Tag Archives: Rolex Grand Prix

Eric Lamaze Closes 2015 Season with Top Three Finish in Geneva

Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5. Photo by Kit Houghton/Rolex.

Geneva, Switzerland – Canada’s Eric Lamaze closed out the 2015 season with a top three finish in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, December 13, in Geneva, Switzerland.

One of three legs comprising the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Geneva attracted 40 of the world’s best riders looking to claim the coveted title and a portion of the 1 million Swiss Francs (approximately $1.4 million CAD) in prize money on offer. A total of 16 riders were clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off where the leading time became increasingly faster and faster. Lamaze moved to the top of the leaderboard with a time of 41.45 seconds following his performance with Fine Lady 5, but would see it eclipsed by Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, who stopped the clock in 40.94 seconds for the win, and Simon Delestre of France, who posted a time of 40.97 seconds to finish runner-up riding Qlassic Bois Margot.

While Lamaze was crowned the Olympic Champion in 2008 with the great Hickstead, fellow Rolex Testimonee Guerdat is the reigning Olympic Champion with Nino des Buissonnets. It was Nino who came out on top in Geneva, giving the home crowd an incredible victory to celebrate. With the win, 33-year-old Guerdat starts his quest to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, a title that goes to any rider who wins the Grand Prix of Geneva, Aachen, Germany, and Calgary, Canada, in succession.

“It is very exciting for me to be back competing at this level,” said Lamaze, who claimed the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva in 2008 and also placed second in 2010 riding Hickstead on both occasions. “It brings back great memories of having won the Grand Prix here before. It was an incredible jump-off, and is a great end of season result for me.

“Geneva is the best indoor show in the world, and it is extremely important to the riders,” continued Lamaze, who was also third in Thursday evening’s Credit Suisse Grand Prix after jumping double clear with Fine Lady 5. “The level of competition is so high, and the classes are very competitive. Everyone is very excited for what the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has brought to our sport; the three venues comprising the Grand Slam are the best in the world, and all are unique events like no other.”

Gilbert De Roock of Belgium, who has coached Lamaze to many wins over the years as well as his individual bronze medal at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, KY, helped Lamaze in both Paris and Geneva. While Geneva may have been his final event of the season, Lamaze’s performance with Fine Lady 5 begins a new chapter on the road to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“After the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ tournament in September, I rested my horses with the plan to compete at Paris and Geneva with Powerplay and Fine Lady,” explained Lamaze of the back-to-back five-star indoor shows. “Powerplay was intended to be my lead horse but he wasn’t feeling well and wasn’t able to go. Fine Lady had to step up to be my main horse, doing the Grand Prix in Paris and the Grand Prix here in Geneva. I must say, she is growing into the role.”

Lamaze was partnered with Fine Lady 5, a 12-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II), in the spring of 2014 when the Ziegler family of Artisan Farms purchased her from Germany’s Holger Wulschner. They have since scored numerous victories at the 1.45m and 1.50m levels, especially when Lamaze could use Fine Lady 5’s naturally quick pace to his advantage.

“This mare, Fine Lady, is a possibility for the Olympics,” said Lamaze, 47. “She is showing more power and more heart at this level. Sometimes when you walk a course, some of the fences look too big for her to jump, but she never gives up, and she’s a true competitor who is starting to show me that she can do some of the biggest classes. She’s growing with every big event that I put her in. She seems to learn a way to do it. From a qualify aspect, she has all the quality you would want to have at the Olympics. We will have a good plan for her this winter, and see where that takes us.”

With the conclusion of Geneva, Lamaze returns to North America in preparation for the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival, running January 13 through to April 3, 2016, in Wellington, FL.

“Next year is a big year, and I’m looking forward to gearing up for that,” said Lamaze, who will be training several Canadian Olympic Show Jumping Team hopefuls over the winter, including his TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games gold medal teammates Tiffany Foster and Yann Candele, as well as traveling alternate Elizabeth Gingras and Kara Chad. “We have a lot of students that are looking very promising to be on our team for the Olympics. Working with our chef d’equipe Mark Laskin, we are trying to put together teams to compete in the Nations’ Cups in Rome, La Baule and Aachen. Team competition is very important in preparation for the Olympics. We go back to work in January, and will see what comes out of next year.”

