It was a fantastic Grand Prix class at Kingsland Oslo Horse Show on Saturday afternoon – which saw European team champions Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos (Quasimodo vd Molendreef x Nabab de Reve) ending up on top after an incredible fast jump-off. The British rider – who has had a fantastic year – did the seemingly impossible and shaved off 0.02 seconds on then-leader Angelica Augustsson’s time, pushing her down to second with Mic Mac du Tillard (Cruising x Galoubet A). Harrie Smolders ended third after riding a seriously fast round on the stunning Emerald (Diamant de Semilly x Carthago) – keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats as he crossed the finish line.
“Sanctos has been fantastic this year, and this was his first show back since the Europeans. I brought him here last week for the two star so that was good, and he jumped a couple of small classes – a couple of sweeteners after the Europeans – and then this was his first big class since then,” Scott explained after his win.
With fourteen riders going to the jump-off it was bound to be fast. The first round track consisted of thirteen fences, and included a vertical-vertical combination at 4ab, and a triple combination at 8abc. It was the oxer at three, and especially the oxer at ten that caused most problems though – and the last fell frequently. “The course was not so big, so it didn’t kill the horses – and in the end there were fourteen clears that isn’t too many for fifty riders. I think Ulliano Vezani did a really good job,” Scott Brash said about the track.
The audience at Telenor Arena got what they paid for today, as the jump-off had names like reigning European Champion Roger Yves Bost, Angelica Augustsson, Scott Brash and Marcus Ehning in it. Considering the field of riders returning for the second round, it was bound to be extremely fast.
Bosty opened up on Castle Forbes Cosma (Couleur Rubin x Peter Pan), and rode a clear and fast round. Stopping the clock on 36.32 the French rider put pressure on those to come. Home rider Line Raaholt was next on Blue Thunder (Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Adieu Z) – but unfortunately the gelding stopped twice on the penultimate vertical and she was eliminated.
Angelica Augustsson was next to enter the ring on Bernadette Lejeune’s hot chestnut mare. It’s not always easy to control Mic Mac’s temper, but she seems to like it indoors in Oslo and continued to jump great today after ending second in the 1.50 class yesterday. Angelica left the breaks by the entrance and really went for it around the shortened track, getting a great turn to the oxer before the penultimate vertical and then turning extremely quick into the final stretch where she raced down to the last oxer. Stopping the clock on 34.08, it looked like it couldn’t be beat. "Mic Mac was fantastic today, I am really happy about her performance," Angelica said afterwards.
The following two riders – Anna-Julia Kontio and Stefan Eder – both had faults, while Alberto Michan rode a great double clear on a very well jumping Camilo LS La Silla (Portofino x Cor de la Bryere) eventually ending 6th. Home rider Geir Gulliksen had the penultimate vertical down, and ended best of the home riders as number nine on Edesa S Banjan (Toulon x Lys de Darmen).
Then it was time for Scott and his medal collector Sanctos. The British rider really went for it, and his determination paid off – after a flat out race to the last oxer Scott crossed the finish line 0.02 seconds ahead of Angelica to wild applause from the crowds. It was nothing else than incredible to watch! “The first round I must it felt very easy for him, he just jumped around really nice – and I was very happy! The jump-off was very quick, and I just went as fast as I could,” Scott said about his jump-off.
None of the remaining six riders could do anything about Brash. Patrick Stühlmeyer was clear on Lord Lohengrin (Lordanos x Diskus) 35.21 and slotted into third, but was pushed down to fourth two riders later – Marcus Ehning and Luciana Diniz both had faults – by Harrie Smolders on the amazing Emerald. Harrie really rode on today, and has a tremendous two rounds on the stallion to end third on a time of 34.44. “I didn’t realize I was that fast,” Harrie laughed afterwards. The final two riders in the jump-off could do nothing about the top three, Pieter Martin Fuchs had one down and Pieter Devos was clear to end fifth.
Tomorrow Brash gets the chance to win again on Hello Sanctos, as he will partner up with the 11 year old gelding in the World Cup opener of the Western European league. On his plan for tomorrow’s feature class in Oslo, Scott laughed; “To win again!”. And he just might!
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