One year after its premiere the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping returned to the place where it all began: In the impressive arena in Aachen, this cathedral of the equestrian sport. 40,000 enthusiastic spectators celebrated Christian Ahlmann. With this victory, his personal Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has begun.
Of the five riders in the jump-off, Christian Ahlmann, who had saddled Codex One, was the only one to jump clear. "I have thought about this moment for 20 years," commented Ahlmann. Then he immediately looked to the future again: "Of course, I would like to take the next step in the Rolex Grand Slam and compete at the Spruce Meadows Masters – provided that I stay fit and healthy. The Rolex Grand Slam is an important challenge for us show-jumpers. It means a lot to me that Rolex has launched this initiative and is giving us show-jumpers the opportunity to win such prize-money and arouse such attention. Now, I will try to make the most out of my personal Rolex Grand Slam."
His horse obviously also enjoyed the new "Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping" challenge – because Codex One pushed the trophy with his nose as if to say: "I'll see you again in September at the Spruce Meadows Masters…“. Because the rider who wins the three Major shows the CHIO Aachen, the Spruce Meadows "Masters" and the CHI in Geneva in succession, wins the Grand Slam and will become a sporting legend – as well as receiving an additional one million Euros in prize-money. A bonus also beckons to a rider, who wins two of the three shows. If the shows are won straight after each other, the bonus is 500,000 Euros. If the equestrian athlete succeeds in winning in the "two out of three mode", i.e. two shows but not in succession, the bonus is 250,000 Euros. It is possible to win the bonus riding different horses.
At the beginning of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen 2014, the attention was focused on the Swiss Olympic gold medallist, Steve Guerdat, who won the last Major show in Geneva and also on Pieter Devos from Belgium, who rode to victory at the Major in Spruce Meadows in Canada last September. Both riders had good chances in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping before the Rolex Grand Prix began. However, for Steve Guerdat the dream of winning the second Major in a row ended early with four faults at the water ditch. "My goal was to win here and everything felt great," said Guerdat, "perhaps I should have fought a bit harder at the water jump." Pieter Devos didn't have a good day either, he had a refusal at a water jump. The Belgian rider nevertheless enjoyed his stay in Aachen: "It was a nice Grand Prix, a great experience for my young horse."