$500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix

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Photos and Story by Alan Fabricant

On a perfect night for spectators, 6,000+ showed up at the final “Saturday Night Lights” competition of the 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).      

The event had 39 pairs of riders and horses ready to compete in the $500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix. 

16 of the top 25 ranked riders in the world, including #1, 2 and 5, were in the field. It turns out that the #20 rider Christian Kukuk took home the top prize.

Nine of the 39 had clear jumps (no knockdowns and/or time penalties) in the first go round.      

During the jump-off 5 of the nine went clear with German’s Christian Kukuk riding Checker 47 leading the way with the fastest time to take home the largest payout of the season $165,000.

Ilex ridden by McLain Ward of the USA finished in second place and received a check for $100,000.

Karl Cook also of the USA riding Kalinka Van’t Zorgvliet collected $75,000 for this third place finish.