The past few months were without doubt the most intensive in the Belgian show-jumper Pieter Devos’s life. At the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, he celebrated a sensational victory, winning the CN International Grand Prix presented by Rolex ahead of the Olympic gold medallist Steve Guerdat and the French world-class rider, Pénélope Leprévost. “I didn’t actually believe it until I was stood in front of Steve during the prize-giving ceremony,” he recalled. The 27-year-old is modest, but also ambitious and confident. For example, he boldly stated prior to the CHI Geneva, “Who knows perhaps I will be able to repeat my surprise victory like at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’?”
The big arena in Palexpo is definitely ideal for his mare Candy. She loves long courses, big dimensions. According to her rider, the horse is not at all spooky, very careful and has amazing jumping potential. In the arena at Spruce Meadows, that massive park with its mighty obstacles, Candy was the only horse to jump clear and in doing so offered her rider the chance to become the first equestrian athlete to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Devos tries not to think about the Grand Slam too often: “Otherwise it would put even more pressure on me. The Rolex Grand Slam is not just about winning a lot of money; it is mainly about become an equestrian sport legend.” So, in Geneva, he will try and remain as cool as possible when riding, but one thing is also certain: “When I enter the ring, I’ll certainly do my best to win.