Tag Archives: Scott Brash

Super-Cool Briton Brash Bags Victory in Verona

Scott Brash and Hello M’Lady. (FEI/Massimo Argenziano)

The saying “it’s never over until the fat lady sings” rang loud and true at the fourth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2019/2020 Western European League in Verona, Italy where Great Britain’s Scott Brash posted a spectacular last-to-go victory with Hello M’Lady.

It seemed as if Ireland’s Darragh Kenny was about to provide the perfect post-competition headline for the competition staged in the “City of Love” when setting a super-fast target with the 10-year-old Romeo in the 16-horse jump-off. It was fast and furious from the outset, and when this pair galloped down the final line and stopped the clock on 36.06 seconds, there really didn’t seem to be any room for improvement on that.

But Brash, team gold medallist at the London 2012 Olympic Games, is the king of cool.

“I was fortunate enough to be at the end so I could see how fast I had to go. Darragh had done a really good round; he was very, very fast so I had to take all the risks today. M’Lady was really fantastic and I’m delighted with her!” — Scott Brash (GBR)

He described Uliano Vezzani’s first-round track as “tough and delicate,” the angled oxer at fence eight and the line from the vertical white planks at nine to the double at fence 10 claiming a significant number of victims. He said the time-allowed of 80 seconds was “maybe a bit too generous, but it showed the calibre of horse and rider here today that we got 16 clears!”

It was The Netherlands’ Marc Houtzager and Sterrehof’s Dante who were holding the lead with a time of 36.64 seconds when Kenny rode into the ring. The 31-year-old Irishman and his handsome horse were smooth and fast through all the twists and turns, and the always-vocal Verona spectators roared with approval when they scorched through the finish to reset the target at 36.06 seconds.

World No. 1, Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, came close to that with Alamo, the horse with which he claimed his third Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ title earlier this year, when breaking the beam in 36.19. And home hero Emanuele Gaudiano, third last to go, drove the crowd into another frenzy of excitement when just fractionally slower with the extraordinary Chalou whose toe-pointing jumping technique is quite unique.

As Brash set off with his 13-year-old mare, he looked cool, calm, and completely collected. He had worked out every inch of his run to perfection, and by the time he came racing down the long run to the last, it was clear he was out in front, the timers confirming his win when showing 35.55 seconds after he landed over the final fence to a wall of sound.

“I finished second here in Verona a couple of years ago (with Ursula) so it’s great to go one better here this time around! M’Lady is a delicate mare; she can get a little stressed with the atmosphere, so it took be a bit of time at this show just to get her relaxed in the collecting ring, but her talent showed through in the end in the jump-off today – I thought she was amazing!” — Scott Brash (GBR)

Kenny would have to settle for second while Guerdat finished third.

Guerdat, who now heads the Western European Leaderboard going into the next leg in Stuttgart, Germany next weekend, described the jump-off as “very fast!”

He said, “This last few weeks I missed most of my jump-offs so I wanted to keep my head a bit cooler today and try to not risk anything stupid, and the horse being naturally fast it was enough for the third place. But you know today if you don’t risk it all it just isn’t possible anymore to win a class like this. But I’m very pleased with the horse; he couldn’t have been any better today. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season with him.”

Meanwhile, Brash reflected on his result and what it means for him and his brilliant mare. When asked if he might have Tokyo 2020 on his radar for her, he replied, “Yes, the Olympics is certainly on my mind and I would hope to think M’Lady is going to be one of my strongest contenders for next year.”

He is careful about how he is managing her with that in mind. “She was off for quite a while through injury a few years back, but she jumped at this summer’s European Championships to help qualify Great Britain for Tokyo,” he explained. He then dropped her down a level, jumping her at St Tropez in recent weeks before asking her to step up again in Verona. This result has confirmed for him that she’s very happy to be back at the sharp end.

“It’s nice to feel that she feels competitive at the top end of the sport again – so I’ve high hopes for next year!” he said.

FULL RESULTS

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Scott Brash Makes It Two in a Row

Image copyright PSV.

