British owners have world’s top 2 horses

Britain is firmly at the top of the showjumping ladder. 

As well as a British 1-2 in the list of the world’s top showjumpers — Scott Brash and Ben Maher — British owners Lady Kirkham and Lord and Lady Harris now own the top 2 showjumping horses. Ursula XII is number 1, while Hello Sanctos is second on the FEI WBFSH World Ranking List

They are believed to be the first owners to achieve this.

“We’re very pleased,” Lord Harris told H&H.

“I’m surprised Ursula has overtaken Sanctos, but she’s a very good horse. I’ve had number one horses before, but the top two is really something special. The hardest job now is keeping them there.”

The 13-year-old British-bred Ursula was bought by Lady Kirkham and Lord and Lady Harris in 2011. 

This year, Scott and Ursula have won in Wellington and Paris and finished third in the World Cup Final in Lyon.

They bought Hello Sanctos, a 12-year-old Belgian-bred gelding, in December 2011. He was aimed at the 2012 Olympic Games with Scott, where the pair were part of the gold medal-winning team.

“We’re lucky in that we have an exceptional rider in Scott,” Lord Harris added. “We wanted him to be number 1, and he got there, and now we have the top horse too. 

“We also have a couple of nice young horses, including Hello M’Lady, whom we’re aiming at Rio [Olympics 2016].”

A British Showjumping spokesman said: “British showjumping has never been in such a successful position — it’s tremendous.” 

This article was first published in Horse and Hound on 8 May 2014.