CHI Geneva: 2021 to end on a high with the 60th CHI Geneva and the 20th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final

After last year’s cancellation, the CHI Geneva has two good reasons to be celebrating its imminent return: not only will the 60th staging of the event be taking place in December, but it will also feature the 20th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, first held at Palexpo in 2001. There is a lot to look forward to, including the flagship competitions that have made the event such a success for so many years now.

The organisers are not lacking in enthusiasm as they prepare for the 60th edition, to be held at Palexpo on 9-12 December. To celebrate the milestone, they are screening a film and staging a major horse show early on the evening of Saturday 11 December, with a second show being held on Sunday. Postponed for a year on account of the pandemic, the anniversary is eagerly awaited by the public, the riders and the volunteers, to whom this year’s event is dedicated.

The CHI Geneva will live up to its reputation as a quality sporting event by staging a standout competition every day, starting with Thursday evening’s Trophée de Genève. A qualifying event for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix, it will feature the leading rider-and-horse combinations. The 20th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final will take place on Friday evening, with the ten leading riders in early November’s world rankings going head to head. Prior to that, leading eventing riders will be entertaining spectators in the Cross Indoor event, presented by La Tribune de Genève. The riders were in Switzerland just ten days ago, at the FEI Eventing European Championship in Avenches, and some of them seemed very keen to make a quick return to the country and step out at Palexpo this December.

All eyes on the Rolex Grand Prix

Kicking off at midday on the Saturday, the Coupe de Genève will provide riders with one last chance to book their place in Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix, one of the four events that make up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Germany’s Daniel Deusser is on a high after his recent win at the CHIO Aachen, though Steve Guerdat, victorious at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Calgary a week earlier, will be pocketing a tidy bonus if he comes out on top in Geneva, as will Max Kühner, the Dutch Masters winner in spring, if he wins. Crowned showjumping champions of Europe at the start of September, the Switzerland team – made up of Steve Guerdat, Martin Fuchs, Bryan Balsiger, Elian Baumann and team captain Michel Sorg – can expect a rapturous welcome.

Under-25s in the spotlight

Showjumping’s next generation will once again take centre stage at Palexpo, thanks to three events for riders aged under 25. Held on the Saturday afternoon, the Grand Prix Land Rover is the biggest event of the three and will crown the leading rider-and-horse pairing of the U25 competitions. Taking place after the show celebrating the 60th CHI Geneva, the Credit Suisse Challenge will bring Saturday’s action to a close. It is always a popular event with riders, not least because there are world ranking points on offer.

Geneva, the only port of call on the Driving World Cup circuit

The Driving World Cup will make its usual stop in Geneva for an event presented by Radio Télévision Suisse. While the list of entrants has yet to be confirmed, there is every expectation that Australia’s Boyd Exell will be making an appearance. Exell has won every Geneva World Cup round since debuting at the event in 2008. Valais rider Jérôme Voutaz will also be bringing his franches-montagnes to Palexpo. A star of the international scene, he is anxious to add the Geneva title to his long list of honours. Another attraction is the rare and eagerly awaited meeting of the Delgado sisters, Magali and Estelle, and the Pignon brothers, Jean-François and Frédéric, an occasion when the arena will thrill to the sight of horses roaming free.

Though preparations for the 60th staging of the CHI Geneva are progressing smoothly, health restrictions remain an issue that the event’s organisers have to contend with every day. At the time of writing, spectators arriving at Palexpo will be asked to show a Covid certificate, a requirement that applies to all events in Switzerland with more than 1,000 attendees. Spectators will be delighted to learn that tickets will go on sale at on Thursday 7 October. Tickets and four-day passes will be available at competitive prices.