There’s a double-header of CSI5* action this weekend, and while the Winter Equestrian Festival and Indoor Brabant, home of the Dutch Masters, are more than 4600 miles apart, the events boast at least one common denominator: Daniel Deusser. The fifth ranked rider in the world according to the prestigious Longines World Jumping Rankings, Deusser, a former World No. 1, began his winter in Wellington before returning to Europe just in time for the Rolex Grand Slam event. Deusser is unquestionably among the riders to watch in s-Hertogenbosch. After winning the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen in 2021, he would receive a lucrative €250,000 bonus should he win two of four Rolex Grand Slam events within the year. Deusser has won the Rolex Grand Prix at the Dutch Masters on two previous occasions: with Air Jordan Z (2007) and Cornet d’Amour (2015).
“The Dutch Masters is such an amazing show for so many reasons. I always love going there, and the potential Rolex Grand Slam bonus makes me even more excited to return to 's-Hertogenbosch,” Deusser told the Rolex Grand Slam.
Few riders boast Deusser’s record at the five-star level over the course of the last few years, and his record in CSI5* grand prix events suggests a prowess in horse management and getting his mounts to peak for big moments. Deusser brings to s-Hertogenbosch the 14-year-old stallion Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z (Otangelo x Mr Blue), a horse that earned him a team silver medal at the 2019 European Championships.
In 2021, Scuderia 19815 Tobago Z averaged just 1 fault in competitions at the CSI5* level, and in 2022, that average has not fallen much, currently sitting at an impressive 3 faults. While the chestnut won a remarkable three of his 10 starts at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (30%!)—including the $500,000 CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix—he has been used more sparingly (5 starts) this season, with an eye toward being fresh for the Dutch Masters. Still, he could not leave Wellington without first taking another CSI5* win in the WEF Challenge Cup Round VII.
“He’s been my number one horse for a long time,” Deusser said. “He knows exactly when he has to show up.”
WEF has become the springboard to s’-Hertogenbosch for Deusser, but it wasn’t always. After first visiting Wellington in 2013, Deusser did not frequent the venue as often as other European riders, and when he began the 2021 season, it was just his second time competing in Wellington since 2014. However, it did not take him long to make an impact. Deusser won six FEI events—four at the CSI5* level—on three different horses. After departing Wellington in 2021, Deusser won his very next class: the CSI5* VDL Groep Prize 1.55m, at s-Hertogenbosch.
Over the course of the last 12 years, Deusser has averaged just 6 faults in Rolex Grand Prix events at the Grand Slam locations of s-Hertogenbosch, Calgary, Aachen and Geneva.
Meaning, he’s always in the running.