In mid-March the focus of the global sport of show jumping will be on Indoor Brabant, staged in the medieval city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands. 42 of the world’s elite riders from 15 nations including last years Grand Prix champion, Rolex Testimonee Kevin Staut, will bring their top horses to compete under the lights in the Brabanthallen at the 48th addition of this historic show. Indoor Brabant combines top-level show jumping and dressage; the qualities of courage and immaculate timing will be displayed alongside the shared Rolex passion of elegance and precision, resulting in three days of inspiring horsemanship.
ROLEX TESTIMONEE IS INAUGURAL ROLEX GRAND PRIX HERO
In 2014, 14 of the world’s 20 top-rated show jumpers competed at Indoor Brabant, one of the most significant shows on the world’s indoor circuit. The Rolex Grand Prix brings the historic show to a climax on Sunday 15 March, when Frenchman Staut faces challenges from the world’s other leading riders. Fellow Rolex Testimonee Steve Guerdat is expected to be a worthy adversary to 2009 European Champion Staut. Members of the Dutch show jumping team, who achieved team gold at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, will also be looking to claim victory.
Rolex has had a long, rewarding relationship with equestrianism and Indoor Brabant. It was therefore fitting that Kevin Staut should demonstrate the skill and horsemanship required to be a true champion, by riding his great mare Silvana HDC to victory with a margin of 0.01sec over brilliant German competitor Marco Kutscher.
“The Indoor Brabant show is steeped in history and it’s important to have equestrian shows and venues like this,” said Kevin Staut after his 2014 triumph. “When you enter a ring like Indoor Brabant you can feel the history and the crowds stay late every evening to watch the top sport that this show promises to deliver.”
Course Designer Louis Koninckx has once again been tasked with designing a Grand Prix course worthy of these world-class athletes. Demanding power, control, skill and accuracy, Koninckx’s courses are renowned for being both challenging and technically highly accomplished.
For the first time in 2015, the action at Indoor Brabant will be staged in two arenas in front of packed crowds creating an electrifying atmosphere. As well as seeing the world’s most highly regarded show jumpers, visitors to Indoor Brabant will have the opportunity to witness the finest riders compete in the sport of dressage. In 2014, Rolex’s dressage Testimonee Isabell Werth, the star of the German national team, won both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle events, and she returns to s’Hertogenbosch this year to defend her titles.
THE PATH TO THE SUMMER’S MAJORS
The Rolex Grand Prix at Indoor Brabant will, for today’s elite riders, form part of their preparation for the world’s finest events of the equestrian season – and chief among them is the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. This unique challenge unites the Rolex Grand Prix classes at Aachen (Germany), Spruce Meadows (Canada) and Geneva (Switzerland), rewarding the athlete who is able to win all these Majors consecutively with the most prestigious prize in the sport.
ROLEX’S EQUESTRIAN HERITAGE
Rolex’s support of show jumping dates back more than 50 years. The leading Swiss watch brand’s close and long standing association with equestrianism demonstrates the company’s appreciation of a world in which fair play, horsemanship and tradition underline great ability, precision and achievement.
Rolex’s first equestrian Testimonee was Pat Smythe, with whom the company formed an alliance in 1957. She was the greatest female show jumper ever to represent Britain. Since then Rolex has supported riders in the three Olympic disciplines of show jumping, eventing and dressage who demonstrate the same qualities of excellence and whose sportsmanship and high standards make them the leaders of their sport.
PREVIOUS ROLEX GRAND PRIX WINNERS
2014 Kevin Staut (FRA), Silvana HDC
2013 David Will (GER), Colorit
2012 Rich Fellers (USA), Flexible
2011 Denis Lynch (IRE), Abbervail
2010 Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE), Casall La Silla
2009 Daniel Etter (SUI), Peu a Peu
2008 Marcus Ehning (GER), Sandro Boy
2007 Royne Zetterman (SWE), Isaac
2006 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Checkmate
2005 Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), Shutterfly
2004 Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Goldfever
2003 Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), Baloubet du Rouet
2002 Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Goldfever
Source: Revolution Sports/Rolex