Lamaze and his mounts are based full-time at Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms, with locations in Wellington, FL and Vrasene, Belgium. In addition, Lamaze, in partnership with the Chad and Edwards families of Calgary, AB, have purchased a new training facility in Grand Prix Village in Wellington, FL. Named Torrey Pines in honour of Lamaze’s iconic show jumping stable, the new facility enables all of Lamaze’s students to be based together for ease of training. Candele, working alongside Lamaze, will provide coaching and training support in the new Torrey Pines venture.

For more information on Eric Lamaze, visit www.EricLamaze.com.

Contact: Jennifer Ward
Starting Gate Communications
Cell: (613) 292-5439
www.startinggate.ca

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

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

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

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

NEW ROLEX GRAND SLAM CONTENDER

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

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

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

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

ROLEX GRAND PRIX QUALIFICATION

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

ESTEEMED INTERNATIONAL RIDERS

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

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

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

2015 CHI GENEVA ROLEX GRAND PRIX RESULTS

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

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Rolex SA
Virginie Chevailler
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+41 22 302 2761

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Rod Kohler
rod@revolutionsports.co.uk
+44 7770 647 662

World Number One Scott Brash Wins Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

Geneva, Switzerland, 14 December 2014 – In sport, legends are created by repeated success at the very highest level. The remarkable Scott Brash today proved why he is the very best that equestrian sport has seen in a long time, when he won the third equestrian Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva. Brash adds this title to his Rolex Top 10 Final victory, which he claimed less than 48 hours earlier.

Riding the majestic Hello Sanctos, on whom he has enjoyed huge success in 2014, Brash was one of 12 riders who went through to the jump-off from the original 40 on the start list.

The first four into the ring all produced a clear second round, and it quickly became obvious that it was going to take a very special performance to take the Rolex Grand Prix title. But, as he has proved all year, Brash thrives on tough challenges.

He was the sixth rider to enter the huge arena at the Palexpo and, when he left it, he had yet again produced a fast, clear round that was to become the benchmark for the remaining six riders to attempt to better. Dismounted and pacing the warm-up ring in the company of Hello Santos’ owners, Brash had to go through the nerve wracking experience of watching his fellow riders try and better his jump-off time of 35.69 seconds.

Brash’s time remained relatively safe until France’s Roger Yves Bost entered the arena, clearly with every intent to put everything on the line to challenge for the title. The crowd was hushed but the atmosphere crackled, as Qoud’Coeur de la Loge seemed to fly around the course. But their final time, 35.94 seconds, was still not quick enough, and when the final rider brought one pole down, the Rolex title belonged to Brash.

Speaking about the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Scott Brash said, “I think you have to make it your aim once you win one leg, because what Rolex has done in putting sponsorship up for these shows is just incredible and it’s kept our sport at a high, high level and raised our sport even more. So I think with that goal in mind, anyone who wins one leg will be targeting the next leg.”

Winning a Major defines a sportsman’s career, and the Rolex Grand Prix, the third stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, is one of the most difficult titles to claim. Brash now becomes the live contender and travels to Aachen in May 2015 to attempt to win his second title in the cycle, and claim the €1m bonus on offer to any rider who can win the Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ and CHI Geneva.

CHI Geneva is renowned within the equestrian community for its giant arena, which is at least twice the size of any other indoor venue, and the popularity of the show has never been higher, with the huge grandstands completely sold-out for the Rolex Grand Prix. Forty of the world’s greatest riders travelled to Geneva to challenge for the title, including Rolex Testimonees Kent Farrington, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Kevin Staut, and last year’s winner, Steve Guerdat but, in the end, they were left to dream at what might have been as Brash dominated once again.

