Rolex is celebrating 25 years as the Main Sponsor of the CHIO Aachen, a partnership formed in 1999 as part of a broader relationship with equestrianism stretching back almost 70 years. The brand’s affinity with human achievement and the perpetual quest for excellence date back to the company’s origins and these qualities underpin the brand’s support of equestrianism and its mission to unite and inspire. The CHIO Aachen embodies these ideals, providing a platform for history to be made and champions crowned. 

The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen – the event’s pinnacle competition, held on Sunday 7 July 2024 – requires of entrants extraordinary levels of precision, athleticism and courage to meet the challenge presented over three rounds at the famous venue. It is one of the four equestrian Majors – alongside The Dutch Masters, the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament and the CHI Geneva – that make up the sport’s ultimate prize, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, which rewards the rider who wins, consecutively, the Grand Prix at three of the sport’s most illustrious events. 

To capture the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen, competitors must push the boundaries of their abilities. Horse and rider combinations must perform with great harmony as they work as a team to conquer one of the sport’s most demanding challenges. The revered class has been won by some of the most famous names in the sport, including six Rolex Testimonees. Of these, Rodrigo Pessoa was the first to do so back in 1994, and the Brazilian rider will return in 2024 looking to repeat this feat exactly 30 years on.

Talking about the event, Pessoa noted: “The CHIO Aachen is my favourite Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major, as it is the equivalent to what The Championships, Wimbledon, means to tennis, the Masters means to golf, and what Daytona means to motorsport. Aachen has so much history; some incredible feats have been achieved there. Since the beginning of my career, I have always had my sights on winning the Grand Prix there. I achieved this feat very early on, and I feel very lucky and grateful for doing so.”

Daniel Deusser, the last Testimonee to triumph in this historic competition, did so in front of his home crowd in 2021. Reflecting on his victory, Deusser said: “To win the Rolex Grand Prix at Aachen was a dream come true. Aachen is my favourite Rolex Grand Slam Major, not only because I’m German, so there’s a German crowd and a lot of familiar faces around with my family watching, but also the whole picture of the show, the organization, the history, it makes it very special. The facilities are unbelievable, for a horse show; it’s an event for the horses, for the riders, for the grooms, it’s just a great event.”

Throughout its history, Rolex has focused on innovation, pushing the boundaries, and continuous improvement, characteristics that are synonymous also with the sport of equestrianism. Rolex’s support for equestrianism is governed by perpetual values that ensure the continuity of expertise and knowledge. This is demonstrated through a partnership with the CHIO Aachen CAMPUS, an international centre of equestrian excellence that focuses on training, education and digital development, and is based in the heart of the Aachen Soers showgrounds. 

Rolex Testimonees Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Jeroen Dubbeldam, both previous Grand Prix winners at the CHIO Aachen, fully support this initiative, having dedicated much of their own time to training future generations of riders. “It’s so important to give something back to the sport because the sport has given so much to me. If I can help young people, giving the right example of how to deal with the sport and how to work with horses, then that is great,” said Dubbeldam, who is part of the selection panel for the Young Riders Academy supported by Rolex, a unique programme that provides young show jumpers with the opportunity to receive world-class training and education, and which in 2024 is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.

In addition to supporting world-class events and initiatives, Rolex partners with the sport’s most outstanding athletes who personify the expertise and accuracy of the brand through their historic achievements. 

Following his victory in the Rolex Grand Prix at The Dutch Masters in March, Dutch rider Willem Greve will travel to the CHIO Aachen with the hope of continuing his quest for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. To date only one rider has achieved this feat, Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash, who won the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen in 2015 as part of a historic treble. 

Source: Press Release