A full house for the Equita Masters presented by Hermès Sellier in Lyon. Twenty of the world’s top riders competed in this 1.60m class. You needed to ride fast and true to be among the ten qualifiers for the second round. Two riders conceded a penalty point, Christian Ahlmann on Ailina, and the world number two, Martin Fuchs on Silver Shine, who finished sixth and fifth, respectively. Mark McAuley and Miebello were the first to complete a second clear round and set the benchmark time of 43”00, but the following riders notched up faster and faster rounds to try and win the class in front of a vociferous crowd. Finally, the British rider Scott Brash came out on top, for the second year in a row. He rode an extremely fast jump-off on Hello Shelby, full of poise and fluidity. “There was a great atmosphere. It was a very exciting class that I am proud to have won again. Shelby jumped incredibly well, and even better in the jump-off. I am delighted to see how he is improving day after day. He seems to be enjoying it more and more. He’s a real class act. It makes my life easier,” said Brash after his win.

JULIETTE FEYTOUT PEREZ
juliette@blizko-communication.com

Scott Brash Wins Final 4* Grand Prix of 2019 at HUBSIDE Fall Tour

Photo credit: HUBSIDE JUMPING / Marco Villanti

At the last highlight in 2019 in the ring of the HUBSIDE Fall Tour, forty-five combinations took part in the last 4* Grand Prix of 2019 in Var. Ten of them qualified for the jump-off, completing the thirteen-fence course built by French course designer Cédric Longis without any difficulties. Although the French riders were expected to do well, as they had been on top form from the start of the weekend, Great Britain’s Scott Brash was the winner, following a very fast jump-off.

Jérôme Hurel, who was the first to jump clear and therefore the first to enter the ring for the jump-off, had another perfect round in 41.35 seconds. Following him, Scott Brash, winner of the weekend’s opening class, shaved almost two seconds off his time. Completing the course in 39.49 seconds, the British rider looked almost certain to be the winner. Marie Demonte set off in hot pursuit of the two men in the lead and finished in 40.95 seconds, and went into second place in the provisional line-up. But the podium was very hard to reach despite the efforts of the following competitors. Laurent Goffinet and Lorenzo de Luca both once again completed perfect rounds, finishing in 42.30 seconds and 41.85 seconds, respectively. Alexis Deroubaix was the last French rider in this Grand Prix and had one rail down on the second element of the double. Following him, Belgium’s Dominique Hendrickx left the ring with eight faults on the scoreboard, whereas his fellow countrywoman, Ann Carton-Grootjans, finished clear, in a time of 44.92 seconds, without worrying the top 3 riders. The only American rider, Lauren Hough, had one rail down on the liverpool, and lost any hope of victory. Last to go, Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes managed to upset the plans of Jérôme Hurel and Marie Demonte somewhat as he slipped into second place thanks to a time of 39.49 seconds. So Scott Brash was able to add his name to the 2019 HUBSIDE Jumping winner’s list as he was several hundredths of a second faster than the Brazilian rider.  “I tried to have as smooth a jump-off as possible with Hello Senator, while staying on the inside of the track as much as I could. I am delighted that I stayed in the lead right to the end! I will definitely come back to the HUBSIDE Jumping next year. The arena and the warm-up ring are very spacious and really comfortable for the horses. This show is designed for the well-being of the horses and that is very important to us,” commented the champion just a few seconds after the final prize giving ceremony for 2019 in the arena of the Ecuries du Golfe de Saint Tropez.

Find all the Grand Prix results HERE.

Earlier in the day, the CSI2* Grand Prix was won by Jean-Luc Mourier.

The French riders were really on form at the weekend and came up to the mark in the CSI2* Grand Prix. Michel Robert, Harold Boisset, and Jean-Luc Mourier were among the thirteen combinations who qualified for this 1m45 class’ jump-off, and had each already had two wins.  And they really battled it out!

Going second in the jump-off, Harold Boisset and T’Obetty du Domaine finished in 37.91 seconds going into the lead in the class. They were soon replaced in the pole position by Jean-Luc Mourier and Fionapina Colada, who finished in a time of 37.40 seconds. “When I saw Harold’s jump-off, I wasn’t sure I could go any faster than him. Fionapina Colada is not a mare with a lot of blood. Her great scope definitely stood me in good stead today. Thanks to that I was able to take out a stride before the double. My horses really love it here! And so do I! If Sadri Fegaier and Thierry Pomel are listening… I really want to come back next year! (laughter),” said the champion at the end of the class.

