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Inside The Rolex Grand Slam 2024: Season preview

Wednesday, 21 February 2024
The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping 2024


Press release from Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping



Often considered to be the sport’s ultimate challenge, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping will once again be at the forefront of every rider’s ambitions for the year ahead. As with the Majors in sports such as tennis and golf, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors are considered to be the most esteemed and celebrated competitions in the world, which require the highest level of skill from horse and rider. Such is the prestige of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping that it attracts the world’s best horse and rider combinations from across the globe, resulting in unmatched levels of competition.

The first Major of the year, The Dutch Masters, takes place over four days from 7–10 March. First staged in 1967, the show will be the last Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the initiative after celebrations began at the CHIO Aachen 2023. Following his victory at the CHI Geneva in December, the young German Richard Vogel will make his debut in the main arena of the breathtaking Brabanthallen as the live contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping with the hopes of continuing his quest to become only the second rider in history to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Often compared to The Championships, Wimbledon, in tennis, the CHIO Aachen provides a fitting stage for the finest levels of competition in the sport. Also known as the World Equestrian Festival, the show hosts five international equestrian disciplines, with the pinnacle of the 10-days of action coming on Sunday 7 July with the Rolex Grand Prix. On the hallowed ground of the Aachen-Soers arena, with 40,000 passionate equestrian fans in the stands, 40 of the world’s most talented horse and rider combinations will compete over three rounds with the hopes of etching their names onto the iconic winner's board.

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major calendar then makes the journey across the Atlantic Ocean to what is often considered to be the leading venue in North America – Spruce Meadows. The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament (4–8 September) hosts one of the biggest Grand Prix in the world, the CPKC ‘International’ Grand Prix, presented by Rolex where course designer Leopoldo Palacios is known to provide the ultimate test of bravery, precision, and scope. Last year’s competition was won in spectacular fashion by Rolex Testimonee Martin Fuchs with his talented partner, Leone Jei.

The CHI Geneva will conclude the 2024 Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping calendar year. From 11–15 December, the show will bring together an outstanding line-up of elite athletes to the beautiful city of Geneva. The show, held in the impressive Palexpo, is widely regarded to be the leading indoor show jumping venue. With a packed schedule of sport, the Rolex Grand Prix will provide a fitting conclusion to what is set to be yet another sensational year of Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping action. 

Interview with Josie Eliasson

Josie Eliasson Jessica Spingsteen and Josie Eliasson.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us about your job?

My name is Josefine and I have worked for Jessica Springsteen for the last eight years. In the beginning, I was based at her home yard and I rode a little bit, but for the past six years, I have travelled around the world with her and horses as her show groom. 

How did you begin your career in the industry?

Initially, I started riding when I was around five or six-years-old, and I fell in love with horses. When I was slightly older, I had a nice young horse that I competed with in Sweden. The owner of the stables where I kept my horse, used to compete regularly as well in the National Young Horse Championships, and I would go with her and groom for her. I soon realized that I really enjoyed grooming, and she was always very encouraging. She used to say that I was very good at it, and I remembered all of the important small details. 

I then went to visit a friend of mine, who at the time was working with horses in Switzerland. After only about two days, I knew it was what I wanted to do, so I asked if she knew anyone who needed help at their stables. That is when I got a job with Romain Duguet – I still had my horse but I managed to lease her out, and I packed my bags for Switzerland as a permanent move. I stayed in that job for about a year, before I went back to Sweden. I realized that what I really wanted to do was to become a show groom, and in Europe, so I felt a bit restricted without a horsebox license. But before I had even done my first HGV driving lesson, I got a job with Jessica, and that was over eight-years-ago now...

Interview with Joseph and Mark Stockdale

Photos © YRA and Nelson Chenault Joseph and Mark Stockdale. Photos © YRA and Nelson Chenault.

Brothers Joseph and Mark Stockdale are both up and coming stars of their respective sports – Joseph in show jumping and Mark in golf. 

They have incredible sporting heritage with their late father, Tim Stockdale, representing Great BritaIn at the 2008 Olympics in show jumping.

Please could you both introduce yourselves and quickly tell us a little bit about your career so far

[Joseph Stockdale]: I'm Joseph Stockdale. I'm 24-years-old from Northampton and I am an international show jumper. In 2022, I was part of the British team that won a bronze medal at the FEI World Championships in Herning, and I hope to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games this summer. 

[Mark Stockdale]: My name is Mark Stockdale. I'm 19-years-old, also from Northamptonshire. I'm currently on the men's golf team at the University of Central Arkansas, as well as in the England Men's golf team. I aspire to be a professional golfer, and I am currently ranked 320th in the world. 

What do you think you have learned from your respective sports – what are the similarities and differences? 

[Joseph Stockdale]: I think the similarities are that it can be very frustrating. Mark has ridden and I have also enjoyed playing golf. Especially at the top level of sport, it is extremely difficult. With the horses you have so many ups and downs – it is a real roller coaster. From my amateur perspective in golf, it is a mentally frustrating game and you are battling against yourself...

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 €1 million bonus.

Previous winners of the Rolex Grand Slam Majors

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