Scott Brash has retained his title as the Longines Global Champion Tour winner for the second year in a row.
Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall Ask won the grand prix of Doha, Qatar on Saturday night (15 November) under the spotlights of the Al Shaqab stadium and finished the 2014 Tour with 243 points. Scott Brash finished fourth in this three-round season finale – which rumbled into the most nailbiting of competitions – with the 12-year-gelding Hello Sanctos, to complete the season on equal points with Rolf. However, Scott’s three wins over the season versus Rolf’s two, meant that the overall title went to the world number one. He collected a cheque for 294,500euro for his win, plus 45,000euro for his grand prix fourth.
“He’s a winner, a horse in a lifetime,” said Scott, who jumped a double clear but picked up an uncharacteristic time-fault in the opening round. “I could have slapped myself for that!
“I often wonder if he’s been jumping a lot, but his strike rate is phenomenal.”
Ludger Beerbaum came in to the final round as the Tour leader but, when his top mare Chiara had to be stood down after a mild bout of colic, the German rider had to rely on number two string Zinedine. A hefty 17 faults in round one meant Ludger had to sit back and await his fate while his two rivals Rolf and Scott progressed and he was resigned to finish third in the standings.
“Everyone can understand my disappointment, but what these two [Rolf and Scott] did today was world class,” he said.
Hello Sanctos’s owners Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham travelled to Qatar to witness their gelding help Scott to a second GCT championship, just a week after Scott celebrated holding the world number one spot for a whole year. Scott’s wins on the 2014 tour came in Cannes, Estoril and in front of his home crowd at the London leg of the Global Champions Tour.
We’ll bring you all the action, interviews and photos from the 2014 season finale in next week’s Horse & Hound (out Thursday 20 November) – don’t miss it!