Scott Brash has decided to retire his great mare Ursula XII.
The Scotsman made the announcement on today (Sunday 9 December) after he and the 17-year-old Scottish Sport Horse (Ahorn x Papageno) finished sixth in the prestigious Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, Switzerland.
“I think winning the CP International, presented by Rolex, at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters in 2016 has to be my favourite moment with her,” said Scott. “I don’t think I will ever ride a horse again that can jump round such a big course as easily as Ursula can. She gave me an unbelievable feeling around that course and I am really going to miss that.”
Scott and Ursula have been one of the world’s greatest partnerships since first teaming up together in 2012. The mare, owned by Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham, was bred in Scotland by the Turnbull family and first produced by their son Mark, who took her to the newcomers final at Horse of the Year Show and the U23 championship at Olympia. Tina Fletcher took over when Ursula was a 10-year-old, jumping at five-star level and on Nations Cup teams.
Scott and Ursula have since been on an incredible journey. As well as winning the Major, part of the Rolex Grand Slam, at Calgary, Scott has piloted Ursula to victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour grand prix of Mexico this year and the Doha grand prix in 2017. They have also accumulated plenty of podium places along the way in some of the toughest jumping competitions in the world including a runner-up spot in the Olympia World Cup 2017, the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen in 2016, the IJRC Top 10 Final and third place in the Rolex Grand Prix at Windsor in 2017.
On Sunday, Scott and Ursula joined 10 other combinations in the jump-off for the Rolex grand prix in Geneva, just picking up four faults from first draw to finish a very creditable sixth in their last competition together.
“It felt amazing out there, but yes, I have mixed emotions — in one way I am feeling very sad that it’s her last event, but on the other hand I am delighted with how she performed tonight,” said Scott.
“She has been an amazing horse and to jump big courses like that at her age and feel as good as she does is a credit to my team and to the owners. I get a lot of reward in stopping her at the top end of the sport, in such good health and condition, which for me is the main thing.”
Scott Brash collects an incredible $1,000,000 for historic back-to-back victories in Canada on a horse returning from serious injury
The Scotsman and his talented ride, Ursula XII, took grand prix honours at Al Shaqab
If you want to keep up with the latest from the equestrian world without leaving home, grab a H&H subscription
Ursula will return home to Scott’s stables and he hopes to put her in foal next year.
“She will make a really good mother as she has the best temperament and I think she really wants to be a mother — when she sees other foals, she always looks at them and is interested in them, so fingers crossed for that,” he said.
“We will make sure she enjoys a very happy retirement and she will certainly be very pampered.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.