‘He’s made all my dreams come true’: Scott Brash bids farewell to Hello Sanctos

  • In a tearjerker of a retirement ceremony in Geneva on Saturday (pictured), Scott Brash bid farewell to the now 17-year-old Hello Sanctos.

    Scott’s enduring partnership with Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham’s gelding is what the sport of showjumping is all about. Together, they conquered the world and, says Scott, “He’s made all my dreams come true”.

    Scott Brash (GBR)&Hello Sanctos - Jumping - Team Final / Third Qualifier - London 2012 Olympic Games - Greenwich Park, London, United Kingdom - 06 August 2012

    Jumping in the team final at the London 2012 Olympics

    The Scotsman first teamed up with a then nine-year-old Sanctos at the end of 2011. The gelding, by Quasimodo Van De Molendreef out of a Nabab De Reve, was bred in Belgium by Willy Taets and won his first grand prix as an eight-year-old under USA rider Peter Wylde.

    Scott Brash riding Hello Sanctos winner of the Grand Prix presented by Qatar at the Longines Global Champions Tour of London taking place on Horse Guards Parade in central London on 15 August 2014

    Sanctos stepped up to five-star level with Ukraine’s Katharina Offel before Scott and David Broome went to try — and buy — him. Scott’s new owners Lord and Lady Harris and Lord and Lady Kirkham changed his name from Sanctos Van Het Gravenhof to the now familiar “Hello” prefix.

    “I knew he was special the first time I sat on him,” said Scott.

    Winning the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final in Geneva in 2014

    The pair made their international debut at the start of 2012 and immediately embarked on a glittering journey to become one of the most successful combinations in the history of the sport.

    Winning the 2015 Aachen grand prix

    Their first taste of victory at the top level came in the World Cup qualifier in Florida. That and similarly impressive performances caught the eye of team manager Rob Hoekstra and they received their first Nations Cup team call-up, jumping their trademark double clear, before that summer Scott and Hello Sanctos would be crowned Olympic champions as part of the gold medal-winning British team in London.

    Scott BRASH riding Hello Sanctos GBR during the First Competition at WEG in Stadium D'Ornano Caen, Normandy in France between 23 August to 7 September 2014

    Jumping on the British team at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Caen

    The following year, Scott reigned as the world number one and he and Sanctos were part of the Aga Khan-winning Nations Cup team in Dublin before claiming team gold and individual bronze at the European Championships in Denmark. The pair also completed the grand prix-World Cup double with victories on consecutive nights at the CSI5* in Oslo, Norway. They sealed another unforgettable year by heading the LGCT grand prix in Doha Qatar, which also won Scott the overall championship in the series — all on his 28th birthday.

    Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha SCOTT BRASH riding HELLO SANCTOS

    Winning the Doha LGCT in 2013

    Early grand prix success in 2014 came in Florida, then at the LGCTs of Cannes, Estoril and on home soil in London, before the start of the pair’s historic Rolex Grand Slam began with an epic triumph in the grand prix in Geneva, where the pair also topped the prestigious Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. They completed the hat-trick the following year by winning in Aachen and writing history in Spruce Meadows with their third Major victory in succession, claiming the €1million bonus.

    Scott Brash riding Hello Sanctos GBR

    Jumping at the Spruce Meadows Masters

    “I’m so lucky to be working with a horse like Sanctos — he felt as though he could do another round today,” Scott said at the time. “To win at Geneva, Aachen and then Calgary on three different horses would be an achievement, but to do it on the same horse is incredible.”

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    Further LGCT grand prix titles came in Miami and Estoril that year.

    Jumping at the London 2012 Olympics

    Sanctos sat out much of 2016 through injury and had an equally quiet 2017 — not returning to the ring until the end of 2018. He had been jumping at a handful of one- and two-star shows this year before Scott made the decision to retire this phenomenal horse after his final appearance in the ring in St Tropez in October.

    “I really can’t thank Sanctos enough for what he has done,” said Scott. “I also need to thank my owners for believing in me and believing in Sanctos. We had an incredible partnership and I hope he will be remembered as a superstar.”

    Global Champions Tour Doha November 2015

    At the Global Champions Tour in Doha in November 2015

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