric Lamaze and Swiss rider Martin Fuchs, Rolex’s newest equestrian Testimonee.

The passionate and knowledgeable home crowd will be eager to welcome their national heroes, Rolex Testimonees and champion riders Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Isabell Werth. Winner of the 2005 Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, Michaels-Beerbaum, an inspiring and courageous show jumper, will no doubt have the full support of the grandstand driving her to repeat this victory once again. The incomparable Isabell Werth is one of the most decorated dressage riders. Her World Dressage Champion title and six Olympic gold medals are just two of her many illustrious achievements. This year, spectators will have the pleasure of seeing Werth compete in the 5* Dressage Grand Prix, as she aims to win her twelfth Aachen Grand Prix title.

SHARED VALUES IN EQUESTRIAN SPORT

CHIO Aachen was inaugurated in 1924 and has exhibited phenomenal equestrian sport ever since. The year 2018 marks 10 years since the show extended to nine days of thrilling competitions, highlighting its distinguished history and commitment to the sport.

The enduring relationship between Rolex and CHIO Aachen was formed in 1999 and has gone from strength-to-strength throughout the years. Show Director, Frank Kemperman, said: “We are extremely proud of the partnership between Rolex and CHIO Aachen. We feel privileged to be associated with such a prestigious and iconic brand, which has stood behind equestrian sport for over 60 years and provided fundamental support to foster its development and long-term success.”

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Highlights News Film from the Rolex Grand Prix at the Dutch Masters

12 March 2018, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands – The Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters 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.

Re-live the excitement from the four-day competition at one of the world’s leading indoor venues, as the finest riders compete for the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix.

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Inside the Dutch Masters: The Final Day

Niels Bruynseels (picture: Ashley Neuhof).

The Rolex Grand Prix Winner: Niels Bruynseels

Niels Bruynseels is the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender following a sensational performance in the Rolex Grand Prix at the Dutch Masters, one of the four Majors that make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Under the spotlights of the Brabanthal arena, the world’s best horse and rider combinations battled for the pinnacle prize of the weekend, all vying to start their Rolex Grand Slam journey.

The 13 riders through to the jump-off included Great Britain’s Scott Brash, the only rider so far to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, putting extra pressure on the competitors. Eighth to go, Marcus Ehning, raised the bar with a speedy clear round in 37.80 secs, but it was Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels who shifted the pace up a gear to clinch the victory and his first ever Major in 37.10 secs.

1st Place: NIELS BRUYNSEELS (BEL)

  • 2016 and 2017 Stephex Rolex Grand Prix Winner
  • Horse: Gancia De Muze, a 12-year-old bay mare

2nd Place: MARCUS EHNING (GER)

  • Winner of 3 Majors & Olympic Gold Medallist
  • Horse: Cornado NRW, a 15-year-old grey stallion

3rd Place: HARRIE SMOLDERS (NED)

  • World Number 2
  • Horse: Emerald, A 14-year-old chestnut stallion

Winners Interview with Niels Bruynseels

How does it feel to win your first Major?

“This has to be one of my biggest victories. I don’t even have the words to say how much it means to me. This show has always been great, but the support of Rolex has made it even better and it is an honour for me to come here and compete against the best riders in the world. The atmosphere in the arena was incredible; it was a very special moment for me.”

Your Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping campaign has started; is CHIO Aachen going to be your focus now?

“Aachen is certainly the next stop for me. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the biggest prize in our sport and I hope I can come to Germany in July and repeat what I have achieved here.”

Do you feel that the course lived up to the Rolex Grand Prix standard?

“I think the team of course designers did a very good job; it was a tough course but good for the horses. There were 13 in the jump-off which is nice for the crowd and created top competition.”

And what about your horse – has she done you proud today?

“My horse was a superstar today. I cannot thank her enough. She always tries her best for me and I couldn’t be happier with her performance this afternoon. I think I was at advantage going last in the jump-off. I was able to see all the other riders go before me and where the course was difficult. I had a plan in my head; I knew I would need a fast ride, and Grancia exceeded all expectations; she is a special horse for sure.”

Words from the Course Designer, Louis Konickx

Talk to us about the process of designing such an important course like a Rolex Grand Prix.

“We first came up with the ideas and concept three weeks ago. My assistant and I are in constant communication, always bouncing ideas off each other; it is a team effort. Because the arena is bigger this year, we added longer combinations and more related distances. It is also very important to make sure you have the right number of verticals and oxers because if you are too defensive and have too many hard oxers, it asks too much of the horse and will not get the desired number of clear rounds. It needs to be challenging… but achievable.”

