Triumph on home ground: It is one of the most prestigious victories on the circuit of the international equestrian sport: The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva. Claiming the victory today means that Steve Guerdat from Switzerland not only joins the ranks of the renowned winners of the famous event, his personal Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping has also begun.
CHI Geneva, CHIO Aachen and the Spruce Meadows `Masters´: Three victories at three of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world, that is the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping, the ultimate international equestrian sport challenge. Only the rider, who manages to claim the victory at three events within twelve months, can become a sporting legend. "It is sensational that my Rolex Grand Slam has begun," stated Guerdat after his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva on Sunday afternoon. Riding Nino de Buissonnets, he displayed nerves of steel in the impressive Palexpo arena, the largest indoor stadium in the world. Top riders had reached the jump-off: Alvaro de Miranda from Brazil was among them, the French show-jumper Kevin Staut as well as Scott Brash from Great Britain. In the end, however, the Olympic gold medallist, Guerdat, crossed the finish line in the fastest time – amid the resounding applause of the 8,200 enthusiastic spectators in the sold-out arena. "It was fantastic how the crowd supported and cheered me on here," commented Guerdat, who had to wait a long time before his victory was confirmed, "those 15 minutes were like an eternity."
The dream of winning the Rolex Grand Slam is over for the Belgian rider, Pieter Devos, for now. After his victory at the Spruce Meadows `Masters´ in September, although he managed to qualify for the Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva, he wasn't able to claim the winning rosette. Devos ultimately finished ninth with his mare "Candy". Nevertheless, all is not lost yet for the Belgian rider, since in line with the "two out of three mode", if a rider wins the Grand Prix at any two of the events within twelve months, i.e. not in succession, he claims a bonus of 250,000 Euros.