Michel Robert, with a new double clear, in his turn had to concede a few seconds on the track, finishing in 41.81 seconds with Van Kilmore. The French rider finished in fifth place behind the Italians Lorenzo de Luca, who was third with 40.39 seconds, and Piergiorgio Bucci, who was fourth in a time of 41.49 seconds.  Mégane Moissonnier, the best lady rider in the class, was sixth with Ussar des Bruyères (42.34 seconds).

Discover all the results HERE.

Press contact: Blizko Communication
Eloïse Lépine – Email: eloise@blizko-communication.com

Scott Brash Won the Major Class of the Day at HUBSIDE Jumping in Saint-Tropez

He was announced as one of the headliners of this penultimate weekend of the HUBSIDE Jumping, launched last April in the renovated stables of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez, in the South of France. Scott Brash, currently rank #27, did not disappoint for his first participation in the competition. He won the major class of the day, qualifier for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

« It is my first time here, in HUBSIDE Jumping. I must say I really like it. It is fantastic for the horses; the arena is really large which is great for the horses. We can be used to smaller arenas, so it is nice to have a bigger arena to ride in and I think the horses really enjoy it.

« That was a fast class. I was very happy with Senator today. He has done everything I asked to him today. He felt very good and fresh today, and I am very happy with the win. Senator is now 10 years old. I’ve had him for two years now. He is still taking a bit of time to get into the 5-star shows. He is a little bit of a nervous horse with the atmosphere. He feels good in HUBSIDE Jumping because I think there is a big arena, a lot of space; he does not feel claustrophobic. It is a comfortable arena for him. »

Results: https://online.equipe.com/fr/class_sections/463566.

DANIEL KOROLOFF
Relations avec les médias
daniel@blizko-communication.com

New York Empire Team Announced for 2019 Global Champions League Season

Georgina Bloomberg and Manodie II H competing at the 2018 Global Champions League event in Miami, FL. Photo by Stefano Grasso/GCL.

Wellington, FL – New York Empire team owner Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY has put together an experienced and talented team of six riders for the 2019 Global Champions League (GCL) season. With a series stop in New York being added as the GCL series finale in 2019, the NYE team is excited for the season ahead.

Bloomberg, an experienced international rider who won team bronze at the 2015 Pan American Games and has represented the U.S. on many Nations Cup teams, competes for the New York Empire herself. She’ll wear the team’s distinctive red and black horsehead logo for the first time in 2019 at the Miami stop of the tour on April 18-20. Joining her on the team will be British Olympic team gold medalist Scott Brash, who jumped for the New York Empire last year as well.

The New York Empire team debuted in 2018, joining the line-up of 19 teams competing on the prestigious GCL tour. New York Empire finished in 16th in the 2018 season and qualified for the GCL Playoffs in Prague.

New additions to the team for 2019 are Denis Lynch, Hans-Dieter Dreher, Daniel Bluman, and Spencer Smith, who rides as the Under 25 member of the team. “I’m excited for the start of the GCL season with this team,” said Bloomberg. “Last year was the first season for the New York Empire team, and it ended up not going the way we’d hoped. Everybody had bad luck with horses last year; it was one thing after another with injuries and bad luck. This year we really want to get back in there and have a shot at it.”

Brash earned team gold with Great Britain in the 2012 Olympic Games and won the Global Champions Tour (GCT) series and season final in 2013. “Scott has been an amazing teammate and as long as he wanted to be on the team, he was without a doubt my first choice for a spot,” said Bloomberg.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the New York Empire team,” Brash said. “I look forward to the GCL season because we have a strong team. I’ve been teammates with Georgina on GCL teams since 2016 and 2017, when we both rode for the Miami Glory, and it’s always great to compete with her.”

Lynch, an Irish rider based in Germany, is a veteran of Olympic and World Equestrian Games and FEI World Cup Finals. He rode with Bloomberg and Brash on the 2017 Miami Glory GCL team and helped the 2018 Miami Celtics team to third place in the series standings. “Denis is someone I really trust as a friend and a horseman,” said Bloomberg. “It’s always nice to have people who you know are going to go in and produce in the ring, but also who you can trust and rely on outside the ring to help with a practice fence or walk the course with as well. Denis knows me as a rider and knows my horses, and I like him as a person.”