Are there any particular tricky parts you put in?

“Yes, but we wanted to make sure that there was a variety for the different types of horses.”

“If you just build big oxers, it challenges the horses that don’t have scope but is easy for the horses that do, so it is vital that we have diversity which will ultimately produce the best competition.”

“In all cases we are wanting to test the tuning between horse and rider and their ability to work together in a partnership; that is what we are searching for as course designers.”

Is there more pressure on you now that this Rolex Grand Prix is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

“Yes, there is certainly more pressure! Most of it comes from the riders; they really want to win this class and go after the Rolex Grand Slam which means we need to make sure the course gives them the opportunity to compete at the best of their ability. Now that this is part of the Rolex Grand Slam there is more at stake than just the result of this Grand Prix.”

What makes you passionate about your role?

“Every day and every event are different. I have particularly enjoyed this year at the Dutch Masters as we have designed a lot of new fences and have created a sense of the Netherlands within that. We have focused on Dutch artists, for example Van Gogh, who we think represents a ‘Dutch Master’. We have also designed fences to represent the Dutch fruit, all small touches that I think make the course extra special.”

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Inside the Dutch Masters: Saturday 10th March

Lorenzo De Luca (picture: Ashley Neuhof).

Behind the Scenes with Lorenzo De Luca, Number One Italian Rider

Who do you think is your biggest competitor on Sunday?

“There were some great performances yesterday. I think Philipp Weishaupt is looking very good, of course Daniel Deusser was on top form last night and Luciana Diniz has been riding really well so far this year.”

“It is going to be a very tough competition as there are a lot of good riders in the line-up!”

Do you have any superstitions before you compete?

“Not really. I just stay relaxed and keep my horse nice and quiet; he is very sensitive, so I need to be calm for him. I just focus on my horse, myself and that’s it!”

What advice can you give to young riders who aspire to be in your position one day?

“My best advice would be ‘to not go too quick!’ That can cause all sorts of problems. My second piece of advice is to keep learning and growing. The Show Jumping world is such a magical place, every horse and every rider is different, so you can always expand your knowledge of the sport.”

Thoughts on the course Sunday?

“It is going to be hard! Last year I remember the course was very difficult, and now the prize money has been increased and it is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping; the competition is going to be tougher than ever. I think the crowds are in for a treat!”

Behind the Stable Door with Sean Lynch, Daniel Deusser’s Groom

Who is Daniel riding in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday?

“He is riding Cornet D’Amour on Sunday, a really special horse with a very big character. He is very sensitive to noise and when there’s lots of it; he’s not the easiest to control but he is one of the nicest horses to be around. All my horses are nice and normal though, so I never have a problem with them.”

What is the horse’s routine immediately after a big competition like the Rolex Grand Prix at a Major?

“We wash them down and give them some hay, so they can relax and cool down. We put the ice boots on and then follow up with the spa boots and as soon as they are dry we put a massage blanket on for 45 minutes! The massage blanket is amazing and has different programmes, so we usually put it on the programme designed for back treatment relief if they have jumped a big class. Cornet gets more spa treatments than any of us do!”

Are you and Daniel thinking about the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

“I am hoping that Sunday goes well and then we can really start to focus on the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.”

“It has made show jumping more interesting for the riders and the public, and it is certainly the thing that riders talk about wanting to win the most.”

“So, if we have success in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday we will be planning our schedule around the next Majors for sure.”

How do you cope with the pressure of a Rolex Grand Prix? Does Daniel feel the pressure? 

“I do feel the pressure a bit! I have to do my job well enough to make sure Daniel has the best chance on Sunday. We have to work together to make sure the horse is fit and is in peak condition. With Cornet D’Amour I always get quite nervous, especially when he has won a class already like he did in the Grand Prix qualifier last night. Sometimes I just stay quiet for the whole day and don’t talk to anyone!”

“Daniel is Mr. Cool! He doesn’t let the pressure get to him; he knows what he needs to do and does the job. For me he is one of the best riders around, very relaxed and very calm.”

The Audi Prize, and second qualifier of the Rolex Grand Prix, provided an evening of world-class entertainment in the Brabanthal arena, with only five of the 41 starters jumping clear in the first round. Maikel Van Der Vleuten was third to go in the jump-off, navigating the course in a nimble fashion to produce the winning round of the night.

