Riding Hello Sanctos, Scott Brash made a dream come true at the age of 26 as he was a part of the British team taking Olympic gold at home soil in London in August. The Scotsman originally from Edinburgh, started riding at the age of seven as his dad bought him a pony. He jumped his first fence at the age of ten and who knew that sixteen years later he would be one of the world’s top riders.
Based in Peebles on the Scottish boarder Scott has about 40 horses at his yard where he also does a little bit of home breeding. “We do about 8 foals a year, and we do have some home breds coming up.“
Scott has some very good horses at the moment and explains that he bought both Intertoy Z and Bon Ami as four year olds and has produced them himself. “Intertoy is a big friendly giant. He sort of started me off,” Scott explains about his partner from the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010. “When you produce a horse yourself, anything that goes wrong is your own fault, “ Scott laughs as he also explains to us how important the partnership you get with the different horses are. “Bon Ami is kind of my second horse. I use him a lot for speed classes. He is a very useful horse and he wins a lot.”
So what does Scott look for in a potential top horse? “I like them a bit sharp. They have to be careful, scopey and brave. They have to have everything to jump today’s tracks,” Scott says.
After Scott won the World Cup qualifier in Toronto in November last year he got a call that changed his life, and brought him the perfect opportunity to make it to the Olympics in London. Lady P. Harris and Lady P. Kirkham wanted to buy Scott a top horse and in December they bought Hello Sanctos with the mission of getting Scott to London. A mission they managed to accomplish.
“London was a lot of pressure” Scott says about his Olympic experience. “But I like it. I think I perform better,” he continues. “The crowds were amazing, but very noisy. The first day Sanctos was a bit out from all the noise, and I was wondering how the week would be! Luckily I was able to get out some of his freshness, and then he just got better.
“Our team was a good match. We all compete well under pressure. I know them all very well, but we had never competed together as a team before the Olympics. It was great seeing Nick being able to win. One year before the Games it was only Nick with Carlo and Big Star winning everything. Then luckily my owners came along. It was a fast program, but the perfect timing. Ben’s horses also did well and then Peter and Tina came in. It was a great feeling afterwards,” Scott explains.
We are of course impressed by Scott’s performance in London, so how do one build up and train for such an event? Scott tells us that about three weeks ahead of the Games he only rode Sanctos and fully concentrated on him and their relation, a plan that obviously worked out.
Then after it all was over Scott’s normal life had to continue. Besides having no less than three golden post boxes, his life was still the same riding the young horses, jumping smaller classes, driving the lorry, waiting for planes to leave and classes to start. Scott admits it was a bit hard the first weeks to get motivated for the regular 1.40 classes. “I’m a bit greedy so I have to go on,” he says with a big laugh. “I am amazed by people like John Whitaker though. He is still able to get motivated doing what he’s doing. Still going out competing five year olds and educating horses. It is very inspiring.”
Scott also lets us know that his amazing owners are giving him all the support in the world, and their goal is to make him number one in the world. With that goal to reach for, the motivation to keep on should be possible to find and hold on to!
Photos by Jenny Abrahamsson/Text by Hanne Christensen - copyright © worldofshowjumping.com 2012.
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