A fantastic victory for Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei!

There is hardly a better way to close of this 60th edition of the CHI Geneva than with a Swiss victory in the Rolex Grand Prix, the fourth leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Martin Fuchs won his second GP in Geneva in a row, following his first win in 2019 with Clooney 51.

What a subtle and complicated initial course! One had to wait and follow 24 riders until a first pair mastered the challenges of Gérard Lachat and his team without any faults. Some of the great champions, including the newly crowned winner of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, Ben Maher, or the two contenders for the Grand Slam, Steve Guerdat and Daniel Deusser, cut their teeth on it. The riders, however, praised the excellent work of the course masters: "It was a very selective course, but fair for the horses, and the time was also calculated perfectly", praised Harrie Smolders at the end of the competition. And Martin Fuchs added: "When I walked the course, I told Gerard that this was probably the best course you could imagine." Difficult to ride, but brilliantly designed. The audience cheered accordingly, especially for Bryan Balsiger from Neuchâtel, who, however, suffered an unfortunate fault at the last obstacle. The Irish rider Darragh Kenny was the first to finish the course without any penalties. Immediately afterwards, Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei ensured with another flawless round that a jump-off took place in front of the Geneva audience. In the end, there were six candidates who entered the arena of the Palexpo once again to claim the long-awaited victory of the Rolex Grand Prix.

A crowning finish

As the first starter in this jump-off, Darragh Kenny put pressure on his followers with a fast clear ride. However, this did not impress the following pair, who had won two medals at the European Championships. Martin Fuchs relied on the qualities of his beautiful grey horse to ride at risk in the first and in the last line and at the same time found the perfect distances to the nine obstacles of this jump-off course. The ultra-fast Kent Farrington and his brilliant Gazelle made the stands shake and played with the Swiss rider's nerves until the end. The time was better than Martin's, but the pole of the last oxer fell to the ground. Starting last, Harrie Smolders rode all the turns tightly in an attempt to make up time, but in the end he was a tiny 23 hundredths slower. Max Kühner and Elektric Blue P, who completed the Rolex Grand Prix podium, praised the performance of Martin Fuchs and Leone Jei: "Leone Jei might not be the fastest horse in the world, but Martin used his strengths to make him fast."

It was a very fine victory for the Swiss rider, who thus achieved a double win at the Rolex Grand Prix and was the crowning glory of the 60th edition of the CHI Geneva. The event was a great success and attracted 41,000 spectators over the four days. "I am of course overjoyed, not only because I have won this tournament, which I love so much, for the second time, but also because I am a contender for the Rolex Grand Slam again", Martin Fuchs smiled. "And this with this great Leone Jei, who is only nine years old and always amazes me."

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