Lynch has a strong line-up of horses with the five-star veteran and former ride of Bertram Allen, Hector van d’Abdijhoeve, joining his string this year. He also has a new three-star horse in Chablis and two talented nine-year-olds. “We thought a lot about it and went out and bought some good horses to help the team,” Lynch said. “I’m really looking forward to the series this season and being on board with New York Empire. It looks like a really exciting and strong team. It’s quite an international team; I think it’s a good bunch and we should do well.”

Hans-Dieter Dreher, who is known as “Hansi,” has represented Germany in two FEI World Cup Finals. He has experienced horses like Berlinda, Embassy, Prinz, Twenty Clary, and Cachacco Blue to choose from when serving on NYE teams. “I am very proud to be a part of this top team this year,” Dreher said. “I have some very good horses to make some good results for the team and I am very motivated.”

Bloomberg and Bluman have been friends for many years, so she was thrilled to have him join NYE this year. Bluman, who competes for Israel but is based in North Salem, NY, and Wellington, FL, showed for the Monaco Aces on the 2016 GCL season, helping them finish third in the standings that year. “Daniel is someone I’ve known since he was a kid,” Bloomberg said. “He was responsible for me finding my first rescue dog, Hugo, and adopting him. That was the beginning of my journey with the animal activism. I consider him family. He’s wonderful and has a good string of horses.”

Bluman, a veteran of two Olympic Games and four World Equestrian Games, considers himself an honorary New Yorker. He has five-star veterans Sancha and Ladriano in his string for the GCL events and plans to also use Entano and Colestina for NYE team appearances. “New York is home for me — my wife and I have a place in North Salem — so it’s very fitting that I’m riding for the New York Empire. I’m excited to be part of it,” he said. “I think it’s a good team — when you put two of those riders together, whichever combination it is, I think it’s a strong entry. I have a few horses to pick from and I think it’s important to take it seriously and focus on getting a good result for the team at each of the shows so we can qualify for the final in a very strong position.”

Joining the New York Empire will be the first time that U25 rider Spencer Smith of the U.S. has competed on a GCL team. Smith, who won the 2014 USEF Medal Finals and now trains with Canadian individual Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze, has become a consistent competitor at the CSI5* level, including winning the CSI2* Grand Prix at the 2018 Longines GCT London aboard Happiness. “For me, it’s one of the highest honors to have been chosen for this. A big thank you to Georgina for supporting a young American rider like she always does,” said Smith. He has his two top mounts, Happiness and Theodore Manciais, as well as some younger horses to use for GCL events.

“I think we have a really strong team. It’s such a great line-up,” Smith said. “Just being able to compete side-by-side with some of these riders will be a great learning opportunity. From a competitor’s standpoint, it’s great to know you’ll always have a really strong teammate. That gives you a lot of confidence. I think the final in New York is going to be awesome, especially since that’ll be our home court. It’s going to be a really exciting event.”

Bloomberg has known Smith since he was a young rider. “Spencer has really proven himself as a young rider and he’s somebody who isn’t just coming up in the ranks and having good results, but he’s also someone I really like as a person,” she said. “He’s a really polite young man who’s getting great direction from Eric and from his parents. I wanted a younger rider on the team who wasn’t just someone who was producing results, but also someone who I thought was going to be a great part of the team not only inside the ring, but also outside it.”

The 2019 GCL season kicks off with the first event in Doha, Qatar on February 28 – March 2. Dreher, Brash, and Lynch are slated to jump for New York Empire in Doha. The series then travels to Mexico City, Mexico on April 11-13 before coming to U.S. soil on April 18-20 for the Miami event. The GCL and GCT tour visits many of the world’s most iconic cities, such as Rome, Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, Madrid, and Montreal.

The New York event, which will take place on September 27-29 on Governor’s Island in New York City’s harbor with views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, is the final event for 2019 regular season. Prague, Czech Republic will again play host to the thrilling Global Champions Playoffs on November 21-24.

