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Max Kühner wins at The Dutch Masters Rolex Grand Prix

Max Kühner wins at The Dutch Masters Rolex Grand Prix

After three days of outstanding CSI5* show jumping, The Dutch Masters ended this past Sunday 25th of April with the victory of Max Kühner. The prestigious Rolex Grand Prix is the first Rolex Grand Slam disputed in 2021. Other Rolex Grand Slam events include the CHI Géneve, CHIO Aachen and CSIO Spruce Meadows.

Eight combinations managed to reach the jump-off in this unforgettable spectacle. The Austrian became the winner with Elektric Blue P, a 10-year-old gelding by Eldorado vd Zeshoek. The final eight riders were Philipp Weishaupt, Christian Kukuk, Jerome Guery, Gudrun Patteet, Luciana Diniz, Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, Max Kühner and Willem Greve.

Philipp Weishaupt was the only one of the eight jump-off riders to have triumphed in a Rolex Grand Slam before (CHIO Aachen 2013 and CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters 2017). He set the early pace jumping clear in 33.71 seconds. His lead was short-lived as Christian Kukuk and his 11-year-old grey gelding Checker 47 went next and stopped the clock 0.14 seconds earlier.


The Dutch Masters offered a great show until the very end

The following four riders were unable to beat Kukuk’s performance. This means it was all up to Kühner and Zanotelli. Kühner went first, setting a secure pace bearing in mind The Dutch Masters Rolex Grand Prix was at stake. Elektric Blue P and Max were able to cross the finish line a second ahead of Kukuk.

The last performance was for the 32-year-old Brazilian who was not able to speed up as much during the last fence and who managed to get second place in the competition. He rode VDL Edgar M with which he hopes to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“I am speechless, it’s great to win here, I am really happy,” said the 47-year-old rider. “I knew I had to be very fast and trusted my instincts.” Kühner bought Elektric Blue P as a two-year-old at an auction.


The prestige of a show jumping Rolex Grand Slam

The Indoor Brabant Horse Show in s’ Hertogenbosch is part of the prestigious Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. This is the fourth Major in the Grand Slam, joining the other three top events of CHIO Aachen in Germany, CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters in Canada and the CHI Geneve in Switzerland. 

The prize money in any of these competitions is worthy of mention. Any rider that wins the three Grand Prix of the Rolex Grand Slam wins a bonus of €1 million. If the rider wins a fourth event, they win an additional 1€ million bonus. Also, any rider that wins two successive Grand Prix gets a €500,000 bonus

The competition of The Dutch Masters is ranked CSI5*. This means it is at the top of Show Jumping, presenting to be at the highest difficulty and with speeds that reach 400 meters per minute. Horses in this competition must be at least 7 years old. 

“We couldn’t wish for a better partner,” said Linda Southern-Heathcott, President of the Steering Committee of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. “What has always united all the Majors is the passion for the sport, the love for horses and a long tradition of the highest standard. Therefore, Indoor Brabant is a perfect addition to the Rolex Grand Slam; it offers an outstanding infrastructure, has had a long history and attracts the best riders in the world every year.”

Now, riders will prepare for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games and later on for the CHIO Aachen and Spruce Meadows in September. 

If you are also an equestrian enthusiast, you can relive the magic of The Dutch Masters with Horse TV. Find out HERE when we are broadcasting it next. 

Photo courtesy of The Rolex Grand Slam: Peggy Schröder and from The World of Show Jumping