Birthday boy Brash makes history in Qatar

PEEBLES’ Olympic gold medallist showjumper Scott Brash has won the Global Champions Tour series after a thrilling finale in Doha.

Ice-cool Brash and his world-beating bay gelding, Hello Sanctos, delivered a triple clear under intense pressure and after a celebratory lap of honour the young rider admitted it was “one of the best days of my life”.

Brash’s dramatic series victory and Grand Prix win in the same night netted him a massive €443,000 in prize money – and all on his 28th birthday on Saturday.

Brash also made history as the youngest ever rider to win the prestigious championship.

The final leg of the championship series was a true cliff-hanger with Germany’s Christian Ahlmann – who was without his stallion Taloubet Z – missing out on the championship victory due to a time penalty pushing him into second place overall. US rider Laura Kraut, who led the ranking for much of the season, finished third in the championship after an unlucky four faults.

“It couldn’t have been a better day for me,” said Brash.

“He [Sanctos] is a horse for a lifetime and has given me so much success. There are so many people to thank who made it possible for me and the horse to come to Doha, compete and emerge as the winner.”

The thrilling show jumping action took place on one of the world’s most magnificent equestrian stages at Al Shaqab, part of the Qatar Foundation. Members of the Royal Family of Qatar, international diplomats and visitors from across the world joined spectators at the vast state-of-the art venue dedicated to horses.

Brash started riding at the age of seven and went to his first show when he was nine.

Today, as the youngest member of the gold medal winning Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics, Brash, whose achievements have now been recognised with an MBE, can claim to be one of nation’s hottest prospects in show jumping.