Earlier this year world number one Scott Brash made history by becoming the first rider to win the €1million Rolex Grand Slam of show jumping.
The prestigious — and hefty — prize is made up of three grands prixs, Geneva, Aachen and Spruce Meadows.
Now, Steve Guerdat is aiming on emulating Scott, as the Swiss rider secured the first leg of the challenge taking the Geneva grand prix with his his 2012 Olympic gold medal-winning partner Nino Des Buissonnets (12 December).
But what does it feel like to win such a prestigious class in front of a home crowd?
…The Geneva grand prix
“The grand prix in Geneva is very special for me, on a par with riding at Championships. I prepared myself beforehand very well and only competed my horses in the run-up to the event at targeted shows so that were very fresh and in top form — I am delighted about this victory.
…His winning partner Nino Des Buissonets
“Nino is a unique horse, he is simply brilliant. I am totally happy”
…Winning the first leg of the grand slam
“The grand slam is something very special, a unique challenge for every rider. The grands prix at Geneva, Aachen and Spruce Meadows are classics on the equestrian sport circuit, which every rider strives to win. Everyone is focused on them.”
…The possibility of winning the three ‘majors’
“The grand slam unites the Aachen, Geneva and Spruce Meadows into one competition where the most prestigious and most difficult-to-win trophy on the international equestrian sport circuit is at stake.”
There is a €1million bonus for three victories, but two out of three wins also comes with a prize.
If two grands prixs in succession are won the rider will take home a €500,000 bonus. If two classes are taken non-consecutively there is €250,000 up for grabs.
Will Steve do it? We’ll have to wait til next July for the next leg to find out….