Scott Brash has won showjumping’s richest prize, a phenomenal $1,000,000, for the second year in a row.
His victory in the CP International grand prix at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Canada on Sunday (11 September) puts him on target for yet another Rolex Grand Slam, which the Scotsman secured at this event last year.
Riding Lady Harris and Lady Kirkham’s Ursula XII, Scott went head-to-head with USA’s Mclain Ward on HH Azur against the clock in the third round of what is widely considered to be the sport’s toughest grand prix.
First to go, Scott kept up the pace to record his third clear of the competition and, when Mclain faulted, the class went to Scott and the Scottish-bred Ahorn mare.
“Ursula’s been through so much — she was number one horse in the world a few years ago and then she had a really bad injury and was plagued with injury for two years,” said Scott. “So now she’s 15, she’s come back to the top end of the sport. She was number one horse in the world but only ever came second in grands prix – she never actually won a grand prix — so she’s picked the right one to win.”
Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca will long be ruing the time-fault he picked up in the second round after a double clear of jumping. He took third with Ensor De Litrange LXII.
Two gruelling tracks built by Leopoldo Palacios had caused plenty of shock departures as some of the best riders in the world took to the stage in this historic competition. The treble combination over two water trays in round one provided much of the drama.
The next leg of the Rolex Grand Slam takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, in December, where Nick Skelton is aiming Big Star in a bid to stake his claim on the 1,000,000 euro bonus for any rider who wins all three legs — Spruce Meadows, Geneva and Aachen.
Read the full report from Spruce Meadows and a full round-up from the international circuit in this week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 15 September.