“When you have a good team like the one we have and you’re riding with people that you like, it’s an exciting concept,” Bluman said of the GCL tour. “The destinations are beautiful events with great prize money. You’re riding with the best riders in the world, and that’s always what we look to do.”

See more at the Global Champions League site.

Contact: Molly Sorge
molly@jumpmediallc.com

It’s Another Italian Job in the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix

The pinnacle of the last day of Olympia, The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, was won by Alberto Zorzi, defending his 2017 title to become a back-to-back winner of the prestigious class. Earlier in the day the Show Jumping competition saw Irishman Shane Breen take the title in The Christmas Masters. The final show jumping class of the Show, The Mistletoe Mini Stakes, was won by the speedy duo of Connie Mensley and Madonna.

The afternoon performance of the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National was won by Lucy Aspell, followed by a win for Alice Crowley in the final race of the week. The Bob Champion Cancer Trust, the Official Charity of the Shetland Pony Grand National, was presented with a cheque of £45,059, the total amount raised for the beneficiary this year.

The Kennel Club Small Dog Agility Final was won by Dave Munnings and his cross-breed, Boost Bite.

Alberto Zorzi Defends His Title

Alberto Zorzi became the fifth rider in history to win The Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix back-to-back when he produced an incredible burst of speed to outdo his four rivals in the jump-off and bring a brilliant five days of jumping to an enthralling close.

Last year, Zorzi, a member of the Italian army, also won on a mare (Contanga); this time it was the black 10-year-old Ulane de Coquerie. “It’s unbelievable! I am so lucky,” said Zorzi. “I know my horse is very fast, so I trust her and go with her. She’s one of the best I have ridden. I love this Show!”

In completing the double, Zorzi joins an elite band of riders: David Broome (with Philco and Sportsman in 1977-78), Nick Skelton (St James, 1982-83), Malcolm Pyrah (Towerlands Anglezarke, 1985-86), Franke Sloothaak (Walzerkoenig, 1988-89), and Ben Maher (Tripple X and Diva ll, 2013-14).

Only four went through to the jump-off, and Portugal’s Rodrigo Giesteira Almeida riding GC Chopin’s Bushi made a feisty start with a clear in 28.69 seconds. However, he was overhauled by the stylish Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten on Idi Utopia, who came home in 28.64.

Scott Brash was the sole British representative, riding a masterful clear round on the youngster Hello Jefferson, but a tight turn proved too ambitious for the nine-year-old and he refused.

Both Zorzi and van der Vleuten felt the Grand Prix track was harder than that for the previous day’s FEI World Cup™. “Alberto’s horse had a shorter stride than mine and could move up more quickly to the fences,” explained van der Vleuten, who ended up as Leading Rider of the Show. “But finishing second, and as Leading Rider of the show, is a great way for me to finish the year.”

Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Olympia newcomer Doron Kuipers from the Netherlands were second and third in the final rider rankings with William Funnell best Briton in fourth.

Shane Breen Is the Master

Until this year, Shane Breen had never done a full week at Olympia. Now, he’s won his first rankings class and been crowned the victor in The Christmas Masters, a winner-takes-all knockout contest for the leading seven riders in the show.

The British trio of William Whitaker, John Whitaker, and William Funnell exited by the second round, as did Ireland’s Darragh Kenny. Then Dutchman Doron Kuipers, making his first visit to Olympia, hit a fence in the third and it was all down to Breen, riding Clyde VA, and Maikel van der Vleuten from the Netherlands, who took it to a jump-off against the clock in the fifth round for the jackpot of €9,500.

“I knew Maikel would be quicker [on Dana Blue], which is a more experienced horse than mine, so I had to hope he would have a fence down – and he obliged!”

Breen, a keen hunting man, said of his winning mount, Clyde VA: “I think a lot of this horse. He’s a little bit lazy to ride, but he’s going to be a good addition to Team Ireland.”

Earlier in the day, there was a timely birthday present for the popular Italian rider, Luca Maria Moneta, when a late dash on the 17-year-old Neptune Brecourt clinched the Turkish Airlines Speed Stakes from Robert Whitaker on Major Delacour.

