Gothenburg, Sweden - Three of the world’s greatest equestrian shows – the CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament and CHI Geneva – have joined forces to create the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping; the first global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the Grand Prix at each show in succession. The winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping will be rewarded with a €1 million bonus prize.
Each of the three prestigious and historic equestrian shows in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping has a long tradition of sporting excellence.
This joint creation by the three shows has been devised as a means to set the ultimate equestrian challenge; as a long-term partner to Aachen, Spruce Meadows and Geneva, Rolex quickly appreciated the significance of the Grand Slam and is honoured to become the exclusive partner.
Eric Lamaze, the only rider to have won the Grand Prix at each of the three shows on the same horse, said: “There are many great events on the Show Jumping calendar, but the three Grands Prix that comprise the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping are without doubt the ones which the riders all want to win during their careers.
Winning even one leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is an incredible and career-changing achievement; to win all three in a 12-month period would create a legend of the sport overnight.”
Commenting on the title sponsorship, Arnaud Boetsch, Communication & Image Director of Rolex SA, said: “Throughout our history, Rolex has been driven by tradition and excellence, so when the three shows approached us with the idea of the Grand Slam of Show Jumping, we quickly appreciated its global resonance and degree of difficulty, which would make it achievable by only the very best horse-andrider partnerships. As a long-term partner of these three shows, we were delighted to add our support to create the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.”
Michael Mronz, President of the Steering Committee of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping for 2013, said: “The three shows that comprise the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping not only have a natural synergy, but also a mutual respect for each other’s remarkable achievements and history. The collective desire and vision of all three shows to combine and form a pioneering concept such as the Grand Slam of Show Jumping seemed like the natural thing to do.
“Due to their long-standing commitment to equestrian sport, Rolex was at the forefront of all three shows’ minds as a potential partner to the Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and we were all delighted when they accepted our invitation to develop it.”
The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping will become the riders’ ultimate achievement, setting a new standard for the sport worldwide.
Three Historic Shows United
The German show can trace its history back to 1898 when local people from the Aachen region came together to form the “Laurensberger Rennverein”, its main aim to organise horse races that would bring entertainment to the people of Aachen. It was in the 1920s that the show moved to its current location, the show grounds of Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein. Since this time, CHIO Aachen has grown into an internationally recognised event with riders, horses and spectators travelling to the show from around the globe.
Three Historic Shows United
More recently in 2005, the Aachen show grounds were completely rennovated for the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games™, which saw the capacity of the Jumping stadium increased to 40,000. The show and city itself is now very much known throughout the world as the capital of equestrian. Rolex has been a partner to the show since 1999.
CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’
Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the brainchild of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountainsin the early 1970s. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade.
Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and is a true favourite with rider and horse alike. Rolex began its association with Spruce Meadows in 1989.
Established in 1926, the first show featured 85 riders and 158 horses; a year later in 1927 the show joined the FEI Nations Cup circuit; and in 1979 CHI Geneva became part of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series. CHI Geneva has been chosen to host nine of the 12 IJRC Top 10 Finals to date, and has won L’Année Hippique’s award for the best indoor show five times.
In 1991 the show moved to its current home, the Palexpo, which is the world’s largest indoor equestrian arena, drawing in larger crowds year on year. A decade later and the show played host to the first ever Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, which is still held at the CHI Geneva today. Rolex has been a partner to the show since 1996.
Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – The Rules
The rules of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping are simple: any rider that wins the Grand Prix at each of the three shows consecutively will receive €1m on top of the prize-money for each show’s Grand Prix. Moreover, any rider that wins two out of the three shows’ Grands Prix will also receive a bonus.
If the Grands Prix at two shows are won in succession, the bonus will be €500,000. If a rider is successful in qualifying for the “two out of three mode”, but doesn’t claim the victories at two consecutive shows’ Grands Prix, the bonus will be €250,000. It is only the rider that counts, not the horse i.e. it is possible to claim the bonus riding different horses. This system is infinite; it is not limited to a calendar year.
Three wins in a row → €1,000,000
Two wins in a row → €500,000
Two wins out of three (not consecutively) → €250,000
The Grand Prix class at CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament and CHI Geneva has never been won consecutively by the same rider over a 12-month period. However, three riders have won all three competitions, notably Eric Lamaze (CAN), Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Ludger Beerbaum (GER).
Aachen - 2010 (Hickstead)
Spruce Meadows - 2011 (Hickstead); 2007 (Hickstead)
Geneva - 2008 (Hickstead)
Aachen - 1994 (LP Special Envoy)
Spruce Meadows - 2001 (Gandini Lianos); 2000 (Gandini Lianos)
Geneva - 2004 (Baloubet du Rouet); 2002 (Baloubet du Rouet); 2000 (Gandini Lianos); 1993 (LP Special Envoy)
Aachen - 2003 (Goldfever III); 2002 (Goldfever III); 1996 (Ratina Z)
Spruce Meadows - 2002 (Goldfever III)
Geneva - 2007 (All Inclusive); 1999 (Champion du Lys)