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Highlights from the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva, part two

Friday, 15 December 2023
CHI Geneva 2023
Masked picture

Photo © Mackenzie Clark

After the first-round track for the 2023 Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva – set by Gerard Lachat and Louis Konickx – had narrowed down the field of forty horse-and-rider combinations to seven, the last Major of the year in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping at the 62nd edition of CHI Geneva turned into a one-horse show as Germany's Richard Vogel and United Touch S left their competitors with no chance to come close to the win. 

Counting 14 obstacles and 18 efforts, it was the tight time allowed of 73 seconds that turned out to be the deciding factor in round one. "We are here at the Rolex Grand Slam and it is going to be the fastest and hardest it can be," Vogel said about the demanding questions of the course that came with relentless pace. 

And with these photos, we look back at the action during the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva. First; curtain call for Shane Sweetnam and James Kann Cruz.

All photos © Mackenzie Clark.  No reproduction of any of the content in this article will be accepted without a written permission, all rights reserved © World of and Mackenzie Clark. If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 

Photo © Mackenzie Clark Home hero Martin Fuchs came to CHI Geneva as the Grand Slam Live Contender after winning the $3,000,000 CPKC ‘International’, presented by Rolex at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ back in September.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Husband and wife, the equestrian-edition; Henrik von Eckermann and Janika Sprunger walking the course.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark With a rail on the penultimate oxer down, it was unfortunately not to be for Live Contender Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei after their Grand Prix win at Spruce Meadows.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Oh, the agony... Sweden's Peder Fredricson and Catch Me Not S had a rail on the very last oxer down.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark It takes a village... Switzerland's Barbara Schnieper and Canice leaving the ring after a great round, with an unfortunate pole down at the penultimate fence.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. After Richard Vogel and United Touch S had posted the first clear of the afternoon, it was time for Ireland's Daniel Coyle and Legacy to enter the ring as pair number sixteen.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. It wouldn't be Geneva without this wall...

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Finishing the course with two time penalties, Coyle and Legacy were one of four pairs to clear the fences but who struggled with the time allowed of 73 seconds.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Switzerland's national treasure: Steve Guerdat and the wonderful Dynamix de Belheme made the tricky track look like a walk in the park.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Guerdat and Dynamix lifted the roof at the sold-out Palexpo when posting the second flawless round to secure a jump-off.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Two darlings of the CHI Geneva crowds.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. All smiles behind the scenes after a clear round for Team Guerdat.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Emma Uusi-Simola and Gianluca Agustoni celebrate Guerdat's clear.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Belgium's Wilm Vermeir and Iq van het Steentje posted the third clear of the afternoon, and Chef d'Equipe Peter Weinberg was there to support.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. The Towers of Molard at fence ten measured 1.65m...

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Richard Vogel and Philipp Weishaupt walking back to the warm-up after watching Christian Kukuk and Checker 47 jump clear.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Scott Brash – the only rider to ever have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – and Hello Jefferson on their way to the ring, followed by their long-time groom David Honnet.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Switzerland's Janika Sprunger brought the wonderful 9-year-old Orelie to the start in the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Jessica Springsteen and Don Juan vd Donkhoeve were the fifth pair to clear the first-round track.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. A very happy Team Springsteen.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. France's Julien Epaillard – here celebrating his clear round with his wife Susana – and Dubai du Cedre joined the jump-off as well. The pair eventually finished fifth.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark Attitude of gratitude: Current world number one Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward. With two down, it was not their day, but the Swede was anyhow thankful for the effort from his fantastic horse.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. “I had the luck – or the bad luck – to be able to see Richie’s jump-off,” Steve Guerdat – who finished fourth in the end – told the media after the class. “The luck, because I love this sport and when you see a moment like this, you really have to appreciate it to its right value, because it is not something you see that often."

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Kisses to Don Juan from Josie Eliasson. The stallion finished 6th in the Grand Prix, after two rails down in the jump-off.

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. Just one more glance at the Rolex Grand Slam trophy as we say goodbye to the last Major of the year...

Photo © Mackenzie Clark. ...and turn towards 2024 and The Dutch Masters.

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