Nick Skelton is the first rider to be on the road to a €1m bonus after winning the grand prix at CHIO Aachen yesterday (Sunday 30 June) with Big Star.
The class was the first leg of the brand new Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping.
The grand slam unites three of the world’s top shows — the CHIO in Aachen, Germany, the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament in Canada and the CHI Geneva, Switzerland.
Any rider who manages to win the grands prix at all three shows consecutively will collect a €1,000,000 bonus.
On Sunday in Germany only three riders out of forty starters went double clear. Nick, Janika Sprunger (Palloubet d’Halong) and Patrice Delaveau (Orient Express) all went through to the jump off, where Janika finished in second place and Patrice in third.
The win was Nick’s fourth in the grand prix at Aachen — his first victory was more than 30 years ago, aboard Everest If Ever in 1982. He also won in 1987 and 1988 riding Raffles Apollo.
“My first win here was a long time ago; Janika probably wasn’t even born then, but although I am getting on a bit it’s all about your horse and how good a horse you have,” he said.
“I’m lucky that I’ve got a good horse and can keep going.”
The Rolex Grand Slam of showjumping was launched in April — bringing showjumping in line with high-profile sports such as golf and tennis.
As it is only the rider’s results count, it is possible to land the bonus on different horses.
And there is a further €500,000 up for grabs if a rider achieves two grand prix wins in a row and €250,000 for two non-consecutive wins out of three.
Don’t miss the full Aachen report in Thursday’s (4 July) issue of H&H magazine