World of Showjumping
Menu

This week

Coming weeks

CSI5* LGCT Stockholm
Sweden

CSI5*/CSI2* St.Tropez-Grimaud
France

CSIO5* Sopot
Poland

CSIO3* EEF RQ Bojourishte
Bulgaria

CSI3* Lexington
USA

CSI2* Bonheiden
Belgium

CSI2* Fontainebleau
France

CSI2* Peelbergen
The Netherlands

CSI2* Barcelona
Spain

CSI2* Vidauban
France

CSI2* San Giovanni in ...
Italy

CSI2* San Remo
Italy

CSI2* Traverse City
USA

CSI2*-W Moscow
Russia

CSI2*-W Olomouc
Czech Republic

Inside The Dutch Masters: Sunday 25th April 2021

Monday, 26 April 2021
The Dutch Masters 2021

Max Kühner wins the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters and becomes the Live Contender for the Rolex Grand Slam

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder. Max Kühner wins the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters. Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder.

Three days of spectacular CSI5* international show jumping at The Dutch Masters culminated with the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix, the first Rolex Grand Slam Major of 2021. The equestrian world’s eyes were on 28-year-old Swiss Rolex Testimonee, Martin Fuchs, who travelled to ‘s-Hertogenbosch as Live Contender, following his Rolex Grand Prix win at the CHI Geneva in December 2019.

Partnered by his talented grey gelding, Clooney 51, Fuchs faced formidable opposition from a string of experienced riders, including fellow Rolex Testimonees, Scott Brash from Great Britain, American Kent Farrington, current world number one-ranked rider, Steve Guerdat from Switzerland, and Frenchman Kevin Staut. Other established names, such as German trio, Marcus Ehning, Christian Ahlmann and Daniel Deusser, US rider, Laura Kraut and Peder Fredricson from Sweden, helped to make up a truly impressive list of 43 starters from 15 nations, many of whom were more than capable of becoming the new Live Contender. 

With Brash and his 12-year-old gelding, Hello Jefferson, and Farrington and his 13-year-old mare, Austria 2 both retiring, Fuchs and Staut each picking up eight penalty points, and many others failing to navigate the Louis Konickx-designed course fault-free, just eight combinations progressed to the jump-off – a seven-obstacle, 330m final test of ultimate skill, determination and precision. 

Philipp Weishaupt was the only one of the eight jump-off riders to have triumphed in a Rolex Grand Slam Major before (CHIO Aachen 2013, and CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2017), giving the German a slight edge in terms of experience. Weishaupt’s opposition included fellow countryman Christian Kukuk, Belgian duo, Jerome Guery and Gudrun Patteet, Luciana Diniz from Portugal, Brazilian Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, Max Kühner from Austria, and home favourite Willem Greve. 

First to go, Weishaupt set the early pace, jumping clear in a time of 33.71 seconds; however, his lead was short-lived, as Christian Kukuk and his 11-year-old grey gelding, Checker 47 went next, stopping the clock 0.14 seconds under Weishaupt’s time. With none of the following four riders able to better Kukuk’s performance, the Grand Prix’s fate lay with Modolo Zanotelli and Kühner. The penultimate partnership to go, Kühner and his 10-year-old gelding, Elektric Blue P set off at blistering pace, crossing the finish line over a second ahead of Kukuk, etching his name at the top of the leaderboard, where he was to remain after the 32-year-old Brazilian couldn’t quite find enough speed at the last fence, slotting into a very respectable second place. 

Delighted with his performance, the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender, Max Kühner, commented: “The Rolex Grand Slam has always been a big aim for me, so I’m very happy that it worked out today. 

“I bought Elektric Blue [Elektric Blue P] when he was a two-year-old. I saw him do one free jump on a video, and I said I like him, and the auction was already running, so we bought him. He’s always done everything very well, he was always a very good horse, and he never disappointed me. He has unbelievable possibilities, as jumping is quite easy for him. He has a good character and likes to do the sport. At home he gets bored quite easily, so we have a special programme for him. We hack him and drive him to where he can climb a little bit in the mountains. 

“Spruce Meadows and Aachen in September was already on my schedule. It’s still far away, but we will try to make a plan as early as possible. We will aim to take Chardonnay [Chardonnay 79] to Calgary, as he finished third in the last CP 'International', presented by Rolex in 2019, where he jumped very nicely. And maybe we’ll take Elektric Blue to Aachen.”

Rider interview with: Kent Farrington

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder. Kent Farrington. Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder.

What are your plans for 2021 and what would you like to achieve? 

We’re coming out the other side of a crazy year, so I’m extremely happy to be back at work, so to speak, and back showing. My goals always remain the same: try to focus on the Rolex Grand Slam Majors. We also have the Olympic Games this year, so hopefully that goes to plan, so those are very much my main focuses. 

How have you spent the last six months, and which horses have you been competing with? 

I’ve been working hard! I’ve been trying to condition my most experienced horses so they’re ready to go, as the show season opens up, and I’m also focused on trying to build-up and develop a group of younger horses. I’ve been at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, so luckily that season has been able to keep running. I have a stable there and it’s where I live, so I’ve been able to get a lot done over the last few months. 

Which horses have you brought with you to compete at The Dutch Masters? 

I’ve brought Creedance and Austria, who are two seasoned horses, and they have a good amount of mileage indoors. It’s a bit difficult coming from America, where the horses haven’t competed indoors for a long time, but they both have plenty of experience so I think they’ll be able to pull it off. 

Behind the Stable Door with: Sean Lynch and Sean Vard

Photo © The Dutch Masters / Remco Veurink. Sean Lynch and Sean Vard. Photo © The Dutch Masters / Remco Veurink.

How happy are you to be here at The Dutch Masters and back at an elite-level competition in Europe?

Sean Lynch (SL): I’m very happy to be back. We actually spent the winter in Florida, so it was a bit more of a normal life over there. It’s lovely to be back competing in Europe, back with European friends, and attending European show. Hopefully things can get back to normal this year. I’ve really missed the atmosphere and my group of friends, but the same can’t be said about the travelling! 

Sean Vard (SV): Delighted to be back. It’s great seeing all of my European friends again, and back on home turf. We spent the winter in America, but it wasn’t quite the same as being here, especially at a Rolex Grand Slam Major. I’ve really missed the atmosphere and the buzz of the stables, but it’s great to be back, and the big classes are very much the main goals. 

What do you love most about your job? 

SL: I think it has to be the travelling to different countries to compete at some incredible show, doing something I absolutely love. Being able to enjoy that every single day alongside some great results is pretty special. 

SV: The long nights, the early mornings, driving for hours in the pitch black! No, I’m just joking. I love the results, the adrenaline from competing, seeing the horses progress, and the good moments that come with success are amazing.

About the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

The Rolex Grand Slam is considered by the sport to be the ultimate equestrian challenge, primarily due to the sporting prowess required to achieve this feat. It is a quest taken on by the world’s top riders, vying to secure the legendary status associated with winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

The format of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is simple: anyone who wins three Majors in a row receives the Rolex Grand Slam trophy and a €1 million bonus on top of the class’s prize-money. If that same rider then continues their success by winning a fourth Major in succession, they will be rewarded with an additional €1million bonus. If two shows are won in succession, the bonus is €500,000 or if an athlete wins only 2 majors in a period of four successive shows, the bonus is €250,000.



This photo has been added to your cart !

Your shopping cart »
This website is using cookies for statistics, site optimization and retargeting purposes. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website. Read more here.