Alban Poudret, the Sport Director at CHI Geneva, said, “It is a great gift, when the public is here and when the public love it; that really is the best gift for all our efforts. Yesterday evening for the first indoor cross-country the public was incredible and during the Rolex Top 10 Final, and Rolex Grand Prix we thought that we were at a Championship. At CHI Geneva, we are emotional and passionate, and we do it with our heart for the passion of the sport, and for the friendship between all of us and we share this friendship with the riders.

“It is important to have a colourful show with different type of competitions, not something with too much format. There are too many shows that are the same and here we are happy when we see riders that understand that all the 700 volunteers pay such attention to detail to make such a great sporting feast.”

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping now takes a break until May 2015, when the Rolex Grand Prix will be staged during the weekend of 30-31 May at Aachen.

Official Quotes and Audio

To download transcribed quotes and audio interviews with the Top Three riders, please click here: http://po.st/93HYOY.

Rolex Equestrian Films

To celebrate the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Rolex has created a number of films featuring its equestrian Testimonees. To view these films, please click here.

Websites

www.rolex.com
www.rolexgrandslam.com

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

Rolex Presents CHI Geneva, the Third Equestrian Major of 2014

Geneva, Switzerland, 11-14 December 2014 – The mark of a truly global sport is that it never sleeps. As the international tennis circuit moves around the world and from outdoor to indoor tournaments, so does the demanding world of top-level Show Jumping.

It builds to an annual peak at CHI Geneva. The Swiss indoor show, situated in Rolex’s beautiful home city, is regularly voted by the sport’s greatest riders as the best in the world. All of them will strive to compete in Geneva from 11-14 December. It has a long and distinguished history, having regularly attracted the finest horses and riders since its inception in 1926, and its proximity to Christmas gives CHI Geneva a particularly special atmosphere.

The show’s highlight is always the Rolex Grand Prix, this year being staged on Sunday 14 December. Rolex has been a presenting partner of CHI Geneva since 1996, and the grandstands will be packed with excited, passionate spectators for this intensely competitive class.

The Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva also forms the third stage of the thrilling Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, giving the show the status of one of the sport’s three “Majors”.

This unique competition, established as Show Jumping’s ultimate challenge, travels the world from Aachen in Germany to Spruce Meadows in Canada before concluding in Geneva.

An added highlight of CHI Geneva 2014 is the return of the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final. This is elite sport at its finest: just the Top 10 ranked riders of 2014 battling it out to be named number one in the world.

There will also be a CHI Geneva first in the form of an indoor Cross Country class presented by Rolex, with Peter Hasenböhler in charge of designing the course and extending the main arena to include the adjacent training paddock. Along with former World Champion Michael Jung, there will be a host of other notable international event riders taking part in this innovative competition.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES AT CHI GENEVA

In recent years, winners of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva have often come from the superb group of equestrian athletes who form Rolex’s equestrian Testimonees.

Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat was last year’s winner on his 2012 Olympic gold medal winning horse Nino Des Buissonets and the pair have set their sights on a third triumph in Geneva.

“Geneva is at the very heart of our sport. You feel like a star when you go into the ring, this is the place where you want to leave the arena as a winner.”

In 2010, Kevin Staut took the Rolex Grand Prix for France on the great Silvana HDC, and two years earlier Canada’s Eric Lamaze won on the incomparable Hickstead, the horse he rode to win Olympic gold in 2008.

Three-time winner of the World Cup Final, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Kent Farrington, the most recent addition to the Rolex family, will be looking to make their mark on the show. Meredith has competed many times in Geneva and her exciting new ride, Fibonacci, could be a serious contender in the Rolex Grand Prix this year. Likewise, Kent Farrington will be looking to round off an impressive 2014 with victory in Geneva.

Steve Guerdat was just 24 when he won the class on Jalisca Solier in 2006. But the most successful Rolex Testimonee at CHI Geneva has been Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, who has claimed the title four times so far – in 1993 on Loro Piana Special Envoy, in 2000 on Gandini Lianos, and in 2002 and 2004 on Baloubet Du Rouet.

ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING

The chance to be crowned Rolex champion is, without doubt, a dream for any rider. Ian Millar, 67, has achieved the extraordinary accolade of having competed in 10 Olympic Games for Canada, and was an extremely popular winner of the Spruce Meadows leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping in September 2014. Alas, Millar is unable to attend CHI Geneva this year in his quest to defend his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title and so a new Champion will be crowned.

