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Inside CHIO Aachen: Rolex Rider Watch

Thursday, 19 July 2018
CHIO Aachen 2018

Photo (c) Tiffany Van Halle "It is a big wish to win the Rolex Grand Prix, but we all know how difficult the competition is," Von Eckermann says. Photo (c) Tiffany Van Halle.

After a highly competitive jump-off yesterday, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann clinched the Turkish Airlines-Preis von Europa title with his grey gelding, Castello 194. He spoke after his victory: 

How did the course feel today? 

The course was very long, it had three combinations, one triple, one double and of course the double plank which caused a few problems. The time was hard to keep inside of and with it being such a long course the horses were tiring at the end. I was happy with my horse’s performance and was excited to reach the jump-off. 

What were your tactics going into the jump-off? 

My tactics were to watch McLain’s round and work out where I could shave time off, as he is normally the one to beat in a jump-off like this. I saw a little hole where I could take him, it was the second last, he was little bit out to the oxer and I have a very scopey horse, so I thought if I stayed a little tighter to the jump, I could catch him, which we did. 

How will you prepare for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday? 

The horse will need to stay fresh and happy in the mind ahead of Sunday. It is a big wish to win the Rolex Grand Prix, but we all know how difficult the competition is. Of course, I want to chase the Rolex Grand Slam, I was second in the Geneva Grand Prix, so hopefully I can go one better this weekend.  

Words from the organizers with Frank Kemperman and Michael Mronz

Photo (c) Kit Houghton Frank Kemperman and Michael Mronz. Photo (c) Kit Houghton.

Chairman of the Managing Board, Frank Kemperman, and General Manager, Michael Mronz, took some time out their busy schedules to talk about what makes CHIO Aachen such a unique show: 

This show has been described as the Wimbledon of equestrian, how does a Major in tennis compare to a Major in equestrian? 

Michael: Tennis is more well known of course, but the introduction of the Rolex Grand Slam in equestrian enables the sport to become more accessible to people who do not follow it already. Like in tennis, the Rolex Grand Slam is made up of four Majors and spectators know that these are the four best competitions and the ones that the riders aspire to win. They bring the best sport and the best competitors which attract the wider audiences. It is a major step towards the development of show jumping and the strive to reach wider audiences and give people outside the equestrian world an understanding of the sport. Of course, it’s nice to be compared to Wimbledon, I would say we are quite different in terms of size and reach, but it means we need to be more creative and innovative to try and get to that standard.

Behind the stable door: Interview with Dale Hailstone, groom to Laura Kraut

Photo (c) Kit Houghton Dale Hailstone, groom to Laura Kraut. Photo (c) Kit Houghton.

Dale Hailstone, 26-years-old, was born in Glasgow and started working for one of USA’s top riders, Laura Kraut, four years ago. He has moved up the ranks and is now Kraut’s head groom, travelling around the world with her to the most prestigious events on the show jumping calendar. We spoke with Hailstone as he prepares Kraut’s team of horses ahead of the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday: 

What makes CHIO Aachen such a special event? 

For me it’s without a doubt the best show in the world. It’s amazing for the grooms, the riders and the horses. We go to so many shows across the globe but a lot of them aren’t very horse friendly. Aachen is so good for the horses, we have so much space to graze and exercise them, you can plan your day easily as the facilities are so accessible. The atmosphere is incredible, and the ground is super for the horses, so it is the perfect place to compete.


Press release from the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Pictures © Tiffany Van Halle and Kit Houghton

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