In the upcoming major CHIO Aachen, someone is hoping to continue a Grand Slam run.
Dating back to 1924, the CHIO Aachen is among the oldest, most revered events in the sport of equestrian.
This year’s competition will span 10 days, culminating with the five-star Rolex Grand Prix on July 3, featuring the world’s best horse and rider combinations. It will be held at the main grass arena of the Aachen Soers showgrounds in Germany, which can accommodate a 40,000-strong crowd.
Rolex has been a key supporter of the CHIO Aachen since 1999 as part of its 65-year commitment to equestrianism. The alliance includes long-standing partnerships with all four majors that comprise the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, namely The Dutch Masters, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, the CHIO Aachen and the CHI Geneva.
Initiated in 2013, the Rolex Grand Slam rewards a rider who wins three consecutive majors, a feat requiring a sustained display of precision, teamwork and technical prowess. Daniel Deusser, who is the defending champion of CHIO Aachen, still qualifies for this prize following his victory at The Dutch Masters in March.
A strong roster of Rolex Testimonees head to Aachen seeking victory in the Rolex Grand Prix. Deusser will be buoyed by the support of his home crowd.
“CHIO Aachen is one of the best shows in the world and one I look forward to every year,” the world number nine says. “To win the Rolex Grand Prix there last year was incredible and I will certainly do my best to repeat my performance again this year. To be heading there as the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender is very exciting.”
Accompanying Deusser in the quest to master the challenging course set by world renowned designer Frank Rothenberger will be Testimonee Martin Fuchs, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva last December and the 2022 FEI Jumping World Cup Final. The Swiss world number one will compete against compatriot Steve Guerdat, winner of the CP International at Spruce Meadows last year.
Fellow Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash, will be looking to reclaim the title he won in 2015 aboard Hello Sanctos on his way to becoming the only rider to date to complete the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Joining Brash will be fellow Briton Harry Charles, Rolex’s youngest equestrian Testimonee. The 22-year-old finished fourth in his first FEI Jumping World Cup Final earlier this year maintaining his position as the world number one Under-25 rider and elevating him to World No. 17.
Rodrigo Pessoa will return to Aachen exactly 50-years after his father, Nelson Pessoa, claimed his second CHIO Aachen Grand Prix win, with hopes that he can match his father’s tally of two victories, his first being in 1994 aboard Loro Piana Special Envoy.
Also looking to challenge for the title will be France’s Kevin Staut, a member of the gold medal-winning team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games who is celebrating a decade as a Rolex Testimonee. A string of recent five-star successes has enabled the Frenchman to reclaim his position within the top 10 ranked riders in the World.
Show Jumping is one of five FEI equestrian disciplines contested at CHIO Aachen, also known as the World Equestrian Festival. Competing in the CDIO5* Dressage will be Isabell Werth, winner of the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music at the 2021 show.
Werth has been a Rolex Testimonee since 2009 and this year marks the retirement of her superstar mount Bella Rose, who will be appearing for the final time in a special gala performance on the evening of July 1.
Banner: Martin Fuchs riding Leone Jei