The world’s best horse and rider combinations will gather in Calgary from 7 – 11 September as Spruce Meadows plays host to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, the second equestrian Major of the year.
The 41st edition of this world-renowned event will culminate on Sunday 11 September with the CP 'International', presented by Rolex, the focal point of the Masters and one of the world’s most demanding Grand Prix competitions on the equestrian circuit. As part of the three Majors that link the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, it is fitting that this prestigious trophy will be contended by Rolex Testimonees and the only Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping winner Scott Brash, alongside current Olympic Individual bronze medallist and Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze.
“Winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping at Spruce Meadows in 2015 was a dream come true for me so it holds great memories, I’d love to go back there and try and earn the title again”, says Scott Brash ahead of his return to the iconic venue where he became the first ever victor of the Rolex Grand Slam by virtue of winning his third consecutive major.
All eyes will be focused on the live contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Philipp Weishaupt, winner of the first Equestrian Major, the Rolex Grand Prix, at CHIO Aachen in July, aboard LB Convall.
Weishaupt will be looking to continue his path towards greatness and produce a performance akin to that in Aachen, one of precision and perfection, which will be required in order to reign supreme against the world’s greatest.
The Rolex grand slam of show jumping
Launched in 2013, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the only global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the three Majors consecutively – CHIO Aachen in Germany, the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Canada and CHI Geneva in Switzerland.
Only a great horseman or woman could win show jumping’s most prestigious challenge. In September 2015, the British competitor, Scott Brash made history and became the first ever to succeed.
Spruce meadows masters
Spruce Meadows is regarded as the most versatile event location in the world. It was the founding family’s vision to create a unique friendly atmosphere where trade and world class sport could thrive. The Masters tournament is the climax of four months of world class equine competition, everything show jumping has to offer is at home in Spruce Meadows, ranging from youth and amateur through to the pinnacle of professional sport.
The seven outdoor arenas and two indoor arenas are spread out over grounds measuring 553 acres, making it an ideal venue to stable 1,000 horses and host approximately 500,000 spectators every year. Set among rolling green pastures with the beautiful backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, Spruce Meadows is a unique and world-renowned venue.
A fascination with equestrian sport comes from the fact that however talented and consistent riders may be, they must possess an exceptional range of abilities to form winning partnerships with their horses. They must be patient, sportsmanlike and courageous. Rolex has developed particularly close partnerships with a handful of the very best riders in the world – its equestrian Testimonees, all of whom reflect these qualities.
Many of Rolex’s Testimonees are returning with their leading horses this year. U.S. Olympic silver medal winning team member Kent Farrington will be there to contend for this trophy alongside 2012 Olympic Champion and Rolex Grand Prix winner at CHI Geneva in 2015, Steve Guerdat.
The Canadian sporting hero Eric Lamaze will also compete this year. He took home Individual gold at the 2008 Olympics and Individual bronze at this year’s Olympics in Rio, and his many Spruce Meadows victories include two at The International Grand Prix, presented by Rolex (the predecessor to the now CP 'International').
The 2015 winner and Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping champion Scott Brash will be returning to defend his title, alongside the ‘first lady’ of German show jumping Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, fresh from claiming Team bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. French rider Kevin Staut will also travel to Canada after a successful Olympics winning Team gold in the show jumping competition.
Rolex's equestrian heritage
Rolex’s support of show jumping dates back more than half a century. The prestigious Swiss watch brand’s close and long-standing association with equestrianism demonstrates its appreciation of a domain in which fair play, equality, horsemanship and tradition highlight superior skill, accuracy and achievement.
From Pat Smythe, the greatest female show jumper ever to represent Britain and Rolex’s first equestrian Testimonee in 1957, to Scott Brash, the only rider in history to win three consecutive Majors in the Grand Slam in September 2015, Rolex continues to support riders in the three Olympic disciplines of show jumping, dressage and eventing, all of which demonstrate qualities of excellence and perfection.