Inside the Rolex Grand Slam 2024

The Dutch Masters Highlights 2024

The Dutch Masters, one of the four shows that makes up the sport’s ultimate prize, the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, returns from 7–10 March with a packed schedule of sport and entertainment. This iconic show, which was first staged in 1967, attracts the world’s finest horse and rider combinations to impressive Brabanthallen for four days of thrilling action, which is sure to impress and delight those who attend. In addition to top-class international show jumping and dressage competitions, the show hosts national competitions and has a huge array of shopping available. There are also plenty of entertainment options for children with influencer meet & greets, hobby horsing, and pony riding opportunities. 

Action commences on Thursday in both the international and national arenas, with the sporting highlight of the day coming from the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Grand Prix presented by RS2 Dressage. With riders such as reigning individual World Champion Charlotte Fry, and the world’s most successful dressage rider, Isabell Werth in action, the competition is set to be fiercely fought. In the evening, crowds should expect to be thoroughly entertained as ‘The Dressage Masters’ takes centre stage. The evening will be opened by a spectacular musical performance from Patricia van Haastrecht, known for her appearances on The Voice Holland and Mamma Mia! This will swiftly be followed by a breathtaking display from Paralympic rider Sanne Voets, who will showcase her new Freestyle to Music routine. Next, fan-favourite dressage and show jumping riders swap roles. Dinja van Liere and Marieke van der Putten will take on the challenge of jumping, whilst Harrie Smolders and Maikel van der Vleuten will attempt to master the perfect piaffe. The evening will be concluded with a dressage masterclass from Dinja van Liere, Rieky Young, and Anky van Grunsven, and a spectacular performance from the 'Friesian Train'. 

With eight classes taking place across the two areas, Friday promises to be action-packed. First up in Arena 2 is the KNHS Para Dressuur Trophy, which will see para-dressage riders competing in a Freestyle to Music competition. Friday also welcomes the start of the international show jumping classes with the highlight of the day, the 1.55m VDL Groep Prize, taking place later in the evening. Last year Dutch rider Willem Greve thrilled the home crowd with a spectacular victory, one he will be aiming to repeat.

The Dutch Masters will host the final Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the concept, and on Saturday there will be a dedicated ceremony to recognise this special occasion. Fans can expect to learn more about the history of the initiative and witness some of the key highlights from the past 10 years. The celebration will be followed by the feature show jumping class of the day, the 1.50m Audi Prize. Earlier in the day the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Freestyle presented by WeLoad Energy Systems takes place, with riders hoping to secure points to qualify for the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final in early April.

All attention will be on one class on the final day of the show, the Rolex Grand Prix. This prestigious class is coveted by every show jumper and at 15.00 on Sunday, 40 of the world’s most elite horse and rider combinations will be attempting to be the definition of skill, harmony, and athleticism to claim the title. This year, German rider Richard Vogel will enter the arena as the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender with the hope of continuing his quest to become only the second rider in history to achieve the ultimate prize. 

(Photo: The Dutch Masters / REMCO VEURINK)

In total 44 riders from 12 nations, including the six top-ranked riders in the world, will contest the international show jumping classes, with the coveted Rolex Grand Prix taking place on Sunday afternoon. 

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Richard Vogel, will be making his debut at the show, and will be aiming to keep his Rolex Grand Slam dream alive. The young German rider, together with his remarkable stallion United Touch S, stormed to victory at the CHI Geneva. However, Vogel has made a tactical decision to bring the 10-year-old Cepano Baloubet, with whom he has had several 5* victories, as his partner for this Major. 

Vogel will be joined by five other German riders, including three-time Major winners, Daniel Deusser and Marcus Ehning, both of whom are likely to challenge for the top placings. Another notable German rider in action at the Indoor Brabant Horse Show is Christian Kukuk, who will be looking to build on his impressive third place at the CHI Geneva in December last year. 

Leading the group of Dutch riders looking for a home win is World No. 10 Harrie Smolders, who will be joined by 13 of his compatriots, including Leopoldo Van Asten, a previous winner of the Grand Prix at the venue (pre-Rolex Grand Slam era) and Lars Kersten will be looking to build on his victory in the final FEI Jumping World Cup™ Qualifier at Gothenburg last week. The passionate and enthusiastic Dutch crowd is sure to create a sensational atmosphere as the local riders canter into the main arena in the Brabanthallen.

Great Britain will be represented by three riders, including Scott Brash – the only rider to have won the prestigious Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping title. World No.2 Ben Maher, who is still looking for his first Major victory, comes to The Dutch Masters off the back of a number of impressive results at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida. Meanwhile, at only 24-years-old, Robert Murphy will be making his Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping debut. As a member of the Rolex Young Rider Academy, Murphy is sure to be one to watch over the coming years.  

World No.1 Henrik von Eckermann, winner of this pinnacle class in 2019, is always a threat to the top of the leaderboard, and is sure to be a favourite heading into this year’s edition. Another past winner looking to reclaim his title is Max Kühner. The stalwart of the Austrian team will bring EIC Up Too Jacco Blue who won the Audi Prize at the show last year. Frenchman Julien Epaillard came close to securing his maiden Major at the 2023 event, and will be looking to improve on his second place from last year. Known as one of the fastest riders in the world, the French rider is always one to set the crowd alight if he makes it through the jump-off. 

Steve Guerdat and Martin Fuchs are sure to present a strong Swiss challenge for the title. Guerdat, who has competed in every Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Major since its initiation, had a sensational 2023 which was topped off with a victory in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at the CHI Geneva. Both Guerdat and Fuchs – who between them have won six Majors – will be hoping to claim their inaugural Dutch Masters title.

Other noteworthy entries include Rolex Testimonee Bertram Allen from Ireland, Belgium’s highest-ranked show jumper Gregory Wathelet, and the stylish Italian rider Lorenzo de Luca.

Photo: The Dutch Masters / REMCO VEURINK
Press Release from the the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping