The Rolex Grand Slam dream was reignited for Germany’s Daniel Deusser on the final day of The Dutch Masters, as he claimed the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix title in the Netherlands.
The course set by Louis Konickx saw a quality field of 12 horse and rider combinations master the first round without fault, including CHIO Aachen champion and Rolex Testimonee Daniel Deusser, who was in contention for a Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping non-consecutive bonus. Much to the delight of the Dutch crowd, a strong contingent of four Dutch riders reached the nine-obstacle jump-off, vying for a home victory.
Cheers echoed around the arena as Harrie Smolders and Monaco were first to secure a double clear in a speedy time of 38.03 secs to take pole position and apply the early pressure. Jack Ansems followed suit, but was unable to shave any seconds off the leading time and slotted into second place. Smolders had a nail-biting wait with 10 still to go, which included in-form Daniel Deusser and Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z. This formidable partnership made it look effortless, taking 0.13 seconds off the time set by Smolders.
Deusser’s time proved to be unbeatable despite the best efforts of Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Great Britain’s Scott Brash who both posted a quicker time but had four faults at the last fence. All eyes now turn to the second Rolex Grand Slam Major of the year, CHIO Aachen in Germany, where Daniel Deusser will not only be looking to defend his 2021 title, but will also be striving to continue his journey as the Rolex Grand Slam live contender.
Congratulations! You looked very confident in the warm-up; did that course suit you and Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z?
Yes, I was feeling confident as the horse has felt in very good shape over the last couple weeks, but you still have to bring it on the day, of course. Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z jumped very well in the first round, he felt really nice but we had a lot of competitors in the jump-off which always makes it harder and puts on a little bit more pressure. It made me think about what tactic I should play a bit more, I tried to do one less stride from the first to second, but I knew even when I had done my perfect round, that there were good riders to come and it could maybe be beaten. I was very lucky that the ones who tried to go faster had the last down and I am over the moon with this result.
When you saw Harrie Smolders’ quick time, did that change your tactics at all?
No, I didn’t think about that when I went into the ring. I had walked the jump-off before the class started and worked out my options. It all went to plan and was exactly how I wanted to ride it and it feels very good when it all works out!
You are now the Rolex Grand Slam live contender once again. How will you prepare for CHIO Aachen?
CHIO Aachen is still along way away. I will try to plan that I make sure I have one of my best horses in the right shape to perform in Aachen. I will continue to work with the horses, see how they develop and are performing and then I will make a decision who I take.
Full results here.