Martin Fuchs: “Leone Jei Loves Aachen Just as Much as Me!”

He is carrying on writing his family’s story with his name. With great success, one must add. Martin Fuchs (SUI) is always a dead-cert to win a medal at international championships and always a hot candidate when it comes down to the coveted Major victories of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. We spoke with the Swiss high-flyer about the importance of this prestigious series for the equestrian sport, about his successful grey horse Leone Jei, and of course about the CHIO Aachen.

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. What is the appeal of this series for you?

The Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is the most prestigious series that our sport has to offer. The four Majors are not only the best shows in the world, they present us riders with the ultimate challenge. To compete in the Rolex Grand Prix of Show Jumping successfully, we have to master different arenas and indoor halls, which are all different sizes, each with its own individual peculiarities. That is unique in our sport and has opened up a new dimension to the level of these jumping classes.

You have already notched up two Major victories so far in your career. What do these achievements mean to you?

Winning a Major is always something very special. Something that every rider wants to accomplish. For me my two victories in Geneva were fantastic moments that I will never forget. Being the contender for the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping is a really unique experience and a motivating feeling. This series offers us riders the unique opportunity to write history in our sport.

At the CHIO Aachen McLain Ward (USA) has the chance to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping as the second rider ever. Do you think he will succeed?

Winning the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, like Scott Brash did as the only rider to-date, is an awesome challenge. But if anyone has the chance of accomplishing this task, then definitely McLain. For me he is one of the top favourites to win the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen. And not only because he is the contender for the Rolex Grand Slam, but also because of his huge experience. And what’s more his sports partner, the mare HH Azur, is currently in absolute top form.

But I am sure you want to have a say in the matter yourself…

Of course (laughs). I am travelling to Aachen with my three absolute top horses: Commissar Pezi, Connor Jei and Leone Jei and I will attempt to achieve the best results possible with them all week. We will have to wait and see what the outcome is…

Do you already know which horse you will ride in the Rolex Grand Prix?

Yes, if everything goes to plan, I will ride Leone Jei on Sunday in Aachen. He loves extremely big arenas, like the one at the CHIO Aachen. He already demonstrated as a young horse that he loves the Soers just as much as me, and he has already achieved several good placements in the Rolex Grand Prix there too. That gives me a lot of confidence that with this horse at my side I can perhaps one day make it onto the famous winners’ board – like my Uncle Markus did in the year 2004.

Source: Press Release from CHIO Aachen – World Equestrian Festival

Photo: © CHIO Aachen / Jil Haak