British one-two in Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of London

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Scott Brash has won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of London, with Ben Maher taking second place.

Iconic landmarks

Scott and his London 2012 teammate Ben took the top two spots almost five years to the day since winning Olympic gold in the capital city.

With a €300,000 prize up grabs and nine of the top 10 showjumpers in the world competing, the track was tough and technical. The course featured fences designed around iconic London landmarks including Big Ben, the London Underground and red telephone boxes.

There was disappointment in the first round for John Whitaker, who was celebrating his 62nd Birthday. The nine-year old Cassinis Chaplin put in a sudden stop, unseating John over the fence. He was taken to hospital for medical checks.

Handbrake turn

Scott and Ben joined nine other riders in the jump-off. Scott was the penultimate rider in the ring on Hello Forever and had to beat Ireland’s Denis Lynch’s fast time of 39.85sec.

There was an audible gasp when Scott successfully completed a handbrake turn into fence five, and Hello Forever galloped around the remainder of the course to go into the lead on 38.62sec.

Ben Maher was last to go and he gave it everything on his new ride Madame X. There was a hair’s breadth between him and Scott as he galloped to the last, and the pair finished just 0.4sec slower to take second place.

Denis Lynch finished third with All Star 5, while Harrie Smolders and Emerald N.O.P. came fourth.

Amazing venue

“It’s been a great day and I am absolutely delighted,” said Scott. “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.”

There are just three stages left in the Global Champions Tour, with the next competition in Valkenswaard in the Netherlands. Harrie Smolders remains at the top of the leaderboard on 263 points edging away from Alberto Zorzi in second on 245 points and Christian Ahlmann in third on 220 points.

Don’t miss GCT 2017: London on H&C TV. The two-hour highlights show premieres on 12 August at 9pm on Sky 253, or you can watch online via H&C Play or Amazon Video.