After his victory at the CHI Geneva, the Swiss show jumper Steve Guerdat will have the chance to win the Rolex Grand Slam – the ultimate equestrian sport challenge. In the following interview, he explains why he nevertheless doesn't believe that this will put increased pressure on him. The interview is from a press release from Rolex Grand Slam.
Question: The jump-off lasted another quarter of an hour after your ride...
Steve Guerdat: Those 15 minutes felt like an eternity, longer than the whole weekend. Especially since I wasn't particularly fast, which is why I quite honestly didn't think I had a chance of winning. On the contrary: I would have bet a lot of money against me winning.
Question: The Rolex that you won is probably the perfect Christmas present.
Guerdat: (laughing) Definitely. But I am going to give it away; somebody is going to have a really special Christmas. And I would certainly like to take this opportunity to say that it is sensational what Rolex does for our sport. Everyone benefits from their commitment: The spectators, the athletes, the media and our sport.
Question: This victory means that your personal Rolex Grand Slam has begun.
Guerdat: That's right, a fantastic affair. It begins today and I am really eager to find out how it will end. But one thing is for sure, Nino is definitely one of the few horses that has the potential to win the Rolex Grand Slam.
Question: You could now go down in history as the first rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Will this put increased pressure on you at the next event, the CHIO Aachen 2014?
Guerdat: No, I don't think so. Aachen is a top-level world-class show in its own right. And when you compete there you want to win, the same is true for the Spruce Meadows Masters and the CHI Geneva. In this respect, the Rolex Grand Slam is a fantastic additional factor, but the pressure is already extremely high. On the other hand: I'll just have to wait and see how things actually are during the event.
Question: How will you celebrate your victory in Geneva?
Guerdat: I am going skiing with a group of friends. Rodrigo Pessoa and Eric Lamaze are also joining us.
The Rolex Grand Slam
The system of the Rolex Grand Slam is simple: Anyone, who wins three shows in a row, receives 1 million Euros on top of the prize-money of each show. Moreover, anyone who wins two out of the three shows, also receives a bonus. If two shows are won in succession, the bonus is 500,000 Euros. If the rider is successful in qualifying for the "two out of three mode", but doesn't claim the victories at two consecutive shows, the bonus total 250,000 Euros. It is possible to claim the bonus riding different horses. This system is infinite, it is not limited to a calendar year. It is a never ending story.
Source: Press release from Rolex Grand Slam.
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