World of Showjumping
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Inside The Dutch Masters with Lorenzo De Luca and Daniel Deusser's groom Sean Lynch

Sunday, 11 March 2018
CSI5* Dutch Masters 2018

Photo (c)  Ashley Neuhof. Lorenzo De Luca. Photo (c) Ashley Neuhof.

Lorenzo De Luca

Who do you think is your biggest competitor on Sunday? 

"There were some great performances yesterday. I think Philipp Weishaupt is looking very good, of course Daniel Deusser was on top form last night and Luciana Diniz has been riding really well so far this year."

"It is going to be a very tough competition as there are a lot of good riders in the line-up!"

Do you have any superstitions before you compete? 

"Not really. I just stay relaxed and keep my horse nice and quiet, he is very sensitive, so I need to be calm for him. I just focus on my horse, myself and that’s it!"

What advice can you give to young riders who aspire to be in your position one day? 

"My best advice would be ‘to not go too quick!’ That can cause all sorts of problems. My second piece of advice is to keep learning and growing. The show jumping world is such a magical place, every horse and every rider is different, so you can always expand your knowledge of the sport."

Thoughts on the course on Sunday?

"It is going to be hard! Last year I remember the course was very difficult, and now the prize money has been increased and it is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the competition is going to be tougher than ever. I think the crowds are in for a treat!"

Photo (c) Kit Houghton. Sean Lynch, Daniel Deusser's groom. Photo (c) Kit Houghton.

Daniel Deusser's groom Sean Lynch

Who is Daniel riding in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday?

"He is riding Cornet D’Amour on Sunday, a really special horse with a very big character. He is very sensitive to noise and when there’s lots of it, he’s not the easiest to control but he is one of the nicest horses to be around. All my horses are nice and normal though, so I never have a problem with them."

What is the horse's routine immediately after a big competition like the Rolex Grand Prix at a Major? 

"We wash them down and give them some hay, so they can relax and cool down. We put the ice boots on and then follow up with the spa boots and as soon as they are dry we put a massage blanket on for 45 minutes! The massage blanket is amazing and has different programmes, so we usually put it on the programme designed for back treatment relief if they have jumped a big class. Cornet gets more spa treatments than any of us do!"

Are you and Daniel thinking about the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping? 

"I am hoping that Sunday goes well and then we can really start to focus on the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping."

"It has made show jumping more interesting for the riders and the public, and it is certainly the thing that riders talk about wanting to win the most." 

"So, if we have success in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday we will be planning our schedule around the next Majors for sure."

How do you cope with the pressure of a Rolex Grand Prix? Does Daniel feel the pressure?  

"I do feel the pressure a bit! I have to do my job well enough to make sure Daniel has the best chance on Sunday. We have to work together to make sure the horse is fit and is in peak condition. With Cornet D’Amour I always get quite nervous, especially when he has won a class already like he did in the Grand Prix qualifier last night. Sometimes I just stay quiet for the whole day and don’t talk to anyone!

Daniel is Mr. Cool! He doesn’t let the pressure get to him, he knows what he needs to do and does the job. For me he is one of the best riders around, very relaxed and very calm."

Photo (c) Kit Houghton. Marcel Hunze. Photo (c) Kit Houghton.

Words from the organizers, Marcel Hunze – Show Director

What changes have you made to this year’s show now that it has become one of the Majors?

"Well firstly we needed more space because the event is growing, and we wanted to enhance the facilities for the riders and spectators. We are lucky that we could build the new hall and add to the overall area by 7500 square metres. As a result, we have been able to increase the arena size and include more exercise areas. We have improved the riders’ accommodation, food and the facilities onsite to give them a VIP experience, they are our heroes, so we need to treat them very well. We have also improved the arena experience adding LED animated boards and enhanced the lighting and music to create more excitement and improve the spectator experience."

Do you feel under more pressure now the event is part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

"Yes, of course we are feeling the pressure more this year!"

"The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping consisted of three of the best shows in the world, so we are very honoured to be chosen as the fourth"

"It is hard to compare us to the outdoor shows, but Geneva is indoor and such an incredible event so we want to make sure we are on the same level. I believe this year, with the improvements we have made, everyone is happy, and we are on the right track."

You work in tennis too, how do the events differ with the contrasting sports?

"The back bone for the events is the same, it is about the sport, the promotion, visibility for the sponsors and making sure you have top facilities. In terms of the detailed differences I would say that in tennis the competitors need more physio facilities and more practice areas so that is a big focus. Of course, in tennis the athletes only have their rackets, whereas the riders have their horses which adds a whole new dimension of careful logistics."

Who do you think is going to win the Rolex Grand Prix?

"Well, I think I need to vote for a Dutchman, so I am going to say Harrie Smolders. He is world number two and was recently awarded ‘2017 Dutch Rider of the Year’ so I think he has a good chance."

Photo (c) Rolex Grand Slam. The Rolex Grand Slam Trophy. Photo (c) Rolex Grand Slam.


The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

The Rolex Grand Slam is the most prestigious prize in the sport of show jumping, primarily due to the sporting prowess required to achieve the feat. It is a quest taken on by the best, with the aim to be the best and secure the legendary status associated with winning. In recognition of the epic nature of the challenge, any rider who wins three shows in a row, receives €1 million on top of the prize-money of each show. If that same rider then continues their success by winning a fourth Major in succession, they will be rewarded with an additional €1 million bonus. Moreover, anyone who wins two out of the four shows, also receives a bonus.  If two shows are won in succession, the bonus is €500,000. If the rider is successful in qualifying for the “two out of four mode”, but doesn’t claim the victories at two consecutive shows, the bonus totals €250,000.  It is only the rider that counts, therefore it is possible to claim the bonus riding different horses.

Previous winners of The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Nick Skelton (GBR), Big Star: CHIO Aachen 2013

Pieter Devos (BEL), Candy: CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2013

Steve Guerdat (SWI), Nino des Buissonnets: CHI Geneva 2014

Christian Ahlmann (GER), Codex One: CHIO Aachen 2014

Ian Millar (CAN), Dixson: CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2014

Scott Brash (GBR), Hello Sanctos: CHI Geneva 2014

Scott Brash (GBR), Hello Sanctos: CHIO Aachen 2015

Scott Brash (GBR), Hello Sanctos: CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2015

Steve Guerdat (SWI), Nino des Buissonnets: CHI Geneva 2015

Philipp Weishaupt (GER), LB Convall: CHIO Aachen 2016

Scott Brash (GBR), Ursula XII: CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2016

Pedro Veniss (BRA), Quabri de l’Isle: CHI Geneva 2016

Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Coree: CHIO Aachen 2017

Philipp Weishaupt (GER), LB Convall: CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ 2017

Kent Farrington (USA), Gazelle: CHI Geneva 2017


Source: Press release from The Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping

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