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Steve Guerdat Wins the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

Steve Guerdat (SUI) and Nino des Buissonnets, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix, Geneva 2013 © Rolex/Kit Houghton.

New Live Contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Geneva, Switzerland 15 December 2013, In front of a huge crowd of over 9,500 fans, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat riding the great Nino des Buissonnets, today won the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, and becomes the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Each time he entered the arena, the Swiss crowd greeted Rolex Testimonee Guerdat with wave after wave of cheers, which at one stage seemed to rock the foundations of the huge Palexpo Arena. He was one of 10 riders to make it through to the jump-off and, fourth to go, his time of 43.26 seconds was only briefly threatened by the World No. 1 Scott Brash (GBR), who produced a second clear round just 0.32 seconds behind Guerdat.

“I get a little scared sometimes on what is going to be next and how I am ever going to be able to give to the fans who have already had so much success with me here over the years. But every year I come back and something new happens and some bigger wins and it just feels amazing!” said a delighted Guerdat.

“Nino has won so much already since the Olympics – he is not jumping a lot but every time he goes out he is in the top and again today. He is just in a class of his own,” continued Guerdat.

At one stage it looked as though Belgium’s Peter Devos, riding Candy, could make it a ‘double’ by winning a second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – he was the ‘live’ contender having won the CN International presented by Rolex, at Spruce Meadows in September. Having gone clear in the first round he went into the jump-off showing good form, but two poles down and eight faults put paid to his chances of taking the Rolex Grand Prix title.

It was a truly exciting Rolex Grand Prix, with 10 superb spectacular clears around the 14 fence course. The first clear came from the Rolex Grand Prix winner at Calgary – Pieter Devos and Candy. Athina Onassis Miranda (GRE) rode a brilliant round, but was very unlucky to get one time fault on AD Camille Z. Her husband Alvaro de Miranda (BRA) was next into the arena and rode a great clear, followed by Hans-Dieter Dreher (GER) who also left the ring on a clean sheet on the stunning Embassy II. Then followed seven more riders with clear rounds; Luciana Diniz (POR), Gerco Schröder (NED), Simon Delestre (FRA), Scott Brash, Kevin Staut (FRA) and Patrice Delaveau (FRA).

The 2013 CHI Geneva has been the most successful in the show’s long history with over 40,000 spectators packing into the Palexpo over the four days to watch the some of the world’s best riders including Rolex Testimonees Kevin Staut, Eric Lamaze, Meredith Michaesl-Beerbaum and Rodrigo Pessoa compete at the highest level of the sport.

Alban Poudret, Sports Director for CHI Geneva, commented: “It is like a dream; we are flying at the Palexpo Arena. For us, always when Steve wins, it’s a big gift, because he is the rider of the show. But this year it was something special you know with the Rolex Grand Slam and more pressure for us, more pressure for Steve, for everybody. To have him winning, it’s really a dream come true, but I think he is even better when he has big pressure. He has won eight major Grands Prix in Geneva in nine years; it’s incredible. Nobody did that. The bigger the pressure, the better he is!”

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping now takes a break until CHIO Aachen from 11-20 July 2014, but Rolex continues to support the sport at the highest level and will be the Official Timepiece at the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida from 9 January to 31 March 2014, and also at Indoor Brabant from 20 to 23 March 2014.

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping features three of the world’s greatest equestrian shows – the CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament and CHI Geneva – and is the first global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the Grand Prix at each show in succession. The winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping will be rewarded with a €1 million bonus prize.

For details of the final placings in the CHI Geneva Rolex Grand Prix, please click: http://results.scgvisual.com/2013/geneve/r21.html.


Rolex Equestrianism Press Room:

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – The Rules

The rules of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping are simple: any rider that wins the Grand Prix at each of the three shows consecutively will receive €1m on top of the prize-money for each show’s Grand Prix. Moreover, any rider that wins two out of the three show’s Grands Prix will also receive a bonus.

