The Rolex Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in Canada is one of the most prestigious showjumping competitions in the world – and you can watch all the action on Horse & Country.
The Grand Prix is the highlight of the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5*, which is held every September at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Calgary.
The tournament attracts the biggest names in sport – who are hoping for a slice of the record-breaking $3million prize money, with $1million going to the winner. Not bad for an afternoon’s work.
This year’s list of contenders features an incredible NINE of the world’s top 10 riders including Scott Brash – who has won the Spruce Meadows Grand Prix for the past two years – world number one Kent Farrington (USA), Christian Ahlmann (Germany) and Steve Guerdat (Switzerland).
Ireland’s Cian O’Connor is another one to watch, as he comes to Calgary off the back of his European team gold and individual bronze medals.
Competitors riding on home turf include Tiffany Foster, Ian Millar – who won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2014 at the age of 68 – and Eric Lamaze, who won in 2011 and 2007.
Rolex Grand Slam
Riders are also competing for a chance to win a further €1million, as the ‘Masters’ Grand Prix is one of three legs in the Rolex Grand Slam.
Any rider that can consecutively win the Rolex Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, Geneva and Aachen receives the big bonus.
Scott is the only rider in history to have achieved such a feat in 2015, riding Hello Sanctos. Can he achieve another world first, with a hat trick of wins in Calgary?
Grégory Wathelet is the current Grand Slam contender, following his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in July. The Belgian rider celebrates his 37th birthday on 10 September, so a win in Calgary would be the perfect present.
“Every rider dreams of winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping,” said Grégory. “The Majors are the best and most difficult shows in our sport. You have to compete against the strongest pairs in the world and I know that it will be very difficult to also win in Calgary. But for me this is now perhaps a unique opportunity and I will put all my energy into it.”