1st Place: MAIKEL VAN DER VLEUTEN (NED)

  • World number 11
  • Horse: Arera C, a 13-year-old bay mare

2nd Place: JOHNNY PALS (NED)

  • One of the top Dutch riders
  • Horse: Chat Botte Du Ruisseau Z, a 10-year-old chestnut stallion

3rd Place: PEDER FREDRICSON (SWE)

  • European Champion
  • Horse: Hansson WL, A 10-year-old bay stallion

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Riders from around the World Target Dutch Masters in Pursuit of Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

02 March 2018, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands – After a thrilling end to the 2017 international equestrian season at the CHI Geneva, with Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington securing the Rolex Grand Prix at the event for the first time, all eyes now turn to The Netherlands where many of the world’s best riders will congregate on 08-11 March, for the new first Major of the year.

Since its founding more than 50 years ago, The Dutch Masters has focused on delivering elite-level sport alongside a rich tradition and love of horses. In 2017, The Dutch Masters (formerly Indoor Brabant) welcomed 60,000 spectators across four days of competition, as the sports elite riders contested the Rolex Grand Prix, the competition highlight. Such commitment to outstanding equestrian sport and a passion for excellence reflect Rolex values, and in 2014 the leading Swiss watch brand extended its long-term partnership with the event, enhancing its position as one of the most esteemed indoor shows on the calendar.

This shared approach to the pursuit of perfection has been globally recognized, and in 2017 it was announced that The Dutch Masters would join equestrian sport’s most coveted competition, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, as the fourth Major in the cyclical calendar. It now sits beside CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ and CHI Geneva. As such, the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in 2018 will draw the world’s best riders attempting to emulate the achievement of Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash, who in 2015 became the only rider to have won this most sought-after prize to date.

THE ROLEX GRAND PRIX

A demanding course is expected at the sport’s toughest Majors, and The Dutch Masters will be no exception. Having co-designed with Gérard Lachat (SUI) the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Louis Konickx (NED) is welcomed back for Sunday’s highlight competition. “I have designed a technically exacting course with the intention of testing these riders within one of the best indoor arenas around the globe,” Konickx said.

After his victory at the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva, Rolex Testimonee Kevin Staut is well placed to contest for the Rolex Grand Prix. “It’s always a difficult course when designed by Louis, but I look forward to taking the challenge on and will do my best to repeat my winning success here in 2014.”

Along with the roster of elite show jumpers contesting the Rolex Grand Prix, The Dutch Masters will also host the world’s top dressage riders as they compete for title places in the World Cup and World Cup freestyle competitions. Numbered among these outstanding athletes is Rolex Testimonee Isabell Werth. With a trophy cabinet overflowing with Olympic, World and European Championship medals, the knowledgeable Dutch crowd is always excited to see the German maestro in action.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES SET TO COMPETE AT ‘S-HERTOGENBOSCH

The Rolex family of Testimonees has been victorious in the Grand Prix four times since 2003, the most recent being French rider and world number four Kevin Staut, who claimed the Rolex Grand Prix in 2014 riding Silvana*HDC.

Canada’s Eric Lamaze will travel from his winter base in Florida, USA for the competition. With a string of successes already at the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington (Florida), it would appear Lamaze is in prime form to take up the challenge.

The crowd will welcome the return also of homegrown hero Jeroen Dubbeldam. As reigning World Champion and a former European Champion, Dubbeldam and SFN Zenith are a formidable partnership.

Rolex’s newest Equestrian Testimonee, Martin Fuchs, and youngest, Bertram Allen, will also be entering their top mounts for the competition. Fuchs will be one of two Swiss riders from the Rolex family of Testimonees, with Steve Guerdat journeying to the Dutch show with his mare Bianca XXXIV. Guerdat was recently voted Rider of the Year 2017 and Bianca XXXIV Horse of the Year 2017 in Switzerland.

British show jumper Brash will head to The Dutch Masters looking to further enhance his revered status in the sport.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CHIO Aachen Welcomes the World’s Best to Contend for the First Equestrian Major of 2017

05 July 2017, Aachen, Germany – Elite competitors and world-class show jumping will be on display at CHIO Aachen this July, as the sport’s leading riders compete in the first equestrian Major of the year.

Each summer over 360,000 spectators travel to the iconic equestrian venue in West Germany to watch five disciplines of equestrian sport over 10 days; this includes dressage, eventing, driving, vaulting and show jumping. Hailed as the world’s greatest equine sporting exhibition, the historic CHIO Aachen is one of the calendar year’s most highly anticipated events.

