By Catie Staszak for Prixview
Each year, CHI Genevé brings with it the symbolic conclusion of the annual horse show calendar with the final Rolex Grand Slam event of the year.
For World No. 2 Martin Fuchs, an entry at the event is among the easiest he makes. The Swiss native, based a few hours down the road from Geneva, has held home court at Palexco for its last two editions.
Fuchs won the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva in both 2021 and 2019 (The event was not held in 2020) and enters this year’s edition as the two-time defending champion.
The week has been made even more special as his winning mount from 2019—the indelible Clooney 51—is having his ceremonial retirement just a few moments before this year’s Grand Prix.
Fuchs may not be the current Grand Slam Live Contender (That distinction goes to Daniel Deusser, who took the coveted Grand Slam victory at Spruce Meadows), but should he win this class for a third straight edition, it would be one heck of a triple crown.
What has made Fuchs so good at Geneva? We broke down the numbers:
Forty combinations qualify for the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva, and since 2016, those 200 entries have averaged 5.68 faults.
Fuchs’ average in the class in that span is significantly better. In the last five runnings, he has averaged just 1.6 faults and only once finished outside the top 15. In fact, on that occasion, he and Clooney jumped a clear first round, but a tack malfunction in the jump-off forced an early exit from the class, and the pair settled for 16th in a year with an uncharacteristically large jump-off.
It’s worth noting that in four of those five classes, Fuchs was aboard Clooney, a nod to the grey gelding’s incredible career. But last year, Fuchs took the win aboard Leone Jei, who is back to defend his title this week. In the last two years, this combination has averaged just 3.3 faults in 1.60m events at the five-star level; this year, their average finish position in those classes is 8. Leone Jei is also exceptional indoors: According to Prixview Next Gen data, the gelding has yet to have a rail indoors this year in “top-tier” international competitions*.
Who else is riding a remarkable streak? Scott Brash is the only rider to have completed the coveted Rolex Grand Slam (winning all four Grand Slam events in a single season), and while that is not in the cards this year, Deusser has certainly come close, taking wins at both Spruce and ‘s-Hertogenbosch. He is up for a nice bonus should he take a second consecutive Rolex Grand Slam victory in Geneva, he will receive a € 500,000 bonus.
The sport of show jumping a game of inches, especially at the top. According to Prixview Next Gen data, Fuchs is jumping clear at 1.60m 41.38% of the time in 2022. Deusser’s rate is 41.03%.
Put Fuchs and Deusser in your Prixview fantasy selections ahead of the Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva and the IJRC Top 10 Final at Prixview.com/fantasy.
*PRIXVIEW NEXT GEN
Prixview’s Next Gen stats provide never-before-collected data in breaking down faults for athletes, horses and horse-rider combinations. Next Gen data has been collected by Prixview’s team at select, “top-tier” international competitions. This subset includes competitions from the CSI2*, 3*, 4* and 5* level to World Cup qualifiers, Nations Cup events and other widely-attended global events.
The data in this feature is provided by Prixview, the first of its kind data and gaming company for the sport of show jumping. Prixview collects revolutionary live, official competition data and processes it into educational and engaging insights and analytics for both stakeholders and new fans of the sport. Their fantasy games are free-to-play and award real cash prizes. Visit prixview.com to learn more.