Moneta, who is 51 and a strong advocate of working in partnership with the horse – many spectators will remember the way he fed his horse a carrot in the Puissance in 2013 (he still carries them in his pocket) – said: “Both my best horses are 17 years old and they spend a lot of time being horses rather than show jumpers – they go in the field every day at home.

“This horse enjoys competing so much that he would hate it if you left him behind – he finds it fun and easy. Sometimes when you get to the last fence in a speed class the horse will be hanging on the bit, but Neptune was very focussed today and our partnership work was rewarded.”

Goodbye Ursula

Scott Brash may be known by some as the cool ice man of Show Jumping, but it was an emotional evening at Olympia as he retired his brilliant mare Ursula Xll.

Ursula, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, is 17 and has twice been the top ranked horse in FEI competition and a flagship for British breeding; she won the 2016 CP International at the CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’, Canada and was runner-up in the FEI Longines World Cup™ leg at Olympia in 2017.

“We have a great partnership,” said Brash. “She gives you some feeling in a big class and I know what she’s going to do. Eventually she wants to have a foal, but she’ll come home with me and I will keep riding for a bit because she’s very fit and needs to be worked.”

Brash’s career has already included an Olympic gold medal, being world number one and winning the million-dollar Rolex Grand Slam, but the 33-year-old Scot admits: “I live for those feelings. The Grand Slam was one of the best things in my life, as was winning an Olympic gold medal in my home country, but it only makes me hungrier. I will want to win the World Cup final and an individual gold medal – I’m very motivated.

“I’m my fiercest critic. I have been cross with myself when I’ve won, but I’ve also come out of the arena with two down and been quite happy with that. I’m most comfortable when I’m in the ring. It’s what I love doing.”

Return of the Natives

A striking Connemara stallion described “as an absolute treasure at home” was crowned Supreme Champion in the BSPS Ridden Mountain and Moorland Championship sponsored by LeMieux.

Sandra Burton and Joe Burke’s 10-year-old Banks Timber, third last year, was bred in Denmark by Peter Bank Mikkelson, bought as a yearling from sales in Galway, Ireland, by Mr Burke, who had flown over for the day at Olympia, and arrived as an unbroken six-year-old at Mrs Burton’s Connemara pony stud in Lancashire. Reserve Champion was Cadlanvalley Buzby, a Welsh Section B stallion by Russetwood Elation out of Stockham Domino, owned and bred by Hayley Grota and ridden by 13-year-old Liberty Grota in her first season with the pony.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Scott Brash to Retire Once-in-a-Lifetime Mare, Ursula XII, at Olympia

Olympia, The London International Horse Show is honoured to announce that one of Great Britain’s most successful ever Show Jumpers, Scott Brash MBE, has decided to officially retire his leading mare Ursula XII at the annual equestrian event, which is taking place from 17-23 December 2018.

Since forming their partnership in 2012, Brash and Ursula XII have become one of Show Jumping’s most iconic pairings, having had their fair share of prime podium positions throughout their journey together. The 17-year-old Scottish Sport Horse, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, has delivered strong performances throughout the entirety of her career. In 2016, Ursula secured an historic win for Brash in the CP International at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters, not only making her the highest earning horse that year, but also the world’s best. The pair has gone from strength to strength, taking the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Mexico title this year.

The partnership has regularly competed at Olympia, very narrowly missing out on winning The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ at the Show in 2017, after Julien Epaillard’s jump-off denied them first place. A special retirement ceremony will take place on Sunday 23 December, after the Turkish Airlines Olympia Grand Prix, commending this special horse before she enjoys a happy retirement.

Scott Brash MBE said: “Ursula is once-in-a-lifetime horse who has given me moments in my career that I will never be able to top. I don’t think I will ever ride a horse like her again; she’s one of the smallest horses in the stables but jumps round such big courses more easily than any horse I’ve ridden. It is an honour to be giving her the retirement ceremony she deserves and celebrating her incredible career. We’re thrilled to be paying tribute to her at Olympia; the atmosphere is like no other and the Show is on home-turf, making it even more special.”

Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward, said: “We’re delighted to be holding the official retirement for Ursula. She’s an incredible horse and it is a privilege to be paying respects to her career, in addition to giving ticket holders the opportunity to witness this special occasion.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.olympiahorseshow.com or by telephone on 0844 995 0995.

