Rain doesn’t stop play for Scott Brash in Cannes

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World number one Scott Brash has won the Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT) Grand Prix in Cannes in the South of France, pocketing€99,000.

Heavy rain

Instead of French sunshine, the event was blighted by heavy rain, which Brash claims he used to his credit. He rode a scorching round with Hello Sanctos, taking every tight turn possible, to win a very competitive class.

“I’m used to the weather, so it was an advantage to me today,” said Scott. “All credit to Uliano Vezzani, the course builder, he built a great course and it turned out a really good class – the courses were hard but fair.

“The first round was pretty wet, but it dried out a lot for the second round, it was a tough course when I walked it but the horses jumped fantastic. It was very exciting for the public.”

In it to win it

It was a three-round contest and out of 35 starters nine jumped a double clear to make it through to the jump-off. With big prize money up for grabs, all were in it to win it, and the times got faster as the class went on.

Edwina Tops-Alexander set the standard, jumping clear in 36.57s. Bassem Hassan Mohammed was next in, shaving 0.07secs off Edwina’s time, which Kevin Staut then beat by nearly three seconds.

Scott Brash, who won the GCT 2013 series, was the next rider to take the lead in a time of 31.99secs. It was a pace that could not be caught, although French rider Luciana Diniz came very close to take second place in 32.68secs.

Special horse

Lord Harris, who co-owns Hello Sanctos, was in the crowd to watch alongside the likes of Bruce Springsteen and French actress and singer Marion Cotillard.

“It was a fantastic Grand Prix and the horse is fantastic,” Lord Harris said. “He has jumped 24 rounds clear out of 25. And Scott is a great rider. I always said David Broome is my best rider, but I think there is very little to choose between them and the sport is more competitive now. You have to have a special horse every time.”