British showjumper Scott Brash made history in Aachen on Sunday (31 May) by becoming the first rider to win two of the three legs in the Rolex Grand Slam.
Riding his great partner Hello Sanctos, owned by Lord and Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, the world number one triumphed in the world famous Aachen grand prix.
This victory came on the back of his win at the CHI in Geneva in December which means he can claim a €500,000 bonus for winning two legs in succession simply by taking part in the third and final event in the Rolex Grand Slam at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Canada in September.
But a bigger purse is at stake should he win there, making it three in a row, with a whopping €1million bonus available for any rider who can win the hat-trick.
“I will ride there – even if I have broken my leg!” joked 29-year-old Scott, who pocketed a cool €330,000 in prize-money just for winning Sunday’s class.
From last draw and showing no signs of the huge pressure on his shoulders, the Scotsman produced the fastest of four triple clears in a nail-biting seven-rider jump-off to beat Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Cornet D’Amour into the runner-up spot. Third place went to Frenchman Simon Delestre (Ryan Des Hayettes) with Ludger Beerbaum taking fourth on Chiara 222.
The speedy 13-year-old gelding Hello Sanctos had not previously performed well in this vast arena, but on this occasion looked to relish the atmosphere provided by nearly 40,000 spectators and the stern track set by Frank Rothenberger.
“Yes, it’s crazy. Hello Sanctos jumped fantastically today,” said Scott. “Of course, that [the half-million euro bonus] was going through my head, but in the jump-off, I simply concentrated on one jump after the other.”
Don’t miss the full report from the CHIO Aachen in next week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 4 June.