CHI Geneva 2017: December 7th-10th, Palexpo, Geneva (SUI)
The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is entering the next round: The best riders in the world are travelling to the banks of Lake Geneva for the last Major in the year to face the ultimate challenge of the equestrian sport once again.
Since the first international show in the year 1926, the CHI Geneva has been considered a synonym for jumping sport at the highest level and tradition that comes to life. The names of the winners of the famous Rolex Grand Prix will certainly remain unforgotten.
Last year a Brazilian showjumper wrote history in Geneva: Riding his top horse Quabri de l’Isle, Pedro Veniss asserted himself against the international superstars and celebrated his first ever Major victory at Palexpo, the biggest indoor arena in the world. “It is the best thing ever, the biggest achievement in my career,” is how the 34-year-old Veniss described his outstanding performance almost exactly one year ago, which “made a childhood dream come true” and ensured that his name hit the headlines.
However, recently the name of a young German rider made the headlines in connection with the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: In September, Philipp Weishaupt won the Grand Prix at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2017 and will thus be competing in Geneva as the current Grand Slam contender. A scenario that the 32-year-old is already familiar with, since he also won the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in 2016. Back then, he didn’t succeed in picking up a Grand Slam bonus, because he didn’t finish first at either of the subsequent Majors. However this is all going to change now: “The fact that I have been able to win the two outdoor Majors has awaken my ambition all the more to win the two indoor Majors. It is going to be difficult, but I am going to try my very hardest,” assured Philipp Weishaupt. If he succeeds in jumping to the top again in Geneva, he would be riding for the Grand Slam title in the Netherlands at The Dutch Masters in March 2018.
So, it goes without saying that all eyes will be cast upon Philipp Weishaupt, when he enters the ring for the Rolex Grand Prix on December 10th. But he won’t be the only rider the spectators will be keeping a close eye on: Grégory Wathelet from Belgium was able to win the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen in July and thus has the opportunity in Geneva to claim a 250,000 Euro bonus for two Major victories within one Grand Slam cycle. Not to mention the public’s favourite, Steve Guerdat: The Swiss Olympic gold medallist has already managed to ride to victory in the Geneva Major three times, most recently in the year 2015. He will no doubt be extremely keen to have his name eternalised on the winner’s list of the Rolex Grand Prix again. Who is going to go down in history as Major winner at the CHI Geneva in 2017?