Skelton and Big Star to Contest Next Leg of Rolex Grand Slam of Jumping
Calgary, AB, Canada – August 27, 2013 – Spruce Meadows will host the world’s best show jumpers at the prestigious ‘Masters’ Tournament, held September 4-8, 2013, in Calgary. The ‘Masters’ is a CSIO 5* event and will award $2.115 million in prize money. Seven of the top 10 ranked show jumpers in the world plan to attend, including newly named European Champion, France’s Roger Yves Bost (ranked #9 in the world). Rolex Grand Slam of Jumping leaders Nick Skelton (ranked #11 in the world) and Big Star will compete as well, and competition at this year’s tournament will be electric. Along with top individuals, there are eight teams that will compete in the BMO Nations’ Cup.
The top 10 ranked riders (as of July 31, 2013) that plan to show at the ‘Masters’ include World Number One rider Christian Ahlmann (GER), Beezie Madden (2-USA), Kevin Staut (3-FRA), who is showing for the first time at Spruce Meadows, Gerco Schroeder (4-NED), Steve Guerdat (7-SUI), Kent Farrington (8-USA), and Bost.
Rolex Testimonee and current Olympic champion, Steve Guerdat, looks forward to competing at the ‘Masters.’ He pointed out, “The show itself is just a huge highlight. It’s very exciting to go to the ‘Masters,’ and we all look forward to the $1 Million International Grand Prix on Sunday, especially with the new Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.”
Ranked #11 in the world is Great Britain’s Nick Skelton, who has set the circuit on fire this summer with his top horse, Big Star. The pair won the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, the first leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Jumping. The ‘Masters’ CSIO 5* hosts the second leg of the competition, while the final leg is at the CHI Geneva in December.
Spruce Meadows President Linda Southern-Heathcott noted, “We are very excited to have such a strong line-up of riders competing at this year’s ‘Masters.’ With over two million dollars in prize money over five days, we are pleased to be able to attract the top names in the sport, and even more money is on the line with the $1 Million International Grand Prix and the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Every year we increase prize money and opportunities for riders, and every year they give us the best competition in the world.”
The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the first global initiative to reward the outstanding rider who wins the Grand Prix at each tournament in succession. Any rider that wins the Grand Prix at each of the three tournaments consecutively will receive €1 million bonus on top of the prize money for each tournament’s Grand Prix. Moreover, any rider that wins two out of the three tournaments’ Grands Prix will also receive a bonus of €500,000 in succession or €250,000 for winning two out of three.
Skelton and Big Star will attempt to make history when they compete in the highlight event of the season, the $1 Million International Grand Prix, on Sunday, September 8. They will have tough competition from some of the best in the sport, along with last year’s winners, Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) and Cabrio van de Heffinck.
“Winning the prestigious $1 Million International Grand Prix last year was something incredible for me,” Philippaerts expressed, “because I didn’t expect to win it. People remember me from winning that Grand Prix, and it gave myself a boost for the future!”
He added, “I think the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ is one of the world’s best show jumping events, and it is an honour just to compete there. The ‘Masters’ is so unique because of the crowd. They love the sport. That makes us European riders come over to Calgary.”
National pride will be on the line when eight countries line up teams to compete in the $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup. In addition to teams from Canada and the USA, there will be squads from Germany (winners in 2012), France, Belgium, Switzerland, Great Britain, and Ireland.
Guerdat will be a member of the Swiss team in the BMO Nations Cup as well. 2013 European Champions Great Britain will have a team, including Team Gold and Individual Silver medalist, Ben Maher, and Team Gold medalist Michael Whitaker.
There is fantastic prize money on the line each day of the ‘Masters’ Tournament. Spruce Meadows increased the FEI prize money awarded from 2012 by $300,000, making it a total of $2,115,000 in prize money given in the five-day event (not including special prizes or series). Eight of the 10 major events have also increased their world ranking point level, giving riders even more opportunity to raise their ranking in the world.
The schedule includes these major classes:
Wednesday, September 4: $50,000 Akita Drilling Cup 1.50m and $85,000 Finning Cup 1.60m
Thursday, September 5: $50,000 ATCO Structures and Logistics Cup 1.50m and $125,000 CANA Cup 1.60m
Friday, September 6: The Mercedes-Benz “Evening of the Horse” featuring the $205,000 Encana Cup 1.60m and $75,000 ATCO Electric ‘Circuit’ Six Bar under the lights and concluding with the Band of the Irish Guards playing live music to the fireworks display
Saturday, September 7: $125,000 Suncor Winning Round 1.50m and $350,000 BMO Nations’ Cup
Sunday, September 8: $50,000 Telus Cup 1.50m and $1 Million International Grand Prix
Saturday’s BMO Nations’ Cup and Sunday’s $1 Million International Grand Prix will be televised live on the CBC.
Spruce Meadows looks forward to welcoming the world’s best to the ‘Masters’ Tournament next week and invites everyone to come and see the sport of show jumping at its best. For a full schedule and list of riders attending, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com/tournaments.
For further information on the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, please visitwww.rolexgrandslam.com.
Based in Calgary, Canada, Spruce Meadows is the brainchild of the Southern family who built a Show Jumping complex at the foothills of the Alberta Rocky Mountains. It was in 1976 that the first Spruce Tournaments were held, with annual spectator attendances reaching over 50,000 by the end of the decade. Today, Spruce Meadows boasts one of the greatest outdoor equestrian venues in the world and offers an incredible experience for riders and fans alike. Spruce Meadows focuses on the organization and hosting of show jumping tournaments of unmatched quality for junior, amateur and professional athletes in a manner that reflects basic family values in a clean, green and welcoming environment that celebrates the horse and encourages the breeding and training of quality sport horses and the teaching and development of athletes. For more information on Spruce Meadows, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.