This brilliant video from the Rolex grand prix in Geneva, Switzerland (Sunday, 14 December) shows eventual winner Scott Brash going head-to-head with second-placed Frenchman Roger Yves Bost in the high-octane jump-off.
You can see the world number one taking strides out to gain an early advantage with his top horse Hello Sanctos. But “Bosty” and the 10-year-old stallion Quod’Coeur De La Loge fire from behind to finish within a whisker — 0.25sec to be precise — of the Scotsman.
“When I went in I wanted six strides from fences two to three and I ended up going seven strides, so I came out the ring thinking I might get beat,” explained Scott of his jump-off route in the 13-rider finale.
Scott laid down his formidable challenge from early draw so then had to watch on anxiously — not least when the notoriously speedy Frenchman gave his all down the home straight.
“I’m lucky but I was too slow today — Scott is better!” said the French reigning European champion. “I think my horse lost it in the air — he jumped too high. After the first fence I lost a stride, after number three I was a little bit outside the line, but it’s OK, I’m very happy.”
Related news from H&H
Scott Brash will make his first international appearance with his new ride, nine-year-old Hello Guv'nor, at Olympia next week
Scott collected a cheque for CHF297,000 (£196,000) — his second big payout of the show after he also won the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final on Friday. He will now target the second leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping — worth €1m for any rider who can win all three rounds — the Aachen grand prix, at the end of May.
Don’t miss the full report from the Rolex grand prix in Geneva, and all the supporting classes, in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (out Thursday, 18 December).