If the Grands Prix at two shows are won in succession, the bonus will be €500,000. If a rider is successful in qualifying for the “two out of three mode”, but doesn’t claim the victories at two consecutive shows’ Grands Prix, the bonus will be €250,000. It is only the rider that counts, not the horse i.e. it is possible to claim the bonus riding different horses. This system is infinite; it is not limited to a calendar year.

Three wins in a row – €1,000,000
Two wins in a row – €500,000
Two wins out of three (not consecutively) – €250,000

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Olympic Champion Guerdat Wins, but Diniz Tops the Leaderboard after Second-Day Rolex Thriller

Steven Guerdat and Nino des Buissonnets jumped into contention when winning tonight’s second leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final. Photo: FEI/Kit Houghton.

Gothenburg (SWE), 26 April 2013 – Olympic champion, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, won tonight’s second leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final with a spectacular performance from his London 2012 ride, Nino des Buissonnets.  But it is Portugal’s Luciana Diniz and Lennox who hold the lead going into Sunday’s deciding competition after the three riders lying ahead of her on the leaderboard all faulted today.

In a competition that bristled with excitement from the outset, Guerdat produced a devastating turn of speed in the 15-horse jump-off to clinch it, while The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager slotted into second place.  Diniz’s third place finish was confirmed when Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (Quintero la Silla), Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer (Picsou du Chene) and America’s Beezie Madden (Simon) all followed her into the ring but failed to leave the course intact.  It was deep disappointment for Madden after her opening-day triumph, but she trails Diniz by just a single penalty point going into Sunday’s third and final leg.


There were 38 starters following the withdrawal of Hong Kong’s Raena Leung, and a generous 15 clears were recorded over Uliano Vezzani’s first-round track.  The double of vertical to oxer at fence eight proved the most testing of the 13 obstacles, and continued to play its part as the jump-off unfolded.

Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander and Ego van Orti led the way against the clock with a clear in 42.10 seconds and Latvia’s Kristaps Neretnieks shaved two seconds off that with Monte Bellini before Ireland’s Denis Lynch lowered the first element of the double at eight, now the third fence on the track, in a very speedy 38.33 seconds with All Star.  The turn from the oxer at fence five, now second on the new course, to that first element of the double would prove crucial to the result and Germany’s Marcus Ehning was the next victim here with Copin van de Broy.

It was Frenchman Roger-Yves Bost who recorded the next clear with one of his trademark thrillers from the equally-electrified Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois who broke the beam in 37.92 seconds to take the lead.  Belgium’s Ludo Philippaerts and Challenge V Begijnakker were almost a half-second quicker, but a stumble after the second element of the double left this pair off balance and even though they established a shorter route by turning between the second fence and the second element of the former triple combination – now the penultimate fence – he hit the vertical after the double for four faults in 37.42 seconds.

Plan Was to Win

Guerdat was next into the ring and, as he said afterwards, “My plan was to win. I knew if my horse was clear he would be difficult to beat. The turn before the double wasn’t so good so that made it easy to decide to do the turn after it.” His breath-taking run to the penultimate oxer and his racing gallop to the final Rolex oxer brought gasps from the crowd as the clock showed 34.09 seconds.

Try as they would, the rest just couldn’t match that, although the next rider into the ring, Dutchman Marc Houtzager, came closest when breaking the beam in 36.80 with Sterrehof’s Tamino.  America’s Reed Kessler (Cylana) and McLain Ward (Super Trooper de Ness) both had a fence down but, with just five left to go, Frenchman Kevin Staut was clear with Silvana HDC in 39.23 seconds and then Diniz followed suit with Lennox in 37.22.

The crowd went wild as home hero and reigning FEI European champion, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, set sail with Quintero la Silla, but they fell afoul of the tricky turn to the first element of the double, while Pius Schwizer momentarily lost his line of communication with Picsou du Chene, and it cost him dearly when the gelding faltered after the first fence and then demolished the second. They also brought down the vertical third-last, and their nine faults in total saw the Swiss man who has been so consistent in the Rolex series in recent seasons slip dramatically down the leaderboard.

Cool as Cucumbers

First-day winners, Beezie Madden and Simon, looked cool as cucumbers over the early part of the track, but it suddenly fell apart coming down to the second-last and although they cleared that, their frenzied run to the last resulted in a very expensive four faults that saw them finish ninth in this competition and slip down the overall standings to second place.

There is so little in it going into the final day however, with Diniz holding just a single-point advantage over Madden and Kevin Staut stalking the leading ladies another point further in arrears. They had better all look out for Staut.  He is a man on a mission, and his delight at another fault-free performance from his much-loved mare made his big smile even wider tonight. Bengtsson lies fourth ahead of Houtzager in fifth, and if Guerdat’s form today is anything to go by then he will be a force to be seriously reckoned with as he holds sixth spot.

Guerdat said tonight, “I needed to win today to have any chance of moving up the ranking.  My horse was good yesterday; the mistake was unlucky; sometimes you touch the poles and they stay up and sometimes they don’t.”

Route to the Final

Guerdat talked about his route to the 2013 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final.  “I messed up the timing a little bit.  After the Olympics I decided to rest Nino as much as possible but maybe I did it too much.  I took him to Bordeaux, Den Bosch and Lanaken, but unfortunately he lived up to his character and he wasn’t listening at all and started stopping on me.  There was panic in the house at this stage, but we decided to take him to Paris where he wasn’t too good either, so then I started riding him twice a day to get his confidence again before coming here to Sweden.  Yesterday he wasn’t perfect but he was really good today.  I’m hoping that we are not coming right one day too late.”

Diniz congratulated course-designer Vezzani. “The course design has been wonderful for me – I love him!” she said.  Talking about her lead-up to Gothenburg, she said, “I had two big victories in January, the Grand Prix at Basel and Zurich, and they have given me confidence; they gave me motivation and to finish in the top three on Sunday is my plan now. I’m happy and enjoying every round; I’m in the best phase of my life.  The goal is always to enjoy my horse; top five would have been good enough for me today!” she added.

Big Pressure

Guerdat teased Rolf-Goran Bengtsson by interjecting, when the Swede was asked if he felt big pressure in front of his home crowd, “He’s so old it’s no problem for him!”

Rolf laughed and agreed – “Steve is a little bit right; I’ve been here so many times but jumping in front of the home crowd gives me even more motivation.” Talking about Quintero la Silla, he said, “I’m pleased with him.  He was a little strong between one and two in the first round but ended up good and clear.  In the jump-off I wanted to go fast. I saw Steve so I knew I couldn’t beat such a perfect round.  We were too deep to the first and then I rode too aggressive to the double and had one down, that’s the way it goes!”

He will ride Quintero again on Sunday.  “He maybe has more scope than Casall; he always wants to go clear even though he has a very special way of getting over his fences!” Bengtsson explained.

Scope will be in big demand as Vezzani throws down one final challenge for Sunday’s last two-round competition which will decide the fate of the 2013 Rolex FEI World Cup title.


Result of Second Final Competition : 1, Nino des Buissonnets (Steve Guerdat) SUI 0/0 34.09; 2, Sterrehof’s Tamino (Marc Houtzager) NED 0/0 36.80; 3, Lennox (Luciana Diniz) POR 0/0 37.22; 4, Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois (Roger-Yves Bost) FRA 0/0 37.92; 5, Silvana HDC (Kevin Staut) FRA 0/0 39.23; 6, Conte Bellini (Kristaps Neretnieks) LAT 0/0 40.23; 7, Ego Van Orti (Edwina Tops-Alexander) AUS 0/0 42.10; 8, Super Trooper de Ness (McLain Ward) USA 0/4 35.98; 9, Simon (Beezie Madden) USA 0/4 36.62; 10, Quintero La Silla (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) SWE 0/4 36.81; 11, Challenge VD Begijnakker (Ludo Philippaerts) BEL 0/4 36.81; 12, Cylana (Reed Kessler) USA 0/4 37.83; 13, All Star (Denis Lynch) IRL 0/4 38.33; 14, Copin van de Broy (Marcus Ehning) GER 0/4 40.19; 15, Picsou du Chene (Pius Schwizer) SUI 0/8 43.53.

Full result here.

