Tag Archives: Rolex Grand Slam

Interview with Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender Marcus Ehning

Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout victorious in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. Photo: Rolex / Kit Houghton)

To win the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in front of your home crowd must have been amazing. What was going through your mind?

This was my second Rolex Grand Prix victory at the CHIO Aachen, so I knew already what an amazing reception I would receive if I won; however, when it actually happened, the feeling was indescribable and even louder than what I remembered. Each year the crowd gets better and the noise is incredible. I actually think winning the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen is one of the nicest victories in my career and certainly a moment I will never forget.

How did this year’s Rolex Grand Prix victory compare to when you won in 2006?

The first time you win a Major like this is always so special. When I competed at the CHIO Aachen 12 years ago in 2006 I really didn’t expect to win. I was younger and less experienced, so it was a bit of surprise for me! This year I felt like I had a horse who could go the distance; he was feeling good and I knew I had a very strong chance if everything went to plan. They were very different situations and many years apart, but I think both feel equally special.

Can you tell us about Pret A Tout?

Pret A Tout is 15 years old now, so he has lots of experience as well as such enormous talent. We have won some big competitions together and he is a horse I really believe in. He is very intelligent, very consistent and always knows his job. You put him in the right spot, point in him in the right direction and he will do his best for you every single time. We really put our trust in each other and it often pays off.

At the CHIO Aachen, when we entered the arena for prize-giving, I could just let go of the reins and wave to the crowd, as Pret A Tout is so relaxed, he knows he has done his job and can just enjoy the atmosphere – I think he enjoys the crowd and receiving the prizes more than me! You can see in his body language he really loves it.

How do you produce a talented horse like Pret A Tout?

You need to have a big support network behind you; producing a top Grand Prix horse does not come down to one person. It starts with the groom, the riders at home and the programme you put together with your team. The horse needs to be focused but also needs to be happy at home in order to learn and develop. I do my best to form a strong bond with all the horses; it is so important to build their trust and develop the partnership.

You have had a long and very successful career. How has the sport changed with the introduction of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

I think Rolex have chosen four of the best shows in the world to form the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. All four Majors have the best atmosphere, footing, stabling conditions – all the assets that create the best environment for the riders and horses.

The introduction of the Grand Slam created a big step up for our sport; it has helped it to grow and develop and also creates a whole new element for spectators; it certainly makes it more exciting!

You weren’t sure whether you would be able to compete at CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters.’ How did you make your final decision?

With the FEI World Equestrian Games™ being so close to Spruce Meadows, I didn’t want to make any decisions without consulting my team, but now we have had discussions and have decided we have the horses to make it work. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping bonus system was a big pull for us, as if we don’t attend Spruce Meadows our Grand Slam journey would be over and there would be no opportunity to compete for the bonuses at CHI Geneva and The Dutch Masters. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is an exciting journey to be a part of, so I felt we needed to try and make it work. I am lucky to have an amazing selection of horses at home, so we will see what happens.

Which horses are you taking to CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’?

I am hoping to take Cornado NRW and Funky Fred.

Which horse are your hoping to ride in the CP ‘International’ presented by Rolex?

I don’t know which horse I will ride in this class. I haven’t competed at Spruce Meadows for such a long time, so I want to arrive and familiarise myself with the place before making any decisions. I will also see what the weather is like and how the horses are feeling as all these elements can affect which horse I choose.

What has been your career highlight so far?

The biggest highlight of my career so far has to be winning a gold medal at the 2000 Games in Sydney with the German team. It was such a special moment and one I will never forget.

What motivates you each day?

For me, my biggest motivation is not the big shows, it’s not the winning; my biggest motivation is the relationship with the horses. I love working with them, competing with them, and growing with them. To build a partnership with a horse, see how it evolves and develops and be on a journey with them is such an incredible feeling.

If you weren’t a professional show jumper, what would you be?

I honestly can’t answer that question. I am so lucky to combine my hobby and my passion with my work.

What advice would you give to a young up-and-coming rider?

I have learnt so much in my career, but I think the best advice I can give is to remember this: ‘most of the faults you accumulate in the ring are due to rider error and not a horse’s mistake. So, when it does not go to plan, you must not blame the horse; you must look at what you as a rider could have done better and that’s the only way you will improve.’

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

Scott Brash Aims for Show Jumping Perfection at Geneva, Dec. 2016

30 November 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – The 2016 global equestrian season comes to a close in scintillating fashion with the third equestrian Major of the year hosted by CHI Geneva.

