Peebles horseman Scott Brash – on board Hello Forever – claimed the top spot at the recent Longines Global Champions Tour of London Grand Prix.
It was a fairytale finish in front of a sell-out home crowd for Olympian Brash and colleague Ben Maher, as they scooped first place nearly five years to the day since they won team jumping gold at London 2012:
Borderer Scott completed the course clear in a heart-pounding time of 38.62s – fresh off the back of a victory in the team competition for Miami Glory.
Scott (pictured right) said: “It’s been a great day and I am absolutely delighted. It was a very fast jump-off but, thankfully, Hello Forever pricked his ears and went for it. He is an incredible horse and he really did his best for me. You have to be on your toes when you’re riding him but he’s fast and athletic. I love winning in front of a home crowd and this has been amazing venue.”
With a €300,000 prize up grabs, the track was going to be a big ask of horse and rider. The technical London-themed course – including obstacles featuring Big Ben, the London Underground and Horseguards – was built to a maximum height of 1.60m, but it was a race against time not only to go clear but to secure a coveted spot in the jump-off against a field featuring nine of the world’s top 10 riders.
Determined to deliver a strong round, Brash and Hello Forever were watched by owners Lord and Lady Harris and Lord and Lady Kirkham. To the delight of the crowd, the popular pair delivered a foot-perfect clear, ensuring GB would be in the jump-off.
There was a hair’s breadth between Brash and Ben Maher, as the latter galloped to the last on MTF Madame X. Horse and rider cleared the fence in 38.86s – a mere 0.4s slower than Brash but good enough for a British one-two.