CHIO Aachen: Interview with Pieter Devos waiting for the Rolex Grand Prix

19 July - In September Pieter Devos rode to victory at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Canada, and now he has repeated his success in China: Belgium's Pieter Devos won the most important jumping competition in Shanghai. Devos already reached the jump-off at the CHI in Geneva and thus demonstrated that he is certainly not to be underestimated in the future.  Hence, at the CHIO Aachen in just over a month's time he will also be a serious candidate – if he were to win at the Soers after his victory in Canada, he would be 250,000 Euros richer, because he is still  in the running to win the "2 out of 3 mode bonus“ of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. So the Belgian show-jumper, Pieter Devos, like Steve Guerdat, is on course for success in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

First of all congratulations to your victory with the team in the Mercedes-Benz Nations' Cup. Thanks to your outstanding performance on Thursday evening you too succeeded in qualifying for the Rolex Grand Prix. How has your week here at the show been so far?

I am very happy with my achievements so far. The victory in the Nations' Cup with the Belgian team was especially spectacular, of course. I hope I am able to take this drive with me into the Rolex Grand Prix and will endeavour to put in a good performance. "Greenfield of India", who I will be riding in the Rolex Grand Prix, has already shown here in Aachen that he is in great form.

What are you expectations for the Rolex Grand Prix? Do you think you could win?

I hope I win, of course, that goes without saying. However, this projection is very, very optimistic considering the line-up of top riders, who are competing and of course the demanding course. I rode "Candy" in Calgary and we won. She is simply born for big arenas like Aachen. Unfortunately, she is injured and can't take part here in Aachen. "Greenfield of India" still has to gain some experience. I am curious to see how he reacts tomorrow amid this impressive setting. I am going to place my whole trust in him.

What makes Aachen so exceptional for a show-jumper?

This is the second time I've competed in Aachen and what shall I say, I am just as impressed as I was during my first visit. If I had to choose which stadium I would like to ride in anywhere in the world, I wouldn't take long to decide: It would definitely be Aachen. The victory in the Nations' Cup on Thursday evening was the best victory in my entire sporting career so far. This magnificent setting and the crowd, who back us with all their emotions, are extremely impressive. So, I am really looking forward to the Rolex Grand Prix!

If you win the Rolex Grand Prix, you will be able to continue writing your own personal Rolex Grand Slam history. What does that mean for you?

The Rolex Grand Slam is a great initiative. It is a genuine enrichment for the show-jumping sport and it is great advertising as well. With this additional incentive, the riders are even more motivated when they compete in a Rolex Grand Prix. Because a challenge such as this doesn't leave anyone cold. Everyone wants to at least try and win the three shows in Aachen, Geneva and Calgary.