Standings going into Sunday’s Final Competition: 1, Lennox (Luciana Diniz) POR 0; 2, Simon (Beezie Madden) USA 1; 3, Silvana HDC (Kevin Staut) FRA 2; 4, Quintero la Silla/Casall la Silla (Rolf-Goran Bengtsson) SWE 3; 5, Sterrehof’s Tamino/Sterrehof’s Uppity (Marc Houtzager) NED 4; 6, Nino des Buissonnets (Steve Guerdat) SUI 5; 6, Picsou du Chene/Verdi III (Pius Schwizer) SUI 5; 6, Super Trooper de Ness (McLain Ward) USA 5; 9, Carlo (Sergio Alvarez Moya) ESP 8; 10, Cylana (Reed Kessler) USA 9.

Standings after the second of the three Final competitions here.

Audio Links:

Luciana Diniz

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Rolex_diniz_por.mp3   Portuguese
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Rolex_diniz_eng.mp3  English

Steve Guerdat

http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Rolex_guerdat_day2_eng.mp3  English
http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Rolex_guerdat_day2_french.mp3   French

Marc Houtzager


Facts and Figures:

38 starters after the withdrawal of Hong Kong’s Raena Leung (Orphee du Granit).

15 first-round clears.

7 clear in the second-round jump-off.

There was a full house of 12,000 spectators in the Scandinavium Arena in Gothenburg, Sweden tonight.

With points now turned into penalties, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz heads the leaderboard going into Sunday’s deciding competition ahead of first-day winner Beezie Madden from the USA.

13 fences on the first-round course designed by Uliano Vezzani.

The double at fence eight proved influential in both the first round and jump-off against the clock.


Houtzager -”I didn’t see Steve going and I didn’t take all the risks but when I came to the finish three seconds slower than him I felt he must have been flying because my horse isn’t that slow!”

Uliano Vezzani – “My target was for 10 into the jump-off, but I was happy because all horses jumped very well.  Sunday is the last day over two rounds and the horses should be good for that.  I had my plan ready for Sunday already but got more information today so I may change it just a little.”

For further information on the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2012/2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden (24-28 April), check out www.gothenburghorseshow.com.

By Louise Parkes

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Olympic Champion Takes Over World Number One Slot on Rolex Rankings

Steve Guerdat competing with Nino des Buissonnets at the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping qualifier in Stuttgart. © Karl Heinz Frieler/FEI

Lausanne (SUI), 6 November 2012 – Steve Guerdat (SUI), the newly-crowned Olympic champion, has taken over as World Number One on the Rolex Rankings list published today. With 2,525 points, Guerdat takes over from European champion Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), who drops down to fourth place (2378).

Olympic team gold medallist Nick Skelton (GBR) is in second place, just three points ahead of Germany’s Christian Ahlmann.

It has been a historic season for Guerdat, who turned 30 in June, and for Swiss equestrianism. Guerdat became the first Swiss rider to be crowned Olympic Jumping champion since 1928 when he steered the talented 11-year old Selle Français Nino des Buissonnets to individual gold at London 2012. In the last 12 months he has picked up Rolex Ranking points in no less than 89 competitions.

Continue reading Olympic Champion Takes Over World Number One Slot on Rolex Rankings

New Olympic Medallists Line Out at FEI Nations Cup 2012 Series Finale in Dublin

Steve Guerdat, pictured with Nino des Buissonnets on his way to taking individual jumping gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, will be a member of the Swiss team in the last leg of the FEI Nations Cup 2012 series. Photo: FEI/Kit Houghton.

Dublin (IRL), 14 August 2012 – With the roars of the crowd at Greenwich Park still ringing in their ears, five medallists from the London 2012 Olympic Games will be in action as the last leg of the FEI Nations Cup 2012 gets underway at the Royal Dublin Society showgrounds in Dublin (IRL) next Friday afternoon.  And it promises to be a real battle, because just 3.5 points separate the bottom six teams as the premier eight-leg, eight-nation contest draws to a close.

The defending series champions from Germany hold a strong 10-point lead over France at the head of affairs, but Great Britain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium are all bunched closely together, and none of them want to finish up at the bottom of the pile.