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Jenkins / gjenkins@revolutionworld.com / +44 (0)203 176 0355

Inside CHIO Aachen: A Sneak Peak

Niels Bruynseels at Knokke Hippique (Photo: Knokke Hippique)

The second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, takes place on 22nd July and is expected to attract over 40,000 spectators to witness the prestigious competition. The course, set by Frank Rothenberger, is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding 5* tracks. The sport’s finest horse and rider partnerships are tested to their limits, displaying enviable skill and talent, striving to make history and to be crowned the Rolex Grand Prix champion.

Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch

With the world’s best horse and rider combinations set to take center stage for Rolex Grand Prix, there are some notable contenders whose recent performance would state they are on track for a Rolex Major win:

Niels Bruynseels, the current Rolex live contender, has continued his great form since producing a lightning jump-off round at The Dutch Masters aboard his 12-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in March. The notoriously fast duo took the top prize in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique following a speedy and faultless jump-off. With the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping very much in his sites, Bruynseels will be pulling out all the stops to make sure his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues.

One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat, has had a successful summer so far. His most notable victory was in front of HM The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. Seeing off top-class competitors, Guerdat rode an impeccable round to snap up the Rolex Grand Prix victory. Guerdat is no stranger when it comes to winning Majors; crowned champion at CHI Geneva on more than one occasion, Guerdat stays calm under pressure and will certainly be a formidable contender for the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen.

Fellow Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze, has prepared well for the CHIO Aachen. At the Rolex Grand Prix in Windsor, he shaved time off Guerdat’s winning result, but a light touch on the pole resulted in four penalties. Fresh from his victory in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with his 15-year-old mare, Fine Lady, Eric Lamaze will be hoping to continue his recent form as he eyes up the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy.

Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca is also looking strong, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome (Piazza di Siena). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax Van Het Kluizebos, jumped two immaculate clear rounds, stopping the clock at 45.37 secs, making him one to watch.

Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has tasted victory at CHIO Aachen once before, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2005 on her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shutterfly. Michaels-Beerbaum will have the patriotic home-crowd support, willing her to repeat her 2005 success thirteen years on.

Rolex Testimonee, Scott Brash, the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, brings a wealth of experience and always performs well under pressure.

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

It’s a British Bonanza as Brash and Maher Are Top Two at Olympia

Scott Brash and Hello M’Lady. (FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Olympia, London (GBR), 18 December 2016 – Scott Brash became the 15th British rider to come out on top in his home leg of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping series when galloping to victory with Hello M’Lady in the Longines qualifier at Olympia in London (GBR). This was the eighth round of the 2016/2017 Western European League, and the result leaves the 31-year-old rider only a few points short of a qualifying spot for the eagerly-anticipated Longines Final in Omaha, Nebraska (USA) next March.

The host-nation runners were in flying form, with Brash’s London 2012 Olympic gold-medal-winning team-mate, 33-year-old Ben Maher, finishing a close second with Diva while young Belgian talent, 23-year-old Nicola Philippaerts slotted into third with H&M Harley vd Bisschop. It was a frustrating result for Maher, who was also runner-up in the same event last year. “I wanted to win, but if I was going to be beaten by anyone I was hoping it would be Scott!” he said.

There were 13 into the jump-off, and it was Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson who set the pace with H&M Cue Channa who hit only the very last. Seventh to go, Maher produced the first clear in 38.85 seconds before America’s Laura Kraut and Zeremonie and John Whitaker and Ornellaia followed with foot-perfect runs but couldn’t catch him. Philippaerts, whose famous father Ludo won this prestigious competition with the legendary Darco 27 years ago, came close when breaking the beam in 39.07 seconds, but it was Brash who demoted his fellow-countryman when second-last to go.

“Ben was very fast back to the double, and it was on a blind turn which was tricky for the horses, so we had to be quick to beat him!” Brash said, after galloping home in 38.73 seconds. And when it fell apart for Germany’s Marcus Ehning and his Madrid-leg winner Comme Il Faut who were last to go, it was an all-British one-two.

