GENEVA – Legends are born in Geneva! At the third and last Major Show of the year, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping returns to the location, where the most extraordinary triumph in sporting history all started exactly twelve months ago.
Here at the Palexpo, the largest indoor arena in the world, this most impressive merger between purpose and aura, the British show-jumper Scott Brash won the “Rolex Grand Prix” of the CHI Geneva 2014. It was a moment for eternity, when he crossed the finish line with his outstanding horse “Hello Sanctos” clear and in the fastest time. A moment full of luck, a moment of triumph. And it wasn’t the only one either: Brash‘s journey with Rolex had only just begun. Ahead of him lay Aachen and Spruce Meadows. To win the three big Majors of the equestrian sport in succession was his goal from then on, his big challenge. No rider had ever succeeded in doing so before him. Yet, Brash made the impossible possible: He won in Aachen, he won in Spruce Meadows and thus went down in history as the first winner ever of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Brash is here again now to continue writing history: He wants to defend the title. “It is going to be difficult, but I will do everything necessary to stand up on the top step again,” assured the 30-year-old. Riding to victory at the Major in Geneva – one of the most demanding Grand Prix in the world – is the dream of all top riders.
In 2013, the Swiss local hero, Steve Guerdat, won the competition. Now he wants to reclaim the title, in front of his crowd, on his “piste”. “Geneva is my home show, riding here is something very special for me,” commented the Olympic gold medallist. “I will be on the offence, I will certainly give it my best shot to win the Grand Prix!”
But he is by no means on his own there: Ludger Beerbaum and Daniel Deußer from Germany, Jeroen Dubbeldam from the Netherlands, Kevin Staut, Pénélope Leprévost and Simon Delestre from France, Eric Lamaze from Canada, Bertram Allen from Ireland, Gregory Wathelet from Belgium, Kent Farrington from the USA – they are the big names of the equestrian sport, the best in the world ranking. They are the winners and runners-up of many Championships, who want to prove their skills to a crowd of 9,400 spectators in a huge arena spanning 5,400 square metres.
In 1926, Geneva hosted an international equestrian show for the first time. The Swiss metropolis has been the venue for equestrian sport in a class of its own ever since. Since the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping was founded in 2013, the CHI Geneva has ultimately become part of a new era: Three world-class shows. One million Euros in addition to the prize-money. A place in the hall of fame of the sport for eternity. Geneva, Aachen, Spruce Meadows.
Who is going to win the “Rolex Grand Prix”? Will Scott Brash succeed in carrying off this feat again? Whose name will be the title of the new chapter in equestrian sport history?
One thing is sure: The story will begin at the CHI Geneva 2015. Here, at the Palexpo, here with the best riders in the world faced with the probably biggest challenge of the equestrian sport.
The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has begun again!