Scott Brash is celebrating becoming the first showjumper since 2006 to hold the world number one spot for an entire year.
In the latest Longines world rankings revealed on Wednesday (5 November), the British rider has held on to the coveted top spot for the 12th month in succession.
“It feels good!” said the happy Scotsman, who is also set to defend his Longines Global Champions Tour title in Doha next week. “But it’s all thanks to my team, my horses, my owners — I’m hugely grateful to have them behind me.”
The last rider to hold the top spot for over a year was Germany’s Marcus Ehning — currently ranked number three behind Ludger Beerbaum at number two — who headed the rankings from August 2005 to December 2006.
“I think I’ll struggle to do what Marcus did,” said Scott. “I’m not doing as many shows as I was this time last year so I think it will be tough to stay at the top now and, of course, the horses come first. But it’s good to enjoy it now — it was my aim to stay at the top for a year.”
Scott, 28, took over the mantel from his team-mate Ben Maher in November 2013. The Hertfordshire rider was the first British showjumper in more than 20 years to hold the number one spot, and stayed there for three months.
“After the London Olympics this has always been a goal and to have achieved it, is fantastic,” said Scott when he first became world number one.
In recent years, France’s Kevin Staut has come the closest to making the one year anniversary as world number one — he held the title for 10 months from July 2010 to April 2011. Christian Ahlmann of Germany and Rolf-Goran Bengtsson from Sweden both stayed at the top for nine months, with Canada’s Eric Lamaze managing seven.
Scott’s big wins in the past year include the Longines Global Champions Tour title and grand prix in Doha in 2013, a hat-trick of GCT grands prix in London, Cannes and Estoril; the five-star grand prix in Wellington, Florida, in March — all on his top ride Hello Sanctos — and the Longines Speed Challenge at the Gucci Masters in Paris with Bon Ami.
“Winning in London would be the highlight for me — that was a great moment, to win on home soil,” said Scott.
He added that he plans to take out all his staff to celebrate the team’s achievement “as soon as time allows!”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them all — it’s been hard work, but they’ve been great and I’m very lucky to have them,” said Scott.