Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs becomes the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender following his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva. The formidable duo of Fuchs and Clooney 51 once again showed the strength of their partnership, producing a speedy clear round in the jump-off (38.60 seconds) that proved impossible to catch. Great Britain’s Scott Brash was just 0.05 seconds behind his fellow Rolex Testimonee securing second place with Hello Senator and Belgium’s Jérôme Guery finished in third.
How does it feel to win your first Major?
Wow! This is a huge win for me, it is certainly a career highlight and tops off an unbelievable year for me. I am so happy.
What does CHI Geneva mean to you now?
It is one of best shows in the world and one that every rider wants to win. I am so happy that I was able to be so competitive at this Rolex Major and to win the Rolex Grand Prix in front of my home crowd is so special.
Clooney 51 is a superstar; how did he feel today?
Clooney is a phenomenal horse and his performance was exceptional today. Everyone saw what he did in the arena, he tries so hard and is just amazing.
Super Saturday at CHI Geneva
The biggest U25 class at the CHI Geneva, the Grand Prix des Espoirs, was won by USA’s Coco Fath and her chestnut gelding, Exotik Sitte. The 19-year-old from Fairfield Connecticut produced an electric jump-off to seal the victory in the time of 34.89 seconds.
Fath commented on her win, “I am so honored and humbled to just be a part of this legendary event but to win here is a dream come true. I am lucky to have such an incredible team behind me at Amethyst Equestrian with Rodrigo, Alexa, and Fran (our groom) all here supporting me, as well as the equally incredible team at home cheering from afar! And of course the inimitable Exotik Sitte aka Scotty who is the best partner I could ask for!”
It was an emotional Saturday evening at the CHI Geneva as the show jumping world bid goodbye to Scott Brash’s legendary horse, Hello Sanctos, in a special retirement service. Brash paid tribute to the horse that helped him become the only rider to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping; “He’s made all my dreams come true and I really can’t thank him enough for what he has done. I also need to thank my owners for believing in me and believing in Sanctos. We had an incredible partnership and I hope he will be remembered as a superstar.”
A legend’s words with: Peter Charles
You have had success at CHI Geneva in the past, what does this show mean to you?
I think coming here you know you are competing at one of the best shows in the world. You have all the best riders and horses here providing top sport entertainment. The introduction of the IJRC Rolex Top 10 Final was a fantastic idea as you have all the top riders in one place. I think the introduction of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has enhanced the event even more. Linking four of the best Shows in the world makes the sport even more interesting, it gives them a different dimension and this is without a doubt one of the most important shows in the Calendar.
You have had a long and successful career, are you passing your wisdom onto your children now?
I think it is very important to evolve yourself as a trainer with the sport, see the different variations; time allowed has got a lot quicker, the distances have changed and are a lot more technical. If you jump in Spruce Meadows it’s a very different concept to here in Geneva. You wouldn’t necessarily use the same horse for both events for example. You have to be very clever how you target different events and Grands Prix with different horses.
Do you get nervous watching Harry compete?
My wife does! She gets very nervous and always feels sick when they compete! He’s still got a lot to learn but he is in the perfect place for that. He is now surrounded by the world’s best riders when he competes, so he can learn so much from them. Scott (Brash) and Ben (Maher) are very good with him, they help him out, everyone works so well together and is there for each other. I always like to see older riders giving advice to younger riders. It is very rewarding and lovely to see them give back to the sport.
How important is the Young Riders Academy and the introduction of the U25 classes for younger generation trying to climb the ladder in the sport?
Everything has to evolve. Whether you’re 16, 18 or 25 the Young Riders Academy caters for those age groups. It is vital to our sport and it’s vital that it keeps going. Rolex has been fantastic at sponsoring it and showing support for it. It gets these riders into the yards of top professionals, whether it’s vet clinics, accounting advice or how to run a business and what the real world is like. The Young Riders Academy is giving a great cushion to these up and coming athletes and allowing them to prepare for the professional world. I think we have the greatest Chairman in Eleonora she is amazing. If she got paid for all the hours she works on it, she would be a billionaire! She is instrumental and very good at what she does so a lot of the credit has to go to her.
What are your dreams and aspirations for your children?
They have all decided on their own that they would like to ride professionally. My daughters are riding at 2/3* level now. The main thing is finding a team of good horses that they can compete on but also teaching them how the business works. It’s not just about going to the shows, you have to look at sales, teaching etc. it’s all part of it and you have to have a really good team. I don’t put too much pressure on them, what will be will be. I do believe that they have the talent, so if they work hard there is no reason, they can’t all achieve great things.