Scott Brash has won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of London for the second year running – following an incredible jump-off in front of a packed home crowd.
Riding the up-and-coming Hello Mr President, Scott achieved his third win in the London show’s six-year history – and now has a total of 11 GCT Grand Prix titles, which is a series record.
It was a quintessentially British scene as the Royal Hospital Chelsea played host to the world’s greatest showjumpers – and some of the most famous faces, including Bill Gates and Bruce Springsteen, who were there to watch their daughters compete.
Scott nearly didn’t make the final 35 for the Grand Prix, after having two down in the Global Champions League, which is also the qualifying competition. He was then in two minds about competing on Hello Mr President, who is just nine years old.
‘Hungry to win’
“Luck was on my side today for sure,” said Scott. “I was unsure with how he would cope after having two big faults [in the qualifier] because he is so careful, but his Grand Prix felt fantastic.
“I always knew he was quality, but you never know if they have the scope to do these big courses until you are actually in there doing it. I thought he was a year off winning a big Grand Prix like this, but I’m hungry to win in front of my home crowd and I try my best and he just gave me everything today.”
Scott and Hello Mr President were first to go in the jump-off and set a standard of 38.88sec, which no other combination could beat.
Multiple Olympian Ludger Beerbaum flew around the arena with Casello, but the pair couldn’t match Scott’s fast time to finish on 41.15sec.
Michael Whitaker is always one to watch in the jump-off, but he only took over the ride on El Wee Widge from his son, Jack, a month ago, and they finished on 12 faults.
Sweden’s Peder Fredricson pulled out all the stops with Hansson WL, matching Scott on turns and strides. However, his horse is not as naturally quick as Hello Mr President, and he had to settle for second place with a time of 39.84sec.
Harry Charles also made it through to the jump-off – an incredible feat for the 19-year-old who was competing in his first LGCT Grand Prix. However he had one down with ABC Quantum Cruise, as did Ireland’s Daniel Coyle.
Last to go was Ben Maher on his jumping machine Explosion W. The pair helped the London Knights win their fourth victory of the season in the Global Champions League earlier in the day.
Ben’s time was faster than Scott, however the penultimate fence fell which saw him take fourth place ahead of Ludger in third.
This was Scott’s second win of the season, which means his place in the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix in Prague goes to second placed Ludger Beerbaum.
Scott has moved back up to sixth place in the overall rankings as the tour heads to the season finale. This means he is still in with a chance of becoming the first rider to achieve a third LGCT Championship title.
Ben Maher has extended his overall ranking lead and is now 38 points from away from his closest rival, Harrie Smolders.
The LGCT now heads to it’s spiritual home Valkenswaard in The Netherlands for the 14th leg of the Championship race.
We are showing highlights of this amazing competition on Horse & Country – plus we take you behind-the-scenes in Rudall’s Round-Up.
GCT 2018: Berlin premieres on Saturday 4 August at 8pm
GCT 2018: London premieres on Saturday 11 August at 8pm