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CHI Geneva: Pinnacle of Equestrianism

The Concours Hippique International de Genève (the CHI Geneva) will unite the world’s best show jumpers in the home city of the show’s Presenting Sponsor, Rolex. First staged in 1926, it has been voted the best indoor jumping event on 10 occasions. Taking place at the Palexpo Arena, the CHI Geneva will feature two of the season’s most anticipated competitions: the Rolex International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC) Top 10 Final; and the Rolex Grand Prix, the final Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of 2023. 

The show culminates on Sunday 10 December with the Rolex Grand Prix, a competition renowned for its testing course in one of the world’s biggest indoor equestrian arenas. To date, six Rolex Testimonees have claimed this esteemed crown, their success a result of the precision, bravery and athleticism demanded of both horse and rider.

Rolex has been the Presenting Sponsor of the CHI Geneva since 1995. This long-term partnership epitomizes the brand’s contribution to excellence in equestrianism, encouraging innovation while respecting the tradition and elegance of the sport. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, celebrating its 10-year anniversary, showcases the Swiss watchmaker’s enduring support for equestrianism. It is considered the sport’s ultimate challenge and most coveted prize, awarded to any rider who consecutively wins the Grand Prix at three of the four Majors: The Dutch Masters, the CHIO Aachen, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament and the CHI Geneva.

Swiss rider and Rolex Testimonee Martin Fuchs is the only rider to have achieved consecutive Rolex Grand Prix wins at the CHI Geneva, in 2019 and 2021 (the event was not held in 2020). Following his spectacular victory in the CPKC ‘International’ Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament in September, Fuchs returns to Geneva as the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender.

Looking ahead to his home Major, Fuchs commented: “Rolex has partnered with four of the best shows in the world and helped create an excellent series. Competing at the CHI Geneva is always incredible, and winning in 2019 and 2021 was just an extraordinary feeling. Being Swiss, it is always very special riding at a Major that takes place in front of my home crowd. The supporters are amazing and particularly supportive of me and Steve Guerdat.”

Guerdat is among the other Rolex Testimonees to have triumphed in the Grand Prix at this exceptional venue, which hosts more than 43,000 passionate equestrian fans over the five days of competition. The Swiss equestrian arrives in Geneva as continental champion, having won individual gold at the FEI Jumping European Championship in September.

A three-time winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva (2006, 2013, 2015), Guerdat added: “The size of the arena and facilities at CHI Geneva make the show so unique. The organization is seamless which benefits horses and riders. The show is ingrained with history and reminds riders to reflect on the growth and development of equestrianism. The show definitely has a soul, and this remains very unique. The volunteers and their dedication to the show make the whole experience incredibly special. The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is extremely prestigious, it has driven equestrianism to another level, and not only for the riders – it allows a wider audience to attend events and has resulted in unprecedented interest.”

Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final
The Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final is an innovative and globally renowned competition, the only one of its kind in equestrianism, where the 10 highest ranked riders in the world compete against each other over two rounds. Taking place on the Friday night, it can be likened to the Nitto ATP Finals in tennis, also a season finale featuring the sport’s most talented and consistent athletes. This unique contest has been supported by Rolex since its inception in 2001

Rodrigo Pessoa, the brand’s longest serving equestrian Testimonee and one of the first winners of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, said: “To win the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final has the same significance as a win at the Majors, or a championship. Riders are aware of their rankings throughout the year so that they can be one of the exclusive group of riders who partake in the final. Rolex has been supporting the final since the start and that has resulted in it becoming a prestigious and exclusive competition.”

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam