The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping returns to where it all began a year ago. Here, on the renowned show grounds in Aachen’s Soers, the world’s best equestrian athletes will try to write their very own chapter in the history books of horse sport. In front of 40,000 spectators in the main stadium, the temple of international equestrian sport.
Steve Guerdat and Pieter Devos will especially be in the focus of the audience’s attention. The experienced Swiss rider and the Belgian newcomer could be the first competitors ever to win the coveted bonus. And with a victory in Aachen, Steve Guerdat could even have a chance to win the Grand Slam. One year ago, Nick Skelton was the first winner. The old hand Briton won the Rolex Grand Prix in front of Swiss Janika Sprunger. With that, he not only entered his name on the famous winners’ board, but his win also made him the first rider who could have been successful in the overall Rolex Grand Slam. As he was not able to compete in the Spruce Meadows “Masters” later in the year, he gave up this chance, because the prerequisite for winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is to consecutively start at three major events. No matter in which order, if a show jumper wins any one of the major events, he embarks on his personal Rolex Grand Slam. So at the CHIO Aachen 2014, Pieter Devos and Steve Guerdat have the chance to win a bonus on top of the normal prize money. If Devos wins the Rolex Grand Prix, he will receive an extra 250,000 Euros, according to the Rolex Grand Slam “two out of three” classification. By winning the Rolex Grand Prix, Steve Guerdat on the other hand can even hope for a total bonus of a million Euros – provided he wins the Spruce Meadows “Masters” in September as well. If he only wins in Aachen but not in Canada, he will take home an additional 500,000 Euros. It is crucial for the riders to compete in three events in a row, though they may participate with different horses.
Not only the riders are excited about this new initiative. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is also highly regarded among media representatives and spectators. Now that equestrian sport returns home to Aachen’s Soers, the next chapter in this innovative success story begins. After the first year, Arnaud Boetsch, Rolex’ Director Communication & Image, draws a very positive conclusion about the new concept: “The Rolex Grand Slam has been overwhelmingly successful so far and has considerably raised the bar for this sport. We are very happy to be part of such an important initiative which enables horses and riders to prove their skills in this top show jumping series.” So who will be the best of the best in Aachen’s impressive stadium on the afternoon of July 20, 2014? Which horse/rider pair will shine with strong nerves and mastery, while remaining calm and relaxed despite the intense atmosphere in the biggest arena of equestrian sport? The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has returned to where it all began. Welcome to Germany, welcome to the CHIO Aachen 2014.