ROLEX’S EQUESTRIAN HERITAGE

Rolex’s support of Show Jumping reaches back more than 50 years. The leading watch-making brand’s long and intimate association with equestrianism shows its appreciation of a world in which fair play, horsemanship and tradition underline great ability, precision and achievement.

Rolex’s first equestrian Testimonee was Pat Smythe, with whom the company formed an alliance in 1957. She was the greatest female Show Jumper ever to represent Britain, and since then Rolex has supported riders in the three Olympic disciplines of Show Jumping, Eventing and Dressage who demonstrate the same brilliant qualities and whose sportsmanship and high standards make them the leaders of their sport.

To view an exclusive preview film ahead of the CHI Geneva show, please click here.

www.rolex.com
www.rolexgrandslam.com
equestrianismpressroom.rolex.com

Horse & Country TV to Broadcast Rolex Grand Prix Live from Aachen

Horse & Country TV (Sky 280 and on smartphone, tablet and laptop via horseandcountry.tv/everywhere) is proud to announce it will broadcast the Rolex Grand Prix from the CHIO Aachen in Germany on Sunday July 20th. The Rolex Grand Prix is the highlight of nine days of intense competition across multiple disciplines in Aachen, which welcomes more than 350,000 visitors each year. H&C TV’s live coverage of the showjumping will run from 12.50pm to 5.00pm British Summer Time. This is the first time the Rolex Grand Prix from Aachen will be broadcast live in the UK.

The CHIO World Equestrian Festival in Aachen is considered by many to be one of the greatest horse shows in the world. Well-known equestrian presenter, Aly Rowell, will host the show direct from the event. H&C TV will also show comprehensive highlights from the entire CHIO Aachen event, including the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup, the Grand Prix Dressage of Aachen and the Eventing competition, which will feature Zara Phillips and Pippa Funnell.

Jonathan Rippon, Head of Programming at Horse & Country TV, said, “The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen is undoubtedly the highlight of the summer showjumping season and H&C TV will show every minute of the competition live.”

“We had a wonderful reception from our viewers to our first ever live broadcast of the Global Champions Tour from Paris. We are committed to maintaining this level of excellence for our viewers and look forward to a very exciting set of live broadcasts for 2014.”

For more information, please contact Georgie Wells at Revolution Sports + Entertainment: georgina@revolutionsports.co.uk or 0207 592 1207.

Horse & Country TV broadcasts in the UK and Ireland, the Netherlands, and Sweden, and can be found on the web at www.horseandcountry.tv, www.horseandcountrytv.nl, and www.horseandcountrytv.se. In the UK and Ireland H&C TV is also available “over the top” both online and via apps for smartphones and tablets through the H&C TV Everywhere service, horseandcountry.tv/everywhere. The Channel carries exclusive sports event coverage, news, documentary and personality-led programming to the passionate audience for horse sports and country living. At the UK’s Broadcast Digital Awards H&C won “Best Specialist Channel” in 2011 and was shortlisted in three categories in 2014, Best Specialist Channel, Best Factual Channel and Best Website/App. Fellow contenders for Best Factual were BBC3, BBC4, Discovery and History. Online, H&C publishes blogs and commentary provided by a range of experts and personalities, an extensive range of equestrian video, a calendar of events, as well as programme support material for all of the Channel’s featured shows.

H&C’s role as a community hub for the horse and countryside loving community is reflected in the Channel’s 500,000+ viewers each month, 126,000+ Facebook fans and 35,000+ followers on Twitter.

Eric Lamaze (CAN) today, 18th July 2010, won the CHIO Aachen 2010 – Rolex Grand Prix

Riding Hicktead, Lamaze won the third, and final, leg of the Rolex Grand Prix in a four horse jump-off. In 2nd place was Pius Schwizer (SUI) riding Carlina, 3rd place Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) riding Action-Breaker  and 4th Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) riding Shutterfly.

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