Scott Brash claimed second in the Rolex grand prix at Aachen this afternoon (Sunday, 17 July).
The Brit rode Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham’s 15-year-old mare Ursula XII. The pair had fence 10, an upright, down in the first round, but progressed to the second lying sixth.
In the final barrage, Scott left all the poles intact. Only the winner, the home side’s Philipp Weishaupt, could record two jumping clears and Scott moved up to the runner-up spot by virtue of being the fastest in the second round of those on four faults.
“I didn’t think I’d win it — I’m delighted to be second having had a fence down in the first round, although I was gutted to have that fence,” said the Brit.
Winner Philipp was the very first rider into the arena for the first round and made it look deceptively easy on Hans Liebherr’s LB Convall, a nine-year-old stallion by Colman. He just had two time-faults.
When no one managed a fault-free round, he sat third going into the second round. The second course proved relatively soft and Philipp jumped another clear to put the pressure on the leading two.
But neither could produce a clear round. Switzerland’s Martin Fuch’s was going brilliantly until the very last jump with Clooney 51, but the grey suddenly napped to the entrance and ran out of the final green and yellow oxer. He ended up 16th. And the Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder had the red, white and black oxer at fence 10 down with Glock’s Cognac Champblanc NOP to finish 12th.
“I can’t believe it, it’s an amazing day,” said Philipp, who is now the live contender in the showjumping Rolex Grand Slam, the $1million bonus on offer to any rider who can win consecutively the grands prix in Aachen, Spruce Meadows (Calgary) and Geneva.
“For sure I’ll give the grand slam a shot — I’ll try to do well in the grand prix in Calgary, but I don’t expect my horse to win it. But if he develops as much in the next two-and-a-half months as he has in the past two-and-a-half months, everything is possible.”
Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya finished third on Carlo 273. He also had four faults in the first round, followed by a clear.
Michael Whitaker was the only other Brit in the class, on Viking, but he had three down in round one — the upright at fences two and 10, plus the first part of the treble at 13a — so didn’t make the cut for the second round.