“It’s very special to win in front of the home crowd; they were really behind us and it gives you that extra edge!” said Brash who now has the series Final in his sights. “I’ve never really targeted it in the past because the calendar is so full and there’s often a championship, but I’m very fortunate to have a strong team, all coming back from injury, including Hello Sanctos,” he added.

Full result here

Quotes:

Scott Brash GBR (1st), talking about Hello M’Lady: “She’s a wonderful horse, really talented. She jumped really well in Geneva last week but we were unlucky; you have to get everything right on the day. My next outing is in Liverpool for the New Year; it’s great to get another 4-Star event in our country so I’m very happy to support it.”

Ben Maher GBR (2nd): “Diva jumped great; she loves this show. Congratulations to Scott – I couldn’t have done any more, and I’d have been happy with sixth!”

Nicola Philippaerts (3rd): “It’s fantastic to be sitting here with these two great riders! My horse jumped well and I’m very happy. My father (Ludo Philippaerts) came to help me and it’s a big advantage to have him here at the big shows.”

Kelvin Bywater GBR, Course Designer: “I was extremely pleased; we had good sport and good entertainment. It’s a team effort.”

John Roche, FEI Jumping Director: “Olympia, under the management of Simon Brooks-Ward, ran an amazing event which is one of the flagship fixtures of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League.”

Scott Brash GBR (1st): “The courses nowadays are big and technical and Kelvin (course designer Kelvin Bywater) did a wonderful job but some horses will just skip round whatever the builder puts up!”

Full standings here

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Rider biographies: view online and download from www.fei.org/bios.

By Louise Parkes

Media Contacts:

At Olympia:

Jo Peck
Press Officer
JoPeck@hpower.co.uk
+44 1753 847 900

At FEI:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Scott’s Lady Is a Champ

Scott Brash thrilled the packed house at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, with a virtuoso performance aboard the fleet-hoofed mare Hello M’Lady to snatch the Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifier presented by H&M by the tiniest of margins.

There were double celebrations when Ben Maher, the last British rider to win this prestigious class, back in 2011, finished second on another mare, Diva ll, by just 0.12 of a second.

On H&M Sunday at Olympia, it was appropriate that Belgian rider Nicola Philippaerts, whose father, Ludo, won this class back in 1988, was third on H&M Harley vd Bisschop.

Thirteen riders from eight nations went through to Kelvin Bywater’s ingenious jump-off track which hinged on getting the sharp angle back to a double on a blind turn and then clearing the upright fence on a curving galloping line.

“Kelvin [Bywater, course-designer] did a great job,” commented Scott. “It was big and technical but, nowadays, the standard is so high that there are horses that will just skip round.”

Only five of the 13 riders achieved a double clear and German maestro Marcus Ehning, who could have spoilt the British party when last to go on Comme Il Faut, racked up a surprising 20 penalties.

US rider Laura Kraut, whose partner Nick Skelton was already en route to Birmingham for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, was fourth on Zeremonie and 61-year-old John Whitaker rode superbly to finish fifth on Ornellaia while crowd favourite Lorenzo De Luca finished sixth for Italy with one rail down on Limestone Gray.

Olympia represents the eighth of 13 legs in the Longines FEI World Cup™ and Scott’s win elevates him 26 places to sixth in the standings and within sight of a place at the final in Omaha, USA, in April.

“I think I will target the FEI World Cup™ Final this year,” revealed Scott. “I don’t very often, because there’s such a full calendar, but I’m very fortunate to have a strong team of horses, some of which are back from injury now – including Hello Sanctos [his Olympic gold medallist] and Hello M’Lady.”

Of Lady Kirkham’s agile nine-year-old mare, Scott commented: “She’s sharp, an exceptional jumper and very much one for the future. It was very special to win in front of a home crowd.”

Ben Maher, the first rider to go clear in the jump-off, could perhaps consider himself hard done by, having set such an exacting standard, but his mare was returning to form and he said simply: “I would have been happy with sixth, quite honestly. Diva loves this show and jumped brilliantly; it’s just great to have her back. Congratulations to Scott – I couldn’t have done any more.”

For more information, please contact:
Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk
0203 176 0355
www.olympiahorseshow.com