The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping returns to the CHI Geneva, from 6–10 December, with an action-packed schedule of sport and entertainment. The show brings together an outstanding line-up of elite riders for five days of compelling action, including the 22nd running of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final on Friday evening and the pinnacle class of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon.
Held in the impressive Palexpo Arena, the world’s elite horse and rider combinations will tackle some of the toughest tracks of the year, at is what is often considered the sport’s leading indoor Show Jumping venue. Taking part in this year’s show is a remarkable line-up of riders including 16 of the top 20 riders, and nine Rolex Testimonees.
Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Rider Watch
Martin Fuchs became the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender after claiming the prestigious CPKC ‘International’ Grand Prix, presented by Rolex at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament in September, with the striking grey gelding Leone Jei. The Swiss rider will surely go into the CHI Geneva brimming with confidence – Fuchs became the first rider in history to win successive editions of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva (2021 and 2019), whilst last year he was narrowly beaten by the American rider McLain Ward. With this impressive history of results at the venue and the support of the home crowd, Fuchs will surely to the one to beat.
Fuchs’ Swiss teammate, Steve Guerdat, is another favourite for this historic prize. This summer, Guerdat added a FEI European Championship individual gold medal to his two previous team European golds, aboard the extremely talented 10-year-old mare Dynamix De Belheme. The Swiss rider, who is often revered to be the ultimate horseman, has claimed three Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors, two of which have been in the Palexpo. Guerdat and Fuchs will be joined by 15 compatriots including the talented young rider Edouard Schmitz, who will be looking for his first Major win.
Another previous winner of this celebrated class is Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington. Farrington has been rebuilding his string of horses over the past few years following his incredible successes with Gazelle, including winning the Rolex Grands Prix at the CHI Geneva in 2017 and the CHIO Aachen in 2019. The American may have found his next Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major winner in Landon, with whom he took home both the team gold and individual silver medals at the recent Pan American Games. Fellow American, and Rolex Testimonee Jessica Springsteen, will also be in action. Springsteen, has had an impressive year with a number of notable results including a 5* Grand Prix victory in London over the summer.
World No.2 Ben Maher, has won almost every competition going, including individual gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, however he is still yet to win a Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major. The British rider bounced back from an injury earlier in the season with a number of impressive results including winning the Rolex Grand Prix, presented by Audi at the Brussels Stephex Masters and the FEI World Cup™ Qualifier in Verona.
Maher will be joined by two other notable British athletes, Rolex Testimonees Scott Brash and Harry Charles. Brash is still to date, the only rider to have claimed the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – the sport’s ultimate challenge and most coveted prize. Conversely, Charles will head to Geneva in search for his first Major victory. The World No. 1 Under-25 rider will be full of confidence following a successful autumn campaign, which includes winning the German Masters in November.
The current FEI World Champion, Henrik von Eckermann, has now held the World No.1 spot for the past 15 months. The Swedish rider has an exceptional string of horses, and will certainly be one of the favourites when he canters into the impressive main arena at the Palexpo. Having won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final last year, von Eckermann will be looking to add the silver salver to his impressive collection of results.
France has a number of representatives who could challenge for the top placings, including Julien Epaillard. The Frenchman had a spectacular 2022, with over 75 international wins – this form has very much continued into 2023, with Epaillard claiming an individual bronze medal at the FEI European Championships and team silver at the FEI Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona. Teammate, Simon Delestre, a former World No.1, is always one to beat, and this year came close to claiming his first Major in the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters however, heartbreakingly the last fence fell.
Germany too has an impressive list of entries, including three time Major winner, Daniel Deusser, individual bronze medalist at the FEI European Championships Phillip Weishaupt, and the winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen, Marcus Ehning.
The Irish will also have a strong chance at taking home the prestigious title with five riders set to take on Gérard Lachat’s course, including Bertram Allen, who was part of the victorious team in the BMO Nations Cup at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament as well as coming third in the CPKC ‘International’ Grand Prix, presented by Rolex at the same venue.