Canadian showjumping legend Ian Millar, 67, won’t be bidding to win a second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping title in Geneva next week (11-14 December). This means a new rider will take the title after the grand prix on Sunday (14 December) and be in contention for the €1m bonus.
In September at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada, the veteran of 10 Olympic Games partnered Dixson to win a nailbiting jump-off against 20-year-old US rider Reed Kessler (Cylana) and collect showjumping’s richest prize, the $1.5million grand prix. This made Ian the fifth rider to claim a leg of the Rolex Grand Slam, launched in 2013, and put him in contention for the E1m bonus for any rider who can win all three legs, taking in Aachen, Germany, Geneva, Switzerland, and Spruce Meadows, Canada.
However it was announced today (Thursday 4 December) that Ian Millar would be “unable to attend CHI Geneva this year in his quest to defend his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title”.
Last year’s winner in Geneva, Olympic Champion Steve Guerdat with his London 2012 partner Nino Des Buissonnets, returns to defend his crown in front of his home crowd but faces fierce opposition.
“Geneva is at the very heart of our sport,” he said. “You feel like a star when you go into the ring, this is the place where you want to leave the arena as a winner.”
The Rolex grand prix at the CHI Geneva takes place on Sunday 14 December.
Ten of the top ranked showjumpers in the world, including Great Britain’s Scott Brash, will also compete in the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final at the show on Friday night. He will face riders including the new world number two Kent Farrington (USA), France’s Kevin Staut and Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum and Marcus Ehning.
British showjumpers Ben Maher, Michael Whitaker and William Whitaker will also be competing at the show.
And eventers will be in action in Geneva’s first indoor cross-country competition. The class will take place around two arenas and consist of a course of natural obstacles including log fences, a brush and the traditional bank and lake. World champion Sandra Auffahrt will line up against a stellar cast including her fellow countryman Dirk Schrade and Nicolas Touzaint
Don’t miss the full report from the CHI Geneva (11-14 December) in the 18 December issue of Horse & Hound.