The competition will culminate on Sunday 23 July with the highlight of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix. As part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping the pinnacle of CHIO Aachen will be played out in front of a full house in the main jumping arena, a spectator setting which accommodates over 40,000 fans. Part of the magic of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen can be attributed to the notorious difficulty of the jumping efforts, designed by world-famous Frank Rothenberger. Generally considered the most demanding course for show jumping athletes, the competing horse and rider combinations will strive to be crowned the coveted champion by producing a faultless performance over the 1.60m 5* track.

Having taken the top spot in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in December last year, Brazil’s Pedro Veniss will be seeking his second consecutive Major to keep his Grand Slam dream alive.

ROLEX AND CHIO AACHEN

Rolex prides itself on its long standing partnerships at the pinnacle of the sport. 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of Pat Smythe becoming Rolex’s first equestrian Testimonee, an example of an exceptional athlete who laid the foundations for the enduring relationship between Rolex and the world’s finest competitions and Testimonees that is thriving today.

CHIO Aachen is a shining example of that flourishing relationship. The affiliation between Rolex and Aachen has continued to go from strength-to-strength since ties were first made in 1999.

Rolex Director of Communication & Image, Arnaud Boetsch, said: “As Rolex celebrates 60 years in equestrianism we remain dedicated to one of the greatest equestrian shows of the calendar year. Like Rolex, Aachen is an iconic institution symbolising both heritage and world class performance.”

SHOW JUMPING’S SUPREME COMPETITION

Established collectively in 2013 by CHIO Aachen, CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ and CHI Geneva, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has been extended to four Majors with the inclusion of The Dutch Masters in 2018. Riders will now have the chance to win the coveted title at four events across the show jumping year while keeping the same format of needing to win three consecutive Majors to claim the Grand Slam title.

In 2017 the world’s best will be hoping to replicate the achievement of Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash, the British rider who made history in 2015 by winning every consecutive Grand Slam Event, the first ever rider to do so.

Brash remarked: “Every rider wants to be part of the Rolex Grand Slam and have the opportunity to try and win the most coveted prize in our sport. Aachen is a highlight of the year and everyone will be heading to the first equestrian Major with one aim: to win.”

ROLEX EQUESTRIAN TESTIMONEES AT CHIO AACHEN – PAST AND PRESENT

Rolex understands that to produce one’s very best, precision is of the utmost importance. This attention to detail that can be found in abundance amongst its sporting affiliates, not least its equestrian Testimonees.

The equestrian athletes who perform at the highest level must hone their craft so that they can execute to such a finely tuned detail under immense pressure and when the stakes are at their highest.

The Grand Prix (named Rolex Grand Prix since 1999) at CHIO Aachen has an illustrious list of previous winners not least the legendary father and son duo of Nelson and Rodrigo Pessoa, Rolex’s longest serving equestrian Testimonee. Alongside Rodrigo, Canada’s two-time Individual gold medal winner, Eric Lamaze, the ‘first lady’ of German show jumping, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, and Dutch hero Jeroen Dubbeldam have all taken the title spot here.

American Olympian and current World Number One Kent Farrington will be looking to continue his fine form at Aachen after being crowned champion at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the Rolex Grand Prix, for the second year running.

With recent victory in the CSIO 5* FEI Nations cup in La Baule, Kevin Staut will be a keen contender for the title prize. Swiss rider Steve Guerdat and Rolex’s youngest Testimonee Bertram Allen will both be travelling to Germany to challenge their international rivals.

Rolex’s most decorated dressage Testimonee, World and Olympic gold medalist Isabell Werth has won Aachen’s dressage Grand Prix an outstanding 10 times. As runner-up in last year’s event expect her to be at her best as she attempts to claim a coveted 11th title in the breathtaking 6,300 seater Deutsche Bank Stadium.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

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

Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Rod Kohler
rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 (0)7770 647 662

NBC Sports Network to Broadcast $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, April 1

Photo copyright Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – April 1, 2017 – Equestrian Sport Productions is pleased to announce that the five-star event from the eleventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, April 1, at 4:30 p.m. ET. Watch live or set your DVR – don’t miss this grand prix action!

The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, which was held on March 25, features the world’s best show jumpers in one of the most anticipated events of the season at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

The broadcast is a great opportunity for fans from all over the country to watch the best equestrian sport in the United States and for sports fans of all types to become familiar with equestrian athletes from the U.S. and abroad. Use the NBC Sports Network Channel Finder to find NBC Sports Network in your area, and tune in!

Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.