‘One of the best horses ever’: Olympic and grand slam hero Hello Sanctos retires

The London 2012 gold medallist, Rolex grand slam-winner and “one of the best horses there’s ever been”, Hello Sanctos, is to retire at the age of 17.

Scott Brash announced today (29 November) that after an “incredible journey together”, he and owners Lord and Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham have decided it is time to retire the “legendary horse”.

“We can’t thank him enough for changing our lives,” Scott said.

Scott and Sanctos were on the British team that took gold at the London Olympics, and at the European Championships the following year, where they won individual bronze.

The Belgian-bred gelding is also the only horse to have won the Rolex Grand Slam of Showjumping, taking the grand prix in Geneva in 2014 and going on to win the grands prix at Aachen and Spruce Meadows the following year.

“I dreamed of being a showjumper,” Scott said. “I wanted to be able to make a living out of what I loved doing. I dreamed of having a horse like Baloubet du Rouet or Milton, but did I think it was possible for me to have one of the best horses there’s ever been? No, I can’t say that. I’ve had an unbelievable life thanks to Sanctos.”

Scott spoke of the connection the partnership had in competition.

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“I understood every single step he was going to make,” he said. “There were things he could do in the ring; he knew what I wanted and just responded.

“I honestly think you’ll go a long way to ever see another horse like Sanctos.”

A retirement ceremony will be held at the CHI de Geneva on 14 December, a show that means a lot to Scott and the horse’s owners, as it is “where his Rolex grand slam journey started”.

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