The 56th edition of this prestigious show takes place from 8-11 December 2016 in Rolex headquarters’ pristine home city of Geneva. The Swiss indoor show has been voted the world’s best show jumping event for the 8th time by many of equestrian’s greatest riders and Rolex is proud to have been the presenting partner since 1996.

As the only one of the three Majors that comprise the Rolex Grand Slam to be hosted indoors, CHI Geneva is unique in its setting and atmosphere, creating an entirely fresh challenge for riders and horses alike.

ROLEX GRAND PRIX

CHI Geneva builds to a climax on Sunday 11 December with the Rolex Grand Prix, one of the three Majors that together form equestrian sport’s most sought-after award, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

As one of the most renowned competitions in the show jumping season, winning the Rolex Grand Prix at the Palexpo stadium in Geneva will require supreme courage and immaculate timing. With an imposing course set to defy the world’s foremost riders, an enthusiastic and appreciative crowd creates a cacophony of noise to complete an atmosphere unparalleled in equestrian sport.

SCOTT BRASH EYEING HISTORY

To date Scott Brash is the only winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the sport’s greatest prize. By winning the three equestrian Majors in succession in 2015, a feat even more impressive considering it was achieved on the same horse, Brash secured his place in equestrian sport’s illustrious hall of fame.

After winning the 2016 CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex, in Spruce Meadows, Brash arrives to Geneva as the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam, once again in a position to take home the ultimate prize. He will need to demonstrate passion, determination and exceptional performance to continue his quest towards a second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title.

“To win the three equestrian Majors back to back, and accomplish a second Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title, would be incredible. It’s what every rider wants to be a part of. I am delighted to be back on track and am looking forward to attempting to take the next chapter in this extraordinary challenge.”

Having triumphed in 2014 aboard Hello Sanctos, Brash knows exactly what is required to win CHI Geneva, putting him in an excellent position to compete against his fellow equestrian elite.

ROLEX TESTIMONEES SUCCESS AT CHI GENEVA

The last three victors in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva have all been Rolex Testimonees, underlying the exceptional talent of this group of supreme athletes.

Steve Guerdat has enjoyed the most successful record at CHI Geneva, winning the title in 2006, 2013, and most recently in 2015. The Swiss favorite will be looking to return in 2016 and contend for his fourth title. The champion equestrian athlete will be riding Nino des Buissonnets, in what will be the gelding’s last competitive appearance and third CHI Geneva title if the pair win. It seems only fitting that Guerdat will be retiring his prize horse at his home show.

The 2008 champion, Eric Lamaze, will be looking to add a second Geneva title to his extensive list of titles when he enters the Palexpo arena riding Fine Lady 5.

Kevin Staut, who was victorious in 2010’s jump-off, and Great Britain’s Scott Brash complete the list of Rolex Testimonees who have triumphed at the world’s premier indoor equestrian show.

Winning his first ever Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva aboard Voyeur would be a superb way for Kent Farrington, current world number four, to complete a victorious 2016 season in which he won Team silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, arguably Germany’s greatest show jumper of all time, has one of the finest equestrian resumes in history and with the Rolex Grand Prix missing off that impressive list she will be hoping to make amends riding her gelding Fibonacci 17.

The newest Rolex Testimonees, Jeroen Dubbeldam riding SFN Zenith N.O.P., and Bertram Allen, will also be vying to win their first Rolex Grand Prix at Geneva, adding to their long list of equestrian accomplishments.

ROLEX IJRC TOP 10 FINAL

The Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final is one of the highlights of the CHI Geneva programme. Held on Friday 9 December 2016, this exciting competition brings together the world’s best horse and rider partnerships in one of the most prestigious classes in the global equestrian calendar.

With only the world’s Top 10 ranked riders invited to participate, the roster of the Top 10 Final is unrivalled in world equestrian sport. Winning the coveted title requires impeccable precision and timing.

Rolex Testimonee and defending champion Kent Farrington will return to CHI Geneva to defend his Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final crown, having enjoyed an immaculate year that included helping Team USA to silver at the Rio Olympic Games.

Alongside Kent Farrington, Rolex Testimonees Eric Lamaze, Steve Guerdat and Kevin Staut have also qualified to compete in the 2016 Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. Rolex has proudly supported the IJRC Top 10 Final since it’s inauguration in 2001 and five of its equestrian Testimonees have claimed the sought-after trophy: Rodrigo Pessoa (2003 and 2005), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (2004 and 2006), Steve Guerdat (2010), Scott Brash (2014) and Kent Farrington in 2015.

