(Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder)
The organisers of The Dutch Masters delivered world-class sport on the opening day of the first Rolex Grand Slam Major of the year. The VDL Groep Prize was the highlight of the day with Rolex Grand Slam live contender, Martin Fuchs (SUI), maintaining his top form aboard The Sinner to claim the title. Daniel Deusser set the pace as first to go in the jump-off finishing eventual second with his Rolex Grand Prix horse, Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z.
The course designed by Louis Konickx proved challenging, with only nine horse and rider combinations, representing five nations, reaching the jump-off to battle it out under the bright lights of the Brabanthallen’s main arena. The return of spectators for the first time since 2019 was especially welcomed by the strong contingent of Dutch riders, who received a roaring echo of cheers as they entered the ring, but in the end, it was Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs who dominated the class to start his ‘The Dutch Masters’ quest in spectacular fashion.
Congratulations! What was the course like to ride?
It was a very good course; there were a lot of faults everywhere, but the course designer did a very good job. It was great to perform in front of the crowd here and I am very happy with my round.
Tell us a little bit about The Sinner.
The Sinner has always been very competitive from when I first got him, even when I wasn’t so used to him. Now we’ve had some very nice jump-offs together, so this gives me a lot of confidence entering a big jump-off knowing that my horse is able to do it, knowing what we are able to do it together, so it’s possible to make a plan and that plan went well today.
You are the live contender, and have started your bid to continue your Rolex Grand Slam journey very well. Does this give you extra confidence ahead of the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday?
It’s very nice to start The Dutch Masters with a win in the big class. For the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, I will be riding Conner Jei, who is fairly green and new at this level, but I’m very excited and looking forward to it. He hasn’t done too much indoor work recently, but he is a wonderful horse, and I am hoping to continue our Rolex Grand Slam journey with a win on Sunday.
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