The Rolex Grand Slam is something unique
Daniel Deußer has already been one of the most successful riders in the world for years. We spoke with the 41-year-old about the importance of the Rolex Grand Slam for the equestrian sport and about his goals for the CHIO Aachen.
The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – what influence does the series have on the show jumping sport?
This series is totally unique. It is simply an exclusive and fantastic format that remains unparalleled to this very day. The four Majors are the best shows our sport has to offer. Each of them is a highlight for us riders. Everyone wants to win them. In the past, there was only a championships at the end of the year that we all worked towards. However, today we all focus on the Rolex Grand Slam and consider the four shows to be four special highlights and a unique opportunity to write sporting history.
What makes the four Majors so special?
The organisation of these shows is phenomenal, they are staged at fantastic venues with perfect conditions and they attract a huge amount of fan interest. That creates an incredible atmosphere in the stadiums. On top of that, these shows are steeped in tradition. The best riders in the world compete there. And now my generation is allowed to be part of this special story. That makes travelling to the four Majors and putting in our very best performances particularly special for all of us.
You have a fantastic team behind you. How important is that for your success?
You have to have a great team around you and everyone has to get on and work well together in order to be successful. Our sport is very complex today and has a very tight schedule. Due to the fact that I travel so much, my team at home is as equally important as my own performances in the saddle. And my groom, Sean Lynch, is also a very important person in my career. I trust him one hundred percent, which is important when he is travelling with my horses. Without him my victories wouldn’t be possible.
What keeps you motivated and hungry for success?
There is simply something inside me that wants to go a step further and that likes winning. As professional riders we travel to many shows; there are always plenty of good competitors, but also always only one winner. Of course, coming second or third is also excellent, but if I don’t win, I always reflect about the round and learn what I could have done better. So basically, I see every show as an important experience and source of motivation.
What competition are you expecting to encounter at the CHIO Aachen?
As is the case at every Major, the best riders in the world will be competing in Aachen again. All of us organise the schedules of our top horses around these shows. Hence, the level of sport that each of these events offers really is unique.
You already experienced what it feels like to win the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen in 2021…
Yes, that’s right. That victory was a dream come true for me. Being celebrated as the winner in front of my home crowd, was a feeling I will never forget. It won’t be easy, but I’d be delighted to read my name on the winners’ board one more time.
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