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Who is going to stop Marcus Ehning?

There is much at stake for Marcus Ehning at The Dutch Masters. In case the German rider will come out as the winner of the Rolex Grand Prix, he will win a bonus of €500,000. Last year he had to settle for second place behind Niels Bruynseels, but in Aachen and Geneva he took matters into his own hands and won both Grand Prix in a sensational way. But there will be strong opposition in the Brabanthallen in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. However, the 44-year-old top rider remains down to earth. “I do not especially prepare for it. I take things as they come. I do not know yet which horse I will start in the Rolex Grand Prix, it all depends on the form and how things go during the first days of the show.”

Strong opposition
The competitor field for the international jumping classes is very strong and shows many big names who all have the qualities to win. The world number one, Steve Guerdat from Switzerland, will be there. The 36-year-old 2012 Olympic Champion like to compete in ‘s-Hertogenbosch: “The Dutch Master is one of my favorite shows.” The world’s number three, Harrie Smolders, is another serious rival. He is planning to compete Don VHP Z in the Rolex Grand Prix. “Don VHP Z has had a break and I currently started his training again. He should be ready in time for the big classes at The Dutch Masters.” Egypt’s Sameh Al Dahan won the Major in Calgary at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ and he has a special bond with The Dutch Masters where his international career started at the World Cup Finals in 2012. He still has the chance to win the bonus of €250,000 for winning two Majors within the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping cycle. Britain’s Scott Brash is also travelling to de Brabanthallen. He is the first and only winner to date to have won the Grand Slam title.

België is coming with a strong team led by last year’s winner Niels Bruynseels. He is joined by, among others, Nicola and Olivier Philippaerts and Jos Verlooy. Germany is, in addition to Ehning, represented by Christian Ahlmann, Ludger Beerbaum, Daniel Deusser and Philipp Weishaupt. Other top riders who will try to keep Ehning from winning are France’s Kevin Staut en Simon Delestre, Ireland’s Allen Bertram, Luciana Diniz (POR), European champion Peder Fredricson (SWE) and Kent Farrington (USA) The host nation is, among others, sending Jeroen Dubbeldam, Frank Schuttert, Maikel van der Vleuten, Leopold van Asten and Jur Vrieling.

The Rolex Grand Prix is staged on Sunday 17 March at 3.30 pm. Before the start the public will, together with Jeroen Dubbeldam and everybody involved, say goodbye to the great Zenith. Full line up The Dutch Masters.

(photos: Digishots)