Sophie Mottu Morel, director of CHI Geneva, has a busy week ahead of her as the 55th edition of the event kicks of on Thursday. World of Showjumping catched up with Sophie to get a little pre-taste of what is to come at this wonderful show.
CHI Geneva was elected as the best showjumping event in the world for the 7th time this year. This edition of the event will host seven disciplines; your show can now be seen as an Equestrian Festival?
"Yes, it is true. We have never hosted so many disciplines, but it is our goal to propose to our spectators a wide range of what our sport can offer. We will host sixteen competitions of showjumping, two of driving, the 2nd indoor cross country presented by Rolex and also demonstrations of dressage, vaulting, para-equestrian and horseball. For the first time, 24 nations will be represented and we will welcome more than 100 athletes and 350 horses. We are really looking forward to this 55th edition. We are also happy that Marcus Ehning has decided to retire Plot Blue from the sport in Geneva where he won the World Cup Final in 2010. Painted Black, the famous dressage horse, will also say his goodbyes after his freestyle to music on Friday. It is going to be very emotional edition."
The list participants is impressive. The best riders, drivers and horses will compete at the CHI Geneva this year again. We can only imagine that as show director, you are really happy ?
"Of course! We are so happy, and also lucky, to welcome the very best riders. They are 68 in showjumping, 21 in the indoor cross country, and eight in the driving competitons. Nine athletes are Olympic Champions (six individual), ten are World Champions (three individual), fifteen European Champions (eight individual), there are eight winners of the World Cup Final and seven winners of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. We are also really proud to welcome sixteen riders under the age of 25. It is a nice mix between the stars of today and the stars of tomorrow."
Last year, Scott Brash won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final and the Rolex Grand Prix in Geneva. Was it maybe a sign of what was to follow for him in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?
"Maybe it was, because nobody before him has ever won the Top 10 and the Grand Prix at the same show. Scott Brash has been number one in the world for two years now and what he has achieved by winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, after his victory in the Majors of Geneva, Aachen and Calgary, is totally amazing. Scott Brash’s achievement only further enforces this outstanding concept. September 13th 2015 will be forever a fantastic souvenir and a memorable day in equestrian history. Scott Brash is of course one of the favorite this year again in Geneva, but the competition will be tough."
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