Leading British showjumpers Scott Brash and Ben Maher may be friends and team-mates as well as fierce competitors, but when it comes to competing on home soil the gloves definitely come off, and both riders will by vying for the top spot once again at this year’s Longines Global Champions Tour in London (2-4 August).
This is will be the third year that this CSI5* show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and last year Scott Brash gave the home crowd plenty more to cheer about with his third victory in the city, this time on Hello Mr President. Remarkably, Scott hasn’t finished out of the top six in his home grand prix since the Tour first visited London in 2013.
“Each year it’s been top sport and fast jump-offs,” says Scott.
But Ben Maher, who claimed top spot in 2013 when the Olympic Park hosted the show, will not be making life easy for Scott.
“My rivalry with Scott in London has a little bit of history — last year he was ahead of me and I had to chase and it forced me to make a mistake,” says Ben, who is the reigning LGCT champion and has already booked his place in the LGCT Super Grand Prix in November. “But I think it’s exciting for the crowds to see and even more reason to come and watch.”
As well as delivering top class showjumping in the heart of the city, the stunning show is proving a real highlight of the social calendar with celebrities such as Ronan Keating, Rory Bremner, Jodie Kidd and Richard Hammond among the regular guests.
“It’s proved that we can put on a great show, that we do have great crowds and it’s nice for that high level of sport to come back to the big city of London,” says Ben Maher, who is also a key member of the Global Champions League team the London Knights, who will be bidding to replicate their win on home soil from last year.
“To win at home is always the best place to win.”
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British rivalries — past winners of the London leg of the GCT:
2018: Scott Brash and Hello Mr President (Ben Maher, fourth)
2017: Scott Brash and Hello Forever (Ben Maher, second)
2016: No event
2015: Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall ASK (John Whitaker, second, Scott Brash, sixth)
2014: Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos
2013: Ben Maher and Cella (Nick Skelton, second, Scott Brash, fifth)
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