From 13 to 22 July the world’s top international riders will travel to West Germany to showcase their talents to over 360,000 spectators as they compete in the second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix, at the spectacular CHIO Aachen.
The heart of equestrian sport beats at this magnificent venue, showcasing show jumping, eventing, dressage, driving and vaulting. This breathtaking nine-day event is known as the best equine sporting competition in the world and a highlight of the annual equestrian calendar.
The focal point of the competition, the Rolex Grand Prix, will take place on Sunday 22 July. As part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, CHIO Aachen hosts the second Major of 2018 in the main jumping arena, a stunning setting that accommodates over 40,000 passionate supporters. Widely acknowledged as one of the most demanding show jumping courses in the world, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen epitomizes show jumping, and is the show against which all others are measured.
The most recent addition to the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, The Dutch Masters, held in March, saw Belgium’s Niels Bruynseels triumph. Revelling in his success, Bruynseels will be hoping to maintain his position as the live contender for the premier contest. “Aachen is the next stop in my journey, and of course one of my number one goals right now is to go there and win,” Bruynseels affirmed.
THE ROLEX GRAND SLAM OF SHOW JUMPING
The first Major of the year took place in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, where 11,500 fans gathered to witness this new addition to the Rolex Grand Slam prize. Bright lights illuminated the beautiful indoor arena, for the highlight of the event, the Rolex Grand Prix. Now all eyes will turn to CHIO Aachen for a contrasting competition, held in one of the greatest outdoor arenas, on grass.
A monumental challenge for the horse and rider combinations, the Majors require perfect performances in order to reach the final stage. World-renowned course designer, Frank Rothenberger, creates the imposing, technical course seen each year in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen. His course will demand faultless precision, courage and determination from all competitors as they contend for the highly sought-after victory.
The greatest riders from all over the world will be heading to CHIO Aachen with the goal of being crowned champion. With one Major success already this year, spectators will keep a close watch on Bruynseels to see if he can continue his winning streak.
ROLEX TESTIMONEES AT CHIO AACHEN
World number eight Steve Guerdat is aiming for victory at CHIO Aachen. Having recently triumphed at CHI Royal Windsor Horse Show in the Rolex Grand Prix, the Swiss hero is at the top of his game and will be a formidable contender.
The first and only rider to ever win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, Britain’s Scott Brash, and 2016 Olympic Team gold medallist Kevin Staut (FRA), are also set to compete at CHIO Aachen. Joining them will be the masterful Canadian Eric Lamaze and Swiss rider Martin Fuchs, Rolex's newest equestrian Testimonee.
The passionate and knowledgeable home crowd will be eager to welcome their national heroes, Rolex Testimonees and champion riders Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Isabell Werth. Winner of the 2005 Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, Michaels-Beerbaum, an inspiring and courageous show jumper, will no doubt have the full support of the grandstand driving her to repeat this victory once again. The incomparable Isabell Werth is one of the most decorated dressage riders. Her World Dressage Champion title and six Olympic gold medals are just two of her many illustrious achievements. This year, spectators will have the pleasure of seeing Werth compete in the 5* Dressage Grand Prix, as she aims to win her twelfth Aachen Grand Prix title.
SHARED VALUES IN EQUESTRIAN SPORT
CHIO Aachen was inaugurated in 1924 and has exhibited phenomenal equestrian sport ever since. The year 2018 marks 10 years since the show extended to nine days of thrilling competitions, highlighting its distinguished history and commitment to the sport.
The enduring relationship between Rolex and CHIO Aachen was formed in 1999 and has gone from strength-to-strength throughout the years. Show Director, Frank Kemperman said: “We are extremely proud of the partnership between Rolex and CHIO Aachen. We feel privileged to be associated with such a prestigious and iconic brand, which has stood behind equestrian sport for over 60 years and provided fundamental support to foster its development and long-term success.”