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Inside the Rolex Grand Slam: CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament 2023 highlights

Tuesday, 29 August 2023
CSIO5* Spruce Meadows 'Masters' 2023

The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament will once again welcome the world’s best horse and rider combinations to Calgary, Canada for five days of intense show jumping competition from 6-10 September 2023. Based in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Spruce Meadows is considered to be one of North American’s premier equestrian venues. Spectators attending the show will not only experience spectacular scenery but thrilling competition, alluring shopping, and inspiring entertainment.

The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament will be the second Major to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, with celebrations beginning at CHIO Aachen in June, exactly 10 years after the first Major took place. Within this, the focal point of the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, the CPKC ‘International’, presented by Rolex, the third Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of 2023, will provide a fitting conclusion to five days of sporting excellence.

Aside from the world class show jumping on display, the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament provides spectators with various different activities to keep everyone entertained. The beloved MARKT will be featuring again, providing a great opportunity to purchase everything from fine art to equine products. One can easily be enthralled and captivated whilst browsing the stalls of the 150 vendors attending.

Throughout the week, the Blacksmith World Championships will take place in the Behind Equi-Plex arena. The daily competitions are a brilliant opportunity to witness the great skill, precision and accuracy required through the categories of forge work, blade-smithing, and wielding. In addition, equine inspired demonstrations and live entertainment will take place daily, varying from a live tutorial held by Jonathan Field on the topic of Horsemanship, to demonstrations held by Canadian, Pia Formuller, on Grand Prix Dressage, and Vaulting demonstrated by the Diamond Willow Vaulting Club. Prepare to come away amazed and full of knowledge!



Interview with Daniel Deusser

Congratulations, on another great result at CHIO Aachen – how pleased were you with Killer Queen VDM’s performance?

I was incredibly pleased with Killer Queen VDM’s performance. The Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen is one of the biggest competitions in the world. For many years, Killer Queen has showed me that she can be very present at all of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors, especially at Aachen. She won two years ago at Aachen (2021), she was fourth there last year (2022), and second again this year - I could not have asked for more! Of course, I could have gone a little faster this year to try and win, but I thought we still put a lot of pressure on other riders in the jump-off, and Killer Queen gave her all and her absolute best on the day.

How do you feel about returning to the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament as last year’s champion?

I am really looking forward to it. Before 2022, I hadn’t jumped at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament for a couple of years, because I didn't really think I had the right horse. Of course, I wanted to compete well last year, but I did not go to Spruce Meadows with the expectation to win the CPKC 'International', presented by Rolex. However, Killer Queen felt excellent in the ring, she likes the big grass arena, and jumped well enough to win. So, this year I am going to Spruce Meadows with hope and a dose of confidence, considering she has already very jumped well at Aachen this year.

Obviously, I cannot really rely on, or expect to do well, just because the last couple of years have been good, but at least Killer Queen likes the arena in Calgary, and she has been there before. I think she is on good form right now, and I am very much looking forward to going back to Spruce Meadows.

Rider watch

The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament this year will host a world-class line up, all of whom have the CPKC ‘International’, presented by Rolex, set in their sights – the third Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of 2023.

One of the favourite’s for taking this year’s win is the defending champion, Daniel Deusser, who finished in second place in the Rolex Grand Prix of CHIO Aachen earlier this summer, by just 0.61 seconds, aboard the magnificent Killer Queen VDM. Deusser has already experienced victory on the North American circuit this year, having had a successful run in various CSI5* classes part of the Winter Equestrian Festival at Wellington International, Florida. 

Deusser is one of six Rolex Testimonees competing at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament, with World No.4 Martin Fuchs leading the way. The Swiss has shown his class for many years, with successes including winning consecutive Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva in 2019 and 2021, winning the FEI World Cup™ Final in 2022, and more recently jumping a double-clear to help secure the Swiss team win in the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup at CHIO Aachen earlier this year. 

Fuchs’ Swiss teammate and fellow Rolex Testimonee, Steve Guerdat, will also be making the journey to Canada, looking for a repeat of his 2021 performance, where he claimed the prestigious CPKC ‘International’, presented by Rolex title. Guerdat has not missed a Major throughout the 10-year existence of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Kent Farrington was second to Guerdat in the 2021 CPKC ‘International’, presented by Rolex, and is looking to go one better, two years on. As a regular at the Calgary venue, Farrington and his team of horses have the advantage of knowing the arena and most importantly, how to win there – having already picked up three wins in CSI5* classes at Spruce Meadows this summer.



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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