Britain’s Scott Brash piloted Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham’s Hello Forever to a win in the CSI5* jump-off class tonight (13 November) at the Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT) final show in Doha.
One of the last to go in the 11-strong jump-off, Scott judged his round perfectly to finish clear in 44.78sec, 0.64 of a second quicker than his nearest rival.
This was a turnaround in form for the nine-year-old chestnut Hello Forever, who played up in one corner of the arena yesterday, but Scott explained that this is not out of character for the son of For Pleasure.
“I’m really chuffed,” he said. “He’s got that bit of cheekiness with him and yesterday we had the hiccup, but his jump is very good and hopefully next year he’ll be an even better horse. He loves going fast and he loves to jump off, so he’s very competitive in that way.”
Despite his two down yesterday, Scott said he feels positive about tomorrow’s grand prix with Hello Sanctos. This class will determine whether the Brit keeps his leading spot in the overall series rankings.
“He feels good and he’s had a day off today; we’ll try our best tomorrow,” he said.
Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengsson took second tonight on the 12-year-old grey stallion Clarimo ASK, while third went to Germany’s Marco Kutscher on Balermo, the first into the arena in both the first round and the jump-off.
John Whitaker finished 10th with Ornellaia, another by For Pleasure. They jumped a foot-perfect first round, but had two uprights down in the jump-off.
Britain’s other two riders, Ben Maher and Michael Whitaker, did not make the final barrage. Ben and Diva II lowered fence 8b, the second part of a double of uprights set on a very tight two strides. Michael and Viking hit both parts of the double at fence five.
After their strong start yesterday, Ireland’s riders could not quite keep up their form today and none of them made the jump-off. Cian O’Connor and Good Luck just faulted at the final fence, while Denis Lynch’s All Star paddled in mid-air over 8b and had it down. Bertram Allen and Quiet Easy had 12 jumping penalties and a time-fault.
Final update from Doha online tomorrow. Full report in Horse & Hound magazine next Thursday (19 November).