The Swiss side boasts the new Olympic individual jumping champion, Steve Guerdat, while Olympic team gold medallist, Nick Skelton, is included in the British selection.  Team silver medallists, Jur Vrieling and Marc Houtzager, will be lining out for The Netherlands and the Irish crowd will be celebrating the return of Cian O’Connor who clinched individual Olympic bronze.

Continue reading New Olympic Medallists Line Out at FEI Nations Cup 2012 Series Finale in Dublin

Guerdat Takes Individual Olympic Gold for Switzerland

(L to R) Gerco Schroder (NED) silver, gold medallist Steve Guerdat (SUI) and bronze medallist Cian O'Connor (IRL). Photo: FEI/Kit Houghton.

London (GBR), 8 August 2012 – Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat claimed individual jumping gold at the London 2012 Olympic venue at Greenwich Park today when he was the only rider in the final competition to maintain a completely clean sheet in the two rounds. And in a thrilling two-way third-round jump off, The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder pipped Ireland’s Cian O’Connor for silver.

Hopes had been high for a fairytale British ending to a week of fantastic jumping sport, but it wasn’t to be. And it was a very last-minute affair for O’Connor who only made the cut when Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson’s stallion, Casall, was withdrawn after being sent to the holding box at this morning’s final veterinary inspection. This allowed the three riders sharing reserve spot to take their chance, and the Irishman grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Bengtsson, silver medallist at the 2008 Beijing Games, was disappointed when he couldn’t compete. “I’ve been working towards this since Hong Kong, but the horse has to be my first priority,” he said. Swedish team vet Jonas Tornell explained, “Casall got a small injury on his left front leg during the second round of the team competition.”

Continue reading Guerdat Takes Individual Olympic Gold for Switzerland

Steve Guerdat Celebrates the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, Lake Geneva

Steve Guerdat celebrates winning the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final with the Trophy in front of Lake Geneva, the morning after having won the competition in the Geneva Palexpo on Friday 10th December 2010.

Riding Jalisca Solier, Guerdat won the two-round event featuring the World’s Top 10 riders as based on the Rolex Rankings, ahead of 2nd place Denis Lynch (IRL) riding Lantinus and 3rd place Eric Lamaze (CAN) riding Hickstead.

The results of the 10th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final:

1. Steve Guerdat (SUI), Jalisca Solier
2. Denis Lynch (IRL), Lantinus
3. Eric Lamaze (CAN), Hickstead
4. Marcus Ehning (GER), Plot Bleu
5. Penelope Leprevost (FRA), Mylord Carthago
6. McLain Ward (USA), Sapphire
7. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), Casall La Silla
8. Kevin Staut (FRA), Silvana de Hus
9. Edwina Alexander (AUS), Cevo Itot du Chateau
10. Pius Schwizer (SUI), Ulysse

Guerdat Wins Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final

The riders competing in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final are Kevin Staut, Denis Lynch, Pius Schwizer, Edwina Alexander, Steve Guerdat, McLain Ward, Rolf-Goran Bengtsson, Penelope Leprevost, Marcus Ehning, and Eric Lamaze.

Steve Guerdat (SUI) today, Friday 10th December 2010, won the 10th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva, Switzerland.

Riding Jalisca Solier, Guerdat won the two-round event featuring the World’s Top 10 riders as based on the Rolex Rankings, ahead of 2nd place Denis Lynch (IRL) riding Lantinus and 3rd place Eric Lamaze (CAN) riding Hickstead.

The results of the 10th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final:

1. Steve Guerdat (SUI), Jalisca Solier
2. Denis Lynch (IRL), Lantinus
3. Eric Lamaze (CAN), Hickstead
4. Marcus Ehning (GER), Plot Bleu
5. Penelope Leprevost (FRA), Mylord Carthago
6. McLain Ward (USA), Sapphire
7. Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE), Casall La Silla
8. Kevin Staut (FRA), Silvana de Hus
9. Edwina Alexander (AUS), Cevo Itot du Chateau
10. Pius Schwizer (SUI), Ulysse