World of Showjumping
Menu

This week

Coming weeks

CSI5*/ CSI2* Grimaud
France

CSI4* Montefalco
Italy

CSI4* Mannheim
Germany

CSI4*/ CSI2* Valkenswaard
Netherlands

CSIO3* Prague
Czech Republic

CSI2* Redefin
Germany

CSI2* Opglabbeek
Belgium

CSI2* Kunkiai
Lithuania

CSI2* Nancy
France

CSI2* Samorin
Slovakia

CSI2* Busto Arsizio
Italy

CSI2* Peelbergen
Netherlands

Inside The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: Exclusive interview with Rolex Grand Slam Live Contender Martin Fuchs

Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Inside The Rolex Grand Slam

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof Martin Fuchs, winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva 2019. Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

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

Well, obviously the biggest goal for 2021 is the Olympic Games in Tokyo. That is my number one target, I dream about getting a medal at the Olympic Games. Another main focus for me is the Rolex Grand Slam, especially for me, as I’m currently the Live Contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. In any normal year, the four Majors are the most important shows, but being the Live Contender gives an extra edge to it.

You won the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2019, which makes you the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Live Contender. Does this give you extra motivation to win the Rolex Grand Prix at this year’s The Dutch Masters? 

Being the Live Contender of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is very exciting. I do try to look at it like any other show, as every time I bring Clooney to the big classes, I try to win, and at any Major that I go to, I’m always trying to be at the top of my game. So, I’m trying to approach it like any other competition, although it does cross my mind every now and then that this could be a really big achievement to win two in a row.

What have you learnt over the course of the last year (about yourself and generally), and what positives will you take? 

I’ve learnt that I can be happy and enjoy other things, rather than just horses, that I don’t have to be at horse shows every week. I’ve liked spending time with friends and family, of course I’ve done that before, but it’s usually been done on the road. I’ve appreciated having some down time and not constantly traveling.

Breeders Uncovered with: Willy Wijnen

Photo © Willy Wijnen Ben Maher and Willy Wijnen during CHIO Aachen 2019. Photo © Willy Wijnen.

In this edition of Breeders Uncovered, we speak to KWPN Breeder of the Year 2019, Willy Wijnen, who is responsible for producing British show jumper, Ben Maher’s exceptional gelding, Explosion W (Chacco-Blue x Baloubet du Rouet).

What is the proudest moment of your career so far? 

My proudest moment of my equestrian career was when Barina (grandmother of Explosion W) was four years old, when she competed in the national championship in Utrecht. She ended up coming third, but I was incredibly proud. It was an amazing moment, especially considering I was a very small breeder at the time. Marianne Van Rixtel was the rider, and it was a wonderful performance, from both of them, as in this time, Barina was both a jump horse and a dressage horse.

Which homebred horses are you most proud of? 

I am very proud of Explosion W, but he is not the only horse I’m proud of. I also have a half-sister of Explosion W called Zarina III, she is the offspring of Heartbreaker x Baloubet du Rouet. She is a breeding mare and her offspring is amazing. Every rider in the world would love her offspring!

How positive do you believe the Rolex Grand Slam has been for the sport of show jumping? 

I think it has been very important for the riders and the sport. The Rolex Grand Slam really is an incredible programme, with some beautiful shows.

Who has inspired you the throughout your career? 

I’ve been heavily inspired by the VDL stud in the north of Holland – I’ve always admired the way they do things up there. I have horses with them, such as approved stallion Liamant W (Diamand de Semmily x Heartbreaker x Baloubet du Rouet), and a young stallion called Power Blue W (Chacco Blue x Heartbreaker x Baloubet du Rouet).

How many horses are you breeding during the year? 

I usually breed around six or seven each year.

Rider interview with: Irish rider Bertram Allen

Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof Bertram Allen and Gin Chin van het Lindenhof at The Dutch Masters 2018. Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof.

What have you been focusing on recently, and what are your plans and goals for 2021? 

As a result of COVID-19, and due to very few competitions being held in Europe, we made the decision to go to Florida for the Winter Equestrian Festival [WEF], which was incredibly busy. I was there for nearly three months, and I’ve only recently returned, so I’ll take it easy now for the next few weeks. The plan is to then build myself and my horses up for a few FEI Jumping Nations Cup events. I will also aim for the Tokyo Games in July, and then the Rolex Grand Slam Majors at the end of the summer. 

Which horses are you most excited to be competing with this year? 

My two main horses are Pacino Amiro and Harley van den Bisschop. Harley is the more established horse – he lost a bit of time last year through injury, but he’s back now and he feels really strong, and hopefully he can get into a good rhythm this year. Pacino Amiro stepped up to the highest level in Wellington at the WEF, and jumped a 5* Grand Prix, which he won, so he’s a very exciting prospect. Fingers crossed that they’ll both be on form, as if they are, then they’ll be able to jump anywhere.

What have you learnt over the course of the last year – about yourself and just generally – and what positives will you take? 

As riders, we’re used to competing literally every weekend of the year, but in 2020 we were really restricted by what we could do. I’ve learnt a lot, but the main thing is that I’ll probably cut back on the sheer number of shows I attend. Before the pandemic, I really felt I needed to compete week in, week out. But when I was forced to take a few steps back, I had time to contemplate and study everything, and it became apparent that I really didn’t need to be pushing myself and my horses that much. Now, I think I’ll really concentrate on the biggest 5* shows, which will also allow me to spend a few more weeks at home to keep everything in order. This will give me valuable time to focus on the sales side of the business, and also on the younger horses, who in the past I probably didn’t spend enough time with. As with everything life, it’s just a case of finding that balance and happy medium.

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.