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Fox-Pitt Rolls to Win the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event; Springer Scores First Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Eventing Championship

Allison Springer and Arthur (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)

Lexington, KY – Sunday at the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event presented by Bridgestone proved to be as influential as its predecessor – but the top two placings did not change and Great Britain’s William Fox-Pitt rode Catherine Witt’s Parklane Hawk to top honors. The lovely New Zealand Thoroughbred made unbelievably light work of Saturday’s cross-country course and jumped another phenomenal round in the Rolex Stadium – having just one rail at the first part of the double combination to take home a second Rolex watch for Fox-Pitt, who also won in 2010. They finished on a three day score of 45.3, less than two points clear of the runner-up.

Click here for complete results: http://www.rk3de.org/results.php.

“I am not sure I can repeat that,” said Fox-Pitt about knocking down his one rail. “I thought that was going to be a tricky fence for him. He was just arguing a little bit today. It was a fantastic competition and I was very fortunate to come out on top. It was a serious show jumping track and I am just lucky that Allison took that long route at the third last (on the cross country).”

Continue reading Fox-Pitt Rolls to Win the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event; Springer Scores First Rolex/USEF National CCI4* Eventing Championship

HSBC FEI Classics 2012: Fox-Pitt Clocks Another Kentucky Victory

William Fox-Pitt and Parklane Hawk powered to victory in the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, the third leg of the HSBC FEI Classics, and the British rider is now in line for the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam if he can win at Badminton next weekend. (Photo: Amy Dragoo/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 29 April 2012 – William Fox-Pitt (GBR) won his 11th CCI4* and yet another prized Rolex watch when he held his nerve in the tense final minutes of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (USA) presented by Bridgestone, the third leg of the HSBC FEI Classics.

Fox-Pitt, the leader after Cross Country on Catherine Witt’s talented New Zealand Thoroughbred Parklane Hawk, appeared to have been handed a lifeline when overnight runner-up Allison Springer (USA) and Arthur hit a rail, but then Parklane Hawk had one down as well and Fox-Pitt was left with no margin for error.

But the current leader of both the HSBC FEI Classics and the HSBC Rider Rankings is famed for keeping calm in a tight situation. And Fox-Pitt will certainly need to draw on those renowned reserves of cool this week for he now heads to Badminton in the tantalising, yet pressurised, position of having won two out of three legs of the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam.

This elusive prize, to the rider who can win Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley in succession, has only been won once before, by Pippa Funnell (GBR) in 2003.

Continue reading HSBC FEI Classics 2012: Fox-Pitt Clocks Another Kentucky Victory

William Fox-Pitt Wins Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and 2nd Leg of Rolex Grand Slam

William Fox-Pitt (GBR) stays cool to clinch the 2012 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and complete the second stage of the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam. Photo courtesy of ROLEX

(USA, 29 April 2012) – William Fox-Pitt (GBR) riding Parklane Hawk, today Sunday 29 April 2012, kept his cool at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, in Lexington, with just one rail down, to win the Event and the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam. Allison Springer (USA) riding Arthur was second and Boyd Martin (USA) riding Otis Barbotiere was 3rd.

Quotes from William Fox-Pitt after his winning round (links to audio of full interview below):

Q: Many congratulations – what a round: What a relief and what a fantastic horse! It is a great honour and a great pleasure to be here back at Rolex and it’s such a tremendous event – the atmosphere is second to none and it’s been an amazing week for me. A huge relief and lucky I had a fence in hand!

Q: Just tell me a bit about your round today. He’s a super jumper, I think the atmosphere was quite a big deal – he came in a bit tight and tense and yes he rolled a pole but so what – he basically jumped very well indeed. The pressure was on and the course is the Rolex four star and it’s my second leg in the Grand Slam and I’ve never got this close before, but next week is another week mind you, but to be this close is so exciting and what a great way to finish up!

Continue reading William Fox-Pitt Wins Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and 2nd Leg of Rolex Grand Slam

William Fox-Pitt goes clear in the Show Jumping to win 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event

William Fox-Pitt (GBR) aboard Cool Mountain on their way to victory in the first leg of the HSBC FEI Classics™ at Lexington,KY (USA)
William Fox-Pitt (GBR) aboard Cool Mountain winning HSBC FEI Classics™ Rolex 3-Day Event (Click for larger image)

William Fox-Pitt (GBR) today, 25th April 2010, went clear in the Show Jumping on the final day at the 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event to crown his first win at ‘The Rolex’ with his starting dressage score of 42.8.

