World number one Scott Brash claimed his third Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT) win this year when scooping the €300,000 (£213,000) grand prix in Estoril in Portugal riding Hello Sanctos (9-11 July).
The win means Scott edges closer to taking the championship lead. He is now 32 points behind current ranking leader, Portugal’s Luciana Diniz, who picked up four faults in the second round.
“Sanctos loves Estoril — he jumped phenomenal again today. I am delighted with him, but we still have to keep going to beat Luciana,” said Scott.
“Every time he’s jumped here, he’s been on the podium. He’s just a wonderful horse and it’s a privilege to be riding him. I need to enjoy him while I have him as he’s one in a lifetime,” he added.
It has been confirmed that the 13-year-old gelding will miss the European Championships in August and instead head to the Rolex Grand Slam in Spruce Meadows with Scott.
Frank Rothenberger’s challenging but fair course caused problems throughout the class. Fifteen clear rounds went through to the second round, with three more on four-faults. Just four combinations then made it through to the final jump-off.
Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Al Sharbatly and Ireland’s Greg Broderick took the next two podium spots behind Scott.
“My horse is just nine so he hasn’t a lot of experience at this level,” said Greg. “I knew Scott was able to go very fast so I just tried to be quick and luckily we were clear.
“It’s nice to be on the podium at my first GCT. There are not as many Irish horses at the top level so I’m glad that he’s has been jumping so well for the whole year — I’m very lucky to ride this fantastic horse.”
The GCT’s tenth round of the 2015 season takes place in Chantilly in France from 17-19 July.