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Inside the Rolex Grand Slam: Road to CHIO Aachen

Thursday, 16 June 2022
Inside the Rolex Grand Slam


Photo © This Esme Esme Higgs (aka This Esme) is one of the biggest influencers in the equestrian world. Photo © This Esme.


Press release from Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping



Esme Higgs (aka This Esme) is one of the biggest influencers in the equestrian world – with 730k followers and an incredible 100+ million views on her YouTube channel, as well as over 260k followers on Instagram and a stunning 412k followers on TikTok.

What are the steps in building and growing a successful equestrian social media network? 

I think that one of the most important things is consistency. I spent three years uploading onto YouTube once a week without earning a penny or thinking it was my job. I did it because I loved it and was always so excited to get home on the weekends and make a video. A lot of people try to do YouTube but after a few months they realise it is hard work and give up. I think the main elements to being successful are consistency, good quality content, being yourself and being original. 

Which riders do you follow and who would you say has the most impact with their social channel?

I really enjoy watching Caroline Breen’s stories. They show the behind-the-scenes of her life - a lot of top riders only share content from shows but she shares her dogs, vegetable patch and other things that you do not typically get to see from riders. 

Which of the four Majors that make up the Rolex Grand Slam is your favourite? 

CHIO Aachen – I am going there for the first time this year and I am so excited! It looks incredible and I am sure that I am going to have the best time!

What is your favourite part of the job?

I think I have to say all the incredible people I have met and the amazing stories I have heard. I work with some amazing charities such as Brookes and World Horse Welfare which is a truly incredible experience. Also being able to be with my horses and work with horses is a dream come true for me.




Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder. Brian Moggre with Balou du Reventon in Aachen in 2021. Photo © Rolex Grand Slam / Peggy Schröder.

It has been nearly a year since your sensational CHIO Aachen Rolex Grand Prix second place, what have you been doing since?

So many things! That was such a monumental show for me and such a wonderful experience. After that, I gave some horses some downtime and I spent the winter competing in Wellington, Florida. Now, I am back in Europe this summer doing a lot of shows for Team USA which is always such an honour. I’ve got a few more horses this year compared to last year so I am competing more. I am still trying to move forward and keep going onward and upward. 

How is Balou du Reventon, do you plan on riding him this year at CHIO Aachen? 

Balou du Reventon is fantastic; we have some goals for him later in the year that we are working towards. I competed with him in the Nations Cup at CSIO Roma Piazza di Siena the other week and he jumped brilliantly there. He was clear in the second round of the Nations Cup but unfortunately the last fence in the Grand Prix. He feels in top shape ­– he is such a great stallion. He is sixteen this year, so we use him sparingly, but we definitely pull him out when we need to, and he does his job which is the great part about it. 

There are so many events in the show jumping calendar, how do you choose which ones to focus on and which horses to compete with? 

At the beginning of the year it is important to make a plan for the horses that you have and the things you want to accomplish. For example, riding for Team USA is so important to me so I have geared Balou du Reventon towards those events primarily. I will keep him fresh for those events so that he peaks in those moments.

What is your signature dish? 

There are so many, but I do make really good shrimp tacos!




Photo © CHIO Aachen. From 24 June – 03 July, CHIO Aachen will welcome the return of the world’s best horse and rider combinations to the spectacular grounds of the Aachen Soers Showground. Photo © CHIO Aachen.

From 24 June – 03 July, CHIO Aachen will welcome the return of the world’s best horse and rider combinations to the spectacular grounds of the Aachen Soers Showground. Providing unmatched atmosphere and competition, including five equestrian disciplines, the World Equestrian Festival will also welcome back a full capacity crowd of 40,000 for the first time since 2019. 

The show will officially open on 28 June with an arena extravaganza featuring 200 horses, 500 extras, as well as extraordinary artists and performers including superstar singer Wincent Weiss. A highlight for many will be a special performance from the "Höhner", who have recorded a new song exclusively for the opening of the World Equestrian Festival. 

This year’s event will focus on youth and young talent more than ever, including local street art being on display. The first weekend will include numerous young rider show jumping classes as well as Vaulters competing in the Driving Arena. CHIO Aachen will also host the FEI Youth Equestrian Games for the first time. The Games will include 30 young show jumpers, aged between 14 and 18-years-old, from 30 different nations ranging from Egypt and Guatemala to New Zealand and Uzbekistan. The talented riders will compete in the Main Stadium in both an individual and a cross-continental competition.

Often compared to The Championships, Wimbledon – CHIO Aachen showcases the some of the best show jumping in the world. On the evening of Wednesday 29 June, the Turkish Airlines-Prize of Europe, one of the world's most renowned show jumping competitions will take place. 

As the first qualifier for the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, it is expected the best athletes will be fighting to claim this respected title. The Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup™ will take place the evening after, with the top eight teams in the world competing. With the FEI World Equestrian Games™ later in the summer, competitors will be looking to impress their Chef d’Equipe to gain a coveted spot in the team. 



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.

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