Nick Skelton wins Rolex GP at CHIO Aachen 2013


30th June, 2013

Nick Skelton (GBR) today won the Rolex Grand Prix event at CHIO Aachen, the first stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping.  Skelton proved that things really do get better with age when he won the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen and thereby becomes the first 'live' contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping in 2013. 

Riding his favourite horse Big Star, Skelton was one of only three riders who went double clear in the first two rounds, and he then topped off a stunning afternoon of Show Jumping with a clear, quick round in the jump-off, beating the 26 year-old Swiss rider Janika Sprunger riding Palloubet d'Halong into second place, and Patrice Delaveau (FRA) on Orient Express HDC into third. Daniel Deusser, riding Cornet d'Amour, was the leading German rider in fourth place, and unlucky to have a time fault in the first round, his only penalty over two rounds of jumping. 

This is Skelton's fourth victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen and makes him the most successful rider to compete in the highlight of the famous World Equestrian Festival. His first title was over 30 years ago in 1982 when riding Everest if Ever, and he has had subsequent victories in 1987 and 1988 riding Raffles Apollo. 

Commenting on his win today, Skelton said, "My first win here was a long time ago; Janika probably wasn't even born then, but although I am getting on a bit it's all about your horse and how good a horse you have. I'm lucky that I've got a good horse and can keep going."

Forty horse and rider combinations qualified for the Rolex Grand Prix, and the first round saw eight go clear. The format of the competition dictates that numbers reduce to 18 for the second round, and faults are carried forward.  

The second round saw eight of the eighteen go clear including successful rounds from Rolex Testimonees Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) on Bella Donna and Steve Guerdat (SUI) on Nino des Buissonnets, but only three went through to the jump off which was won so emphatically by Nick Skelton.  

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping features three of the world’s greatest equestrian shows – the CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament and CHI Geneva – and is the first global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the Grand Prix at each show in succession. The winner of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping will be rewarded with a €1 million bonus prize.

Rider Quotes:

Nick Skelton (GBR):       

"It probably feels a bit different this time - it's €350,000 to the winner, so it probably feels a bit different. But you know, 25 ago years is a long time. The horse jumped great today and it's always a great place to win in and a pleasure to win here."

"Oh he's (Big Star) is great, he's fresh still, he's bucking and still kicking about about so he's great."

"Yes, it's nice to win, I think the British have actually won it quite a lot here, so it's a favourite Grand Prix for us."

"Well, I mean, yeah, I'm old, getting on now a bit and experienced, but it's all about your horse and how good a horse you've got you know. If you've got a good horse, you can keep going."

"Yes, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is great, but like I said I'll see when I go home how he is and try and plan out my season."

Nick Skelton (GBR) ridig BIG STAR wins the prestigious Aachen event.



Janika Sprunger (SUI)

"In the second round I was very relaxed actually because I was so nervous for the first round - I don't know why I made myself so much pressure because I knew the horse was in such fantastic shape. Then I cleared it and then the second round I knew - just concentrate, you can do it, and I focussed and it went all well.

I tried to support my horse as good as I could because he's so careful that you really also have to fight with him a little bit that he doesn't get too careful to make the back bar and he just listened and he was fantastic. With just the three double clears I had nothing to lose to go in the jump off first, so I did my best. Yes, I was maybe also a little bit inexperienced that I came in there too fast maybe in the double, but I feel like a winner and I am so happy.

I feel very honoured with these big names to be really on the top, it's really a dream coming true, I'm really happy."

Janika Sprunger (SUI) PALLOUBET D ́HALONG 2nd

Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER)

"In general I've had a nice week here [in Aachen]. I rode on the Nations Cup team on Thursday night and finished third with the German team and today had an unlucky rail in the first round with one time fault, but a clear in the second round so in the money again. Everything could have been better, but in general I'm pleased, my horses all jumped well and I was in the ribbons.

I think the Rolex Grand Slam is an enormous addition to our sport, it's very very exciting. It's exciting for all riders to have the opportunity to win something like the Rolex Grand Slam and to be considered the best in the world and compared to other top sports in the world, so for us, this is not just about prize money, it's about prestige and we're all excited to be a part of it. It's something that's been missing from our sport and Rolex has really created something special and we're allgoing to try to win."


Steve Guerdat (SUI)

"I have a little bit two different feelings - one side I'm happy about being fifth place. I think it's a good result in such a class, but on the other hand I think it's the most disappointing fifth place I have had in my career so far because really the way the horse was jumping in these two rounds, we really deserved more than that and the luck was not on our side today and I hope next year there'll be a little bit more luck on our side.

Honestly, I think you have to have a little bit of luck when you want to win a class like this over three rounds - it was the only fence he hardly touched over these two rounds and it's four faults... some days you knock three or four and they stay in and everybody is laughing and happy.

If I have to explain it, I think I was a little bit - about the time - a little bit worried and I took that oxer a little bit at an angle, the first round and maybe just saw it at the last minute and that's why he maybe just touched it. I think it was more of bad luck just today and you don't have to look too far for an explanation."

Will you be in Spruce Meadows for another shot at the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

"Yes of course, if you like the sport the way I like it... it's a dedication of our life to the sport and you just want to be in the best places with the best people, so you want to be definitely in the Rolex Grand Slam.

Thanks to shows like Aachen and thanks to sponsors like Rolex, they're making it possible. They're just not somehow throwing money in a stupid way, they're just doing it - helping the sport out. I mean, we have a great sport and I guess the only thing is, there's just not enough people knowing about it. Once they get to know it, I think they'll find it very exciting and I'm sure thanks to Rolex we're going to be able to bring it to a different level."

Beezie Madden (USA):

"My horse jumped great, I think at the third fence I was just a little too passive there, he had the back rail, but picked it up from there, tried to make the time and he jumped fantastic. He felt super in the warm up today - both rounds. I know he's scopey and careful and it's a good place for a horse like him." 

Will you be heading to Spruce Meadows for the second event in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

"Yes, I plan on being at Spruce Meadows for sure, then we'll go from there. I think it's a tremendous help, when we get to the same prize money as some of the other big sports in the world, then people notice us. It's fantastic."

Christian Ahlmann (GER)

"I'm actually a bit disappointed; my horse had one down in the second round. My horse jumped really amazing, really unlucky fault. It will take a few hours, then I can enjoy what we have here in Aachen. It was fun to jump here and all the horses jumped amazing so in the end I go very happy home. It's not only luck - you need luck a little bit, but in the end, the three riders today in the jump off they did an amazing job. They were in great shape and they deserved to be in the top three."

Will you be heading to Spruce Meadows for a go at the second event in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?                   

"Yes, I try to be there in Calgary and as well in Geneva. It's very very nice that we have this Grand Slam and Rolex gave us the possibility to compete for this kind of prize money at these nice stadiums, so if I get the possibility I will take it.

I think it's really important that everybody looks to Aachen or these shows on this level because this is what we want and it is what we like, these facilities, this prize money, this sport and everything around. So we're happy that the sponsors gave us these possibilities and hopefully a few more will do it."

Daniel Deusser (Germany) CORNET D ́AMOUR 4th

RolexGrandPrixDelaveauAachen 2013-400
Patrice Delaveau (France) ORIENT EXPRESS HDC 3rd


Rider Audio Quotes:



Nick Skelton (GBR):    


Janika Sprunger (SUI)


Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER)


Steve Guerdat (SUI)


Beezie Madden (USA):


Christian Ahlmann (GER)


Billy Twomey (IRL)


Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP)



Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – The Rules



The rules of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping are simple: any rider that wins the Grand Prix at each of the three shows consecutively will receive €1m on top of


the prize-money for each show’s Grand Prix. Moreover, any rider that wins two out of the three shows’ Grands Prix will also receive a bonus.



If the Grands Prix at two shows are won in succession, the bonus will be €500,000. If a rider is successful in qualifying for the “two out of three mode”, but doesn’t claim the victories at two consecutive shows’ Grands Prix, the bonus will be €250,000. It is only the rider that counts, not the horse i.e. it is possible to claim the bonus riding different horses. This system is infinite; it is not limited to a calendar year.



Three wins in a row - €1,000,000


Two wins in a row - €500,000


Two wins out of three (not consecutively) - €250,000





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