Scott Brash took the overall win in the Longines Global Champions Tour 2013 after winning the Grand Prix of Doha last night aboard Hello Sanctos (Quasimodo V. Molendreef x Nabab de Reve). With one of only two triple clears in the class, the Grand Prix win and the overall series win gave Britain’s ice man €443,000 in prize money – a relatively good 28th birthday gift one could say. Second in the Grand Prix was Ludger Beerbaum on Chiara (Contender x Coronado), while Marcus Ehning was third on Plot Blue (Mr. Blue x Pilot) with one down in the jump-off.
For the overall tour win it became very exciting, as Germany’s Christian Ahlmann missed out on the title due to a single time penalty in the second round that pushed him into second place overall. US rider Laura Kraut, who has been on top of the ranking for much of the season, finished third in the tour. Brash was already announced as the title winner before the Grand Prix was over, but still had to put up a good performance in the jump-off against Beerbaum and Ehning to win the Grand Prix.
On whether or not he though an overall tour win was possible, Scott said after his win; “I was told it was possible, but I didn't think for one minute I would be sat here. It couldn't be a better day for me.” Scott has already had an amazing season, winning the Europeand team gold medal and individual bronze in Herning in August.
Italy's Uliano Vezzani set a big, heavy first round course, with a decent time allowed but some very challenging aspects. In the end eleven riders went clear, and were joined by another seven on faults for round two.The second round was equally difficult, with a slightly more tight time allowed. Thirteen of the riders had a fence down or more, while for two the second round proved to be quite frustrating as they picked up time faults; Christian Ahlmann and Aragon Z (Askari x Kolibri) recorded one single time penalty that kept them from the jump-off, as did Belgiums Constant van Paesschen on Citizenguard Toscan de Sainte Hermelle (Surcouf de Revel x Bayac de Sainte Hermelle).
On missing out on the overall win Christian said; “After the second round, I was a little disappointed. I realized I no longer had a chance to win [the title]. When I opened my eyes this morning, I thought, ‘I can do it’. But in the end, my horse jumped very good. I want to thank my girlfriend for letting me borrow her horse as my two stallions were not able to come here. She gave me Aragon to try for two weeks and we had some good results, so I thought it was worth a try. He did a very good job and I took too much time. In the end, I am very happy with the whole season as I had really good results and second in the end is not so bad.”
After eighteen riders had went in the ring two times, only three riders made it through to the jump-off. Beerbaum and Chiara opened with a solid and fast round, crossing the finish line in a time of 43.83 seconds. Ehning was the second rider in the ring, but unfortunately a rail on the first fence fell. Scott Brash is very familiar with pressure though – and rather than making it his enemy the British rider is very friendly towards it, using it to his advantage. Setting up a high pace from the beginning, Brash raced around the track to beat Beerbaum by 0.66 seconds.
“The horse [Hello Sanctos] is a horse of a lifetime. I won’t ever sit on one again that will give me as much success. There are too many people to thank. There are so many that make it all possible for me and the horse to compete and do what we have done today,” Scott said after his win adding on the amount of pressure that many felt was on; “I think that, to be fair, there would be more pressure on people at the top of the table. When you’re coming from behind, you can just give it your all. But as Laura said, I was focused on the class and I knew if we could both do as well as we could, that was the best we could hope for. If it then worked out on the day that we won the league then so be it. Thankfully it came right. After the second round, when they told me I had won the Championship, I wanted to be very happy and celebrate, but I knew I still had a job to do. I think to be in the jump-off with two of my biggest idols spurred me on to concentrate and try to beat them. It worked out, all credit to my horse he was fantastic today.”
Source: Press release from LGCT.
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