Things will be getting serious for the best show-jumpers in the world soon! Because tomorrow the CHI Geneva kicks off and over three days they will have the opportunity to qualify for the “Rolex Grand Prix”, the third Major of the year in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
40 pairs are allowed to compete in the competition on Sunday that is endowed with prize-money totalling 1.1 million Euros. As if that is not enough: Whoever leaves the ring on the afternoon of December 13th as the winner of the Grand Prix, has also mastered the first step in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
This biggest challenge in the equestrian sport unites the three most famous equestrian shows in the world – the CHI Geneva, the CHIO Aachen and the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ – in an extraordinary competition: The rider, who succeeds in winning all three Majors in direct succession, wins one million Euros in addition to the prize-money. But even two Major victories are worthwhile: In direct sequence this is rewarded with a 500,000 Euro bonus, for the “two out of three mode”, i.e. for victories at two non-consecutive Major shows, a 250,000 Euro bonus beckons.
A concept that attracts the top stars of the international show jumping sport and their best horses to the three events every year again and again – all of them with the same goal: To win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping and become a legend of the sport. Scott Brash was the first rider ever to achieve this outstanding feat. With his Major victories at the CHI Geneva 2014, at the “World Equestrian Festival” 2015 in Aachen and this September in Spruce Meadows, he made his personal Grand Slam perfect and wrote equestrian history in doing so.
And the Scottish rider will be in Geneva again this year for the CHI hoping to take the victory! As last year’s winner, Scott Brash has already pre-qualified for the Grand Prix together with the best riders of the most recent Championships, for example the Swiss Olympic gold medallist, Steve Guerdat, the reigning double World and European Champion, Jeroen Dubbeldam from the Netherlands, as well as the European Championships medal winners Gregory Wathelet from Belgium and Simon Delestre from France.
For all those riders, who have not automatically qualified, the battle for participating in the “Rolex Grand Prix” starts tomorrow on Thursday: The 20 best riders in the “Credit Suisse Grand Prix” qualify for Sunday. There are further chances to qualify in the “Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final” on Friday evening as well as in the “Coupe de Genève” and the “Geneva Classic” on Saturday.
On Saturday evening we will know the names of all 40 finalists, who are allowed to ride in the Grand Prix of Geneva. For whom will the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping begin on Sunday?