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Inside the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: Exclusive interview with Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender Marcus Ehning

Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Inside the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

Photo (c) Rolex / Kit Houghton. Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout victorious in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen. Photo (c) Rolex / Kit Houghton.

To win the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in front of your home crowd must have been amazing, what was going through your mind? 

“This was my second Rolex Grand Prix victory at the CHIO Aachen, so I knew already what an amazing reception I would receive if I won; however when it actually happened, the feeling was indescribable and even louder than what I remembered. Each year the crowd gets better and the noise is incredible. I actually think winning the Rolex Grand Prix is one of the nicest victories in my career and certainly a moment I will never forget.”

How did this year’s Rolex Grand Prix victory compare to when you won in 2006? 

“The first time you win a Major like this is always so special. When I competed at the CHIO Aachen 12 years ago in 2006 I really didn’t expect to win, I was younger and less experienced, so it was a bit of surprise for me! This year I felt like I had a horse who could go the distance, he was feeling good and I knew I had a very strong chance if everything went to plan. They were very different situations and many years apart, but I think both feel equally special” 

How do you produce a talented horse like Pret A Tout? 

“You need to have a big support network behind you, producing a top Grand Prix horse does not come down to one person. It starts with the groom, the riders at home and the programme you put together with your team. The horse needs to be focused but also needs to be happy at home in order to learn and develop. I do my best to form a strong bond with all the horses, it is so important to build their trust and develop the partnership.”

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. Launched in 2013, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the only initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins three Majors consecutively, at four of the world’s most historic shows – The Dutch Masters, CHIO Aachen, CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ and CHI Geneva. Considered by the sport to be the ultimate equestrian challenge, it rewards the very best horse and rider combination with a €1 million bonus. If all four Majors are won in succession, a further €1 million bonus is awarded. 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.


Source: Press release from Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping

Photo © Rolex/Kit Houghton

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