Inside The Dutch Masters: Willem Greve wins the Rolex Grand Prix

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Willem Greve (NED) riding Highway TN N.O.P. celebrates winning the Rolex Grand Prix 's-Hertogenbosch

The Dutch Masters – the first Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major of the calendar year – culminated this afternoon with the show’s pinnacle class, the Rolex Grand Prix. The Major, which was the final of the four shows within the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the initiative did so with a fitting ceremony on Saturday evening looking back over the highlights from the past decade.

The energy in the Brabanthallen was electric as fans waited with bated breath to see if the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Richard Vogel, could claim back-to-back Majors in his pursuit of the ultimate prize in the sport – a quest that would not come easy with a sensational field of riders including the current European, World and Olympic Champions all hoping to claim this prestigious Rolex Grand Prix.

Second to go – Rolex Testimonee and winner of the CPKC ‘International’ Grand Prix, presented by Rolex at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament – Martin Fuchs was the first to master Louis Konickx’s exceptionally built course. His mount, Leone Jei, has jumped eight clears in Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Majors, the most of any horse in the class.

The next combination into the main arena, World No.1 Henrik von Eckermann and King Edward ensured there would be a jump-off with a perfectly judged clear round, whilst the flying Frenchman Julien Epaillard, was another to clear the 14 combination course and kept his hopes of the becoming the first French rider to win a Major alive. At the halfway point, seven riders from seven different nations had secured their place in the jump-off including the ‘Dutch Rider of the Year’, Harrie Smolders who set the home crowd alight, and German rider Marcus Ehning. Of the remaining riders, only two additional combinations proceeded to the second round with some of the competition’s favourites such as Steve Guerdat and the live contender Richard Vogel unable to join the exclusive list of riders.

Returning in the same order in which they jumped in the first round, it was Fuchs who set the pace with a clear in a time of 35.11 seconds, however, his lead was quickly usurped by von Eckermann and King Edward who showed why they are considered to be the leading combination in the world, when they crossed the line in 33.74 seconds. The crowd roared to life as Smolders produced a super smooth round, but heartbreak came when he was 0.92 seconds slower. It looked like it would be a Swedish victory, but last to go, Dutch rider Willem Greve with his bay stallion, Highway TN N.O.P. produced an expertly judged round to beat the World No.1’s time by just 0.04 seconds. Greve therefore not only claimed his first Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major but also a first for the Netherlands, and become the live contender ahead of the CHIO Aachen in July.

Speaking on his win the Dutch rider stated: “I have to pinch myself – it is unbelievable. Words cannot describe how I am feeling. I am so thankful for my horse for his courage and his mentality. It means so much to me to win in front of my home crowd – the history here is incredible, and it is an honour to add my name to the list of winners. I have been coming to The Dutch Masters since a was a small child, and so to win here is a dream come true.”

Top ten Rolex Grand Prix ‘s-Hertogenbosch – CSI5* – Part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping – Table A with Jump-Off 1m60

RankNr.Rider Owner / BreederHorse – Breed Sex \ Color \ Born \ Sire \ Siredam \ DamEURRoundAJump-OffTime
164Willem Greve NED Team Nijhof vof / P. Verdellen paarden fok & opfokHighway TN N.O.P. – KWPN Stallion \ Bay \ 2012 \ Eldorado v. Zeshoek \ Chellano \ Zelana V3300000033.70
292Henrik von Eckermann SWE Dufour Stables Ag, Henrik von Eckermann / Wim ImpensKing Edward – BWP Gelding \ Chestnut \ 2010 \ Edward 28 \ Feo \ Koningin de Lauzelle2000000033.74
387Harrie Smolders NED Spronken Leon, Harrie Smolders / Otto Boje SchoofUricas van de Kattevennen – HOLST Stallion \ Bay \ 2012 \ Uriko \ San Patrignano Cassini \ T-Cassina1500000034.66
432Martin Fuchs SUI Adolfo JURI / G.M Van MersbergenLeone Jei – KWPN Gelding \ Grey \ 2012 \ Baltic VDL \ Corland \ Dara1000000035.11
5118Denis Lynch IRL Molly Ohrstrom, Denis Lynch / Polfliet Eric, Sint Kruis WinkelBrooklyn Heights – BWP Gelding \ Chestnut \ 2009 \ Nabab de Reve \ For Pleasure \ Cordula de Laubry600000037.89
66Pieter Devos BEL Devos Stables / Top Stallions Company, la Roque BaignardToupie de la Roque – SF Mare \ Chestnut \ 2007 \ Kannan \ Nabab de Reve \ Walloon de Muze450000038.51
7108Marcus Ehning GER Nybor Pferde GmbH & Co.KG, Sportpferde Ehning GbR / Claire & Philippe RizzoliPriam du Roset – CH Gelding \ Bay \ 2011 \ Plot Blue \ Tanael du Serein \ Ganaelle du Roset CH300000042.87
822Gregory Wathelet BEL Gregory Wathelet / Perek BarakeAce of Hearts – ESH Gelding \ Bay \ 2010 \ Aliandro B \ Ra \ Rachel250000836.30
914Julien Epaillard FRA Sarl Exceptional Horses S.L., Perrine Cateline, Sylvain Pito / Sylvain PitoisDubai du Cedre – SF Mare \ Chestnut \ 2013 \ Baloubet du Rouet \ Diamant de Semilly \ Urgada de Kreisker200000836.60
10121Loewie Joppen NED Loewie Joppen, G Vanderhoijdonck / van der KloetHavel van de Wolfsakker Z – ZANG Gelding \ Bay \ 2011 \ Hos d’O \ Bollvorm’S Libero H \ Nisinia van de Wolfsakker20000375.20

Full results

Photo: Rolex Grand Slam / Ashley Neuhof | Press release Inside The Dutch Masters 2024 : Sunday 10 March

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