Saturday 4th March CSI 5* GRAND PRIX

 

Al Shaqab,02.03.2017, Para Dressage, Prize Giving. Photo: Frank Sorge/Al Shaqab

It was another big win for the prolific Scott Brash in the CSI 5* Grand Prix. After jumping a double clear in the first two rounds, the former World Number One was first to go in the jump-off and posted a faultless performance in a time of 45.21. The 31 year old from Scotland was riding Ursula XII who has been one of his faithful campaigners. The  16 year old mare has had a long and successful career with Brash and won the Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows last year.Brash helped Team GB win an Olympic gold in London 2012 and became the first rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam, all three of the sport’s most prestigious events in a single year- a feat he managed to pull off twice- in 2015 and 2016.

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Speaking after his win: “I’m delighted with her (Ursula XII) and a win here means a lot to me. We are off to Stuttgart next. I have some promising young horses coming through including one my father bred.”

When asked what he will spend the money on: “With horses it goes very quickly, just on keeping them and traveling from show to show.”

 

Second place was won by the only other clear in the jump off- Turkish rider Omer Karaevli on Roso Au Crosnier who finished on a time of 45.98. The other two riders in the jump-off were Pilar Lucrecia Cordon from Spain and Christian Ahlmann from Germany both of whom recorded faster times but had a fence down.

 

The CSI 5* Grand Prix was the class all the riders wanted to win and they saved their best horses in the hope of taking a share of the staggering 500,000,00 euro prize fund. Frank Rothenberger set another tough challenge for the 42 riders who entered. The format involved jumping the first course of fences measuring 1m60 and the top 18 riders going through to the second round where a new course was built of the same height but a greater technicality. This is a test of stamina as well as athleticism and speed. There were just four double clears that went through to the jump-off.

 

In round one, a number of world class riders picked up time penalties including a former CHI AL SHAQAB Grand Prix winner Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), Niels Bruynseels (BEL) and Qatar’s Sheikh Ali Bin Khalid Al Thani which put them out of the running for the jump-off round.