The top three final results were as follows:

1st William Fox-Pitt (GBR), Cool Mountain, 42.8
2nd Phillip Dutton (USA), Woodburn, 47.7
3rd Becky Holder (USA), Courageous Comet, 49.2

Audio interviews with William Fox-Pitt, Phillip Dutton, Becky Holder, the press conference after Day Three with the riders, Rupert Bell ‘s live commentary on William Fox-Pitt’s Show Jumping round, plus an interview with Oliver Townend reflecting on his cross country day and attempt to win the Rolex Grand Slam, are also available to listen to, and download for free, on the links below:

William Fox-Pitt (GBR):  http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/fox%20pitt%20end.mp3
Phillip Dutton (USA): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/dutton%20end.mp3
Becky Holder (USA): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/holder.mp3
Oliver Townend (GBR): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/townend%20end.mp3
William Fox-Pitt show jumping commentary by Rupert Bell: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken%20Comm%20Fox%20Pitt.mp3

Final day press conference with top three riders:https://download.yousendit.com/THE1R0lhZy84aVB2Wmc9PQ

Further news and details are available on www.rk3de.org and www.alltechfeigames.com

The 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, 22-25 April 2010.

Oliver Townend (GBR) 6th & 9th after Day 1 (Dressage) at Rolex KY Three-Day Event

Oliver Townend - Ashdale Cruise Master
Oliver Townend - Ashdale Cruise Master

Oliver Townend (GBR) currently lying 6th & 9th after Day 1 (Dressage) at Rolex KY Three-Day Event

(Click on images to open into a larger view)

April 23, 2010, Lexington, KY – Riding Ashdale Cruise Master (6th with a score of 46.2) and ODT Master Rose (9th with a score of 49.8), Townend is in a good position for the coveted Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize. William Fox-Pitt is currently lying 1st on Cool Mountain with a dressage score of 42.8.

Audio interviews with Oliver Townend and other key figures are also available to listen to, and download for free, on the links below:

Oliver Townend (GBR): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Townend_RD1.mp3
William Fox-Pitt (GBR): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Fox_pitt_dress.mp3
Allison Springer (USA): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Springer.mp3
Captain Mark Phillips: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Phillips.mp3
Mike Etherington-Smith, Cross-Country Course Designer: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Etherington_smith.mp3

Oliver Townend - ODT Master Rose

Further news and details are available on www.rk3de.org and www.alltechfeigames.com

William Fox-Pitt on Cool Mountain

Having won both the Badminton Horse Trials and the Burghley Horse Trials in 2009, Townend’s wins have set up a thrilling competition in Lexington, Kentucky, when he could become only the second rider, after Pippa Funnell, to scoop the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam for winning the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, all in succession. So far the Rolex Grand Slam feat has only been achieved by Pippa Funnell, who won all three competitions in 2003 on two different horses.

The 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, 22-25 April 2010.

Oliver Townend (GBR) currently lying 6th & 9th after Day 1 (Dressage) at Rolex KY Three-Day Event

April 23, 2010, Lexington, KY – Riding Ashdale Cruise Master (6th with a score of 46.2) and ODT Master Rose (9th with a score of 49.8), Townend is in a good position for the coveted Rolex Grand Slam of Eventing prize. William Fox-Pitt is currently lying 1st on Cool Mountain with a dressage score of 42.8.

Copyright free hi-res photography of Oliver Townend from Day One is now available to download and overnight leader – William Fox-Pitt. This is a complimentary service provided by Rolex. Please find the photographs below:

Audio interviews with Oliver Townend and other key figures are also available to listen to, and download for free, on the links below:

Oliver Townend (GBR): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Townend_RD1.mp3
William Fox-Pitt (GBR): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Fox_pitt_dress.mp3
Allison Springer (USA): http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Springer.mp3
Captain Mark Phillips: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Phillips.mp3
Mike Etherington-Smith, Cross-Country Course Designer: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Ken_Etherington_smith.mp3

Further news and details are available on www.rk3de.org and www.alltechfeigames.com

Having won both the Badminton Horse Trials and the Burghley Horse Trials in 2009, Townend’s wins have set up a thrilling competition in Lexington, Kentucky, when he could become only the second rider, after Pippa Funnell, to scoop the $350,000 Rolex Grand Slam for winning the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials, and the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, all in succession. So far the Rolex Grand Slam feat has only been achieved by Pippa Funnell, who won all three competitions in 2003 on two different horses.

The 2010 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, 22-25 April 2010.