Elite showjumper Ursula XII to be put in foal following retirement

Scott Brash’s phenomenal mare Ursula XII is to be put in foal during her retirement, following an emotional farewell ceremony at Olympia’s London International Horse Show.

Lady Harris and Lady Kirkhams’ 17-year-old Scottish Sports Horse had a last moment in the spotlight in front of a packed house of 8,000 people on the show’s closing night (Sunday, 23 December).

Scott thanked his team at home for the role they played in Ursula’s career before paying tribute to the great mare herself.

“I’d like to thank Ursula herself, not only for being such a talented horse and for winning classes all over the world, but for being such a lovely, unbelievable horse to look after. She really is the kindest, sweetest horse who makes our lives so easy,” he said.

“She’s leaving us all with memories we’ll have for the rest of our lives. We will miss her.”

Scott confessed to having “already had some sad moments on my own” since announcing Ursula’s retirement on 9 December, following their final round in the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Switzerland, where they finished sixth.

“I’m surprised I got through [the farewell speech] all right!” Scott said afterwards. “She’s been an unbelievable horse, so of course it was going to be difficult. I wanted to make sure I thanked everyone who had contributed to part of her life as we couldn’t have got those results without those people.

“I’m delighted with the career she’s had and very proud of the team to still have her in top form,” he added.

Ursula began her career with Mark Turnbull, who took her to the newcomers final at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) and under-23 championship at Olympia before Tina Fletcher took over the ride when the Ahorn x Papageno mare was 10.

Her partnership with Scott began in 2012 and became one of the most successful in recent history. Ursula was the world’s highest-earning horse in 2016, the same year as she won the CP International at the CSIO Spruce Meadows Masters.

Their success continued right into this season, with Ursula taking the Longines Global Champions Tour grand prix of Mexico.

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Scott said Ursula would “continue to have five-star treatment and be looked after” now she has stepped down from competition.

“We’ll keep riding her and hacking her out and she’ll go in the paddock and then hopefully she’ll go in foal and have a family of her own,” he said. “I think she would like that, so that’s what we’re going to try and do for her.”

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