‘That’s what makes a championship’: Scott Brash and Jefferson qualify for Olympic showjumping individual final

  • Scott Brash and Jefferson have secured their place in the Olympic showjumping individual final after producing a focused clear qualifying round at the Tokyo Games.

    Scott and the 12-year-old gelding, owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham, made light work of the colourful fences and testing combinations in Santiago Varela’s track.

    “I’m delighted. I thought he jumped fantastic,” said Scott. “He’s an amazing horse and I just feel like he’s been in top form. We’re growing as a partnership and really understand one another better each round we do.

    “Normally my worst day would be my first day, he’s quite a sharp horse and very energetic. Usually it gets better as the week goes so hopefully that’s still the case.”

    Scott said it was “a very good course”.

    “I’m surprised that Santiago has had as many clears as he has. There’s a lot to look at in there for the horses on the first night, it’s very colourful so you don’t really know how they’re going to react.

    “You’ve got the water, and you’ve got the vertical at the top – it seems to be spooking horses a little bit with the flowers. Then there’s the last line. There’s [potential jumping] faults everywhere.

    “With the sumo wrestler (fence 8) I think people were worried about that but my feeling is the horses are not looking at that, when you come round the corner there’s some flowers and things on the right. The horses don’t really know where they’re going so they switch off a little bit, but you have to keep them engaged with your leg. I was certainly aware of that once I watched a few and knew I could have a bit more pressure around that corner, and I’m glad I did.

    “To be honest you expect it at the Olympic Games, you know that it’s going to be colourful and decorative – it’s fantastic. That’s what makes a championship; if it was just plain old jumps, it would be like every other week so I think it needs to be something extra special and I think it’s good that they have all that sort of things.”

    Looking ahead to the team event Scott believes they have a “great chance”.

    “We’ve got a great team here. But as you know with three riders anything can happen. If a rein snaps we’re eliminated, it can be as easy as that,” he said.

    “You never know, but I think we’re all in good shape, and we need a bit of luck on the day.”

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