Pieter Devos stayed totally cool in the final round of the best twelve show-jumpers at the legendary Spruce Meadows 'Masters'. The Belgian rider was the only competitor to jump clear in the "CN International presented by Rolex". This triumph marked the start of his own personal Rolex Grand Slam, a challenge that he has the chance of pursuing at the CHI in Geneva from December 12th-15th.
Have you already got any plans in mid-December?
Pieter Devos: I certainly have now. I still can’t believe it, this victory is incredible. I will now also be competing at the CHI in Geneva, in the Rolex Grand Slam; a dream has come true here for me in Spruce Meadows.
Has it already sunken in that you now have the opportunity to become the first rider ever to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?
Pieter Devos: Not really, it will still take a while to sink in. The Rolex Grand Slam is so very special, it puts the spotlight on our sport, it attracts so much attention among the spectators and media, and all of a sudden, I am right in the midst of it all, it is fantastic. I will have to try and take all of this in first.
How do you assess your chances in Geneva?
Pieter Devos: That is of course very difficult to answer because there is such a world-class field of participants. It is going to be the first time I compete there, so I have no experience there at all, but the hall is very very big, which will definitely suit my mare, “Candy”.
It was your first time in Spruce Meadows as well.
Pieter Devos: That is correct. Perhaps that is a good sign. Actually, they say you have to compete somewhere three times to get to know a showground well enough to be successful. However, I simply didn’t think about the other riders, I just concentrated on my rides and tried not to pick up any faults.
After your victory in Spruce Meadows, you were able to take a good look at the Rolex Grand Slam trophy. Did you already practice holding it up in the air?
Pieter Devos: Good heavens, no, I didn’t touch it of course – that brings back luck. We athletes are all a little bit superstitious.