Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos win Rolex Grand Slam

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Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos with the Rolex Grand Slam trophy after winning the CP International at Spruce Meadows on Sunday.
Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos with the Rolex Grand Slam trophy after winning the CP International at Spruce Meadows on Sunday. © Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping / Kit Houghton

British showjumper Scott Brash has made history by becoming the first rider to win showjumping’s Rolex Grand Slam, after taking out the CP International Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in Canada on Hello Sanctos.

Brash, 29, had already won the grand prix events in Geneva and Aachen with Hello Sanctos, with the weekend’s Calgary event the final jewel in the Grand Slam crown.

The Scottish rider and his super horse Hello Sanctos were the only combination to go clear in both rounds of the CP International, without any time faults. For their win they take home $C500,000 – as well as the €1 million bonus for the Rolex Grand Slam.

Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos. © Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping/Kit Houghton
Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos. © Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping/Kit Houghton

Coming in second on Sunday was Belgian rider Pieter Devos with Dylano, with Brazil’s Pedro Veniss third on Quabri de Lisle.

The best Canadian in the class was Ian Millar and Dixson, who finished eighth, just behind the USA’s Beezie Madden and Cortes C.

Brash and Hello Sanctos were pitted against 38 other qualifiers for the CP International, and they all battled continuous rain and a difficult course designed by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios. Twelve combinations went through to the second round, with Brash and Hello Sanctos putting up the only clear round.

Pieter Devos (Belgium) and Dylano were runners-up in the CP International.
Pieter Devos (Belgium) and Dylano were runners-up in the CP International. © Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping/Kit Houghton

Ranked world number one since November 2013, Brash was elated after his win.

“Words can’t describe it. It is the best feeling I’ve ever had. “I didn’t think it could be done. It means everything,” he said.

Brash gave credit to Hello Sanctos, the 13-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Quasimodo vd Molendreef x Nabe de Reve) who helped make his biggest dreams come true.

Scott Brash celebrates his win in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
Scott Brash celebrates his win in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. © Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping/Kit Houghton

“When you target something for so long, and your whole team has put so much work and hard effort in, to actually come and achieve that dream and have it all pay off is just a wonderful feeling,” Brash said. “I do not think words can describe how I feel. I am ecstatic and I don’t think it has really sunk in just yet.

“Sanctos is a horse of a lifetime,” he said. “I thought he was a little fresh in the first round and was not absolutely perfect, but the second round he was just unbelievable. He tried his heart out today. He is a privilege to work with and ride.”

Runner-up Pieter Devos previously won the competition in 2013 aboard Candy, and was very happy with his result this year riding Dylano.

“I am just behind Scott, so it is not a shame I think,” Devos said.

“I came out of the ring with one time fault and a few people told me that I might have to jump-off with Pedro, who also had one time fault. Really inside, I knew that it would not come to a jump-off for us because Scott still had to go.

“I am very delighted to be here again and to be second. I won one time, but I am really happy with my second place now. I am happy with my horse; he did a really good job today.”

Third placegetter Pedro Veniss was pleased with his showing aboard Quabri De L Isle.

“I am so happy. This was my first time to Spruce Meadows,” Veniss said. “It was a dream for me to come to Spruce Meadows. We just won the Nations’ Cup yesterday, and now third in the grand prix, so I am a very happy man today.”

Full result

Scott Brash and Hello Forever.
Scott Brash and Hello Forever.

Brash starts weekend with win on Hello Forever

Leading up to the biggest day of his career Brash picked up a confidence boosting win in the $126,000 Suncor Energy Cup on Saturday at the ‘Masters’. Held in a winning round format over a 1.50m course set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios, 28 entries started in round one. The top ten competitors were then invited to return for the winning round, in which they begin again with zero penalties. The combination that has the fewest faults in the fastest time in the winning round is the winner.

Brash also brought nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding Hello Forever (For Pleasure x Nimmerdor) to compete this week. The pair completed the fastest of six clear trips in 40.73 seconds in the winning round to take top honors and the first place prize of $41,580.

Great Britain also finished second as Guy Wiliams jumped clear in 41.03 seconds aboard Casper de Muze in the second phase of competition. USA’s Hardin Towell took third place honors riding Jennifer Gates’ Lucifer V through the timers in 41.99 seconds, and France’s Jerome Hurel placed fourth in 43.21 seconds riding S.A.R.L. Ar Tropig’s Ohm de Ponthual.

Brash has ridden Hello Forever for only about eight months, but the duo has already formed a fantastic partnership that includes wins on the Global Champions Tour in Miami and Valkenswaard. Brash explained that Forever has been a bit inconsistent throughout the year, and he brought the horse to Spruce Meadows specifically for the experience in a large grass arena. He is owned by Lord and Lady Harris and Lady P Kirkham and was bought from Stuart Harvey in England.

“I think he is going to be a really good horse and I am very excited for him,” Brash said. “He used to be afraid of these big rings, so I thought it was best to bring him to these types of shows to get him used to them. Hopefully he will be coming here one year to jump the grand prix or the Nations’ Cup, so it is great that he has been here now and he has that experience under his belt. I must say, he has gotten better ever day here. I do have really high hopes for him. I think he is going to be very good for the future.”

Pedro Veniss and Quabri de L Isle from the winning Brazilian team in the Nations Cup competition at Spruce Meadows. Veniss was also third in Sunday's CP International Grand Prix.
Pedro Veniss and Quabri de L Isle from the winning Brazilian team in the Nations Cup competition at Spruce Meadows. Veniss was also third in Sunday’s CP International Grand Prix.

Brazil wins $300,000 BMO Nations Cup

The Brazilian team of Pedro Veniss, Felipe Amaral, Eduardo Menezes and Rodrigo Pessoa jumped to victory in front of a record crowd on Saturday in the $300,000 BMO Nations Cup, over seven other teams.

Teams from The Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Belgium and the USA started in the first round, with the top six returning for a second round over the same course, which was set by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios.

The competition came right down to the wire, but it was Brazil who led in both rounds, with nine faults in round one and four faults in round two to finish on a score of 13. France finished with 16 faults overall, and Canada ended with a score of 24.

Only two riders were able to clear both rounds of competition without fault, and Pedro Veniss was one of them with his mount, Quabri De L Isle. Veniss started riding the 11-year-old Selle Francais stallion (Kannan x Socrate de Chivre) last year, and the pair jumped together for Brazil in both the 2014 World Equestrian Games and the 2015 Pan American Games.

Commenting on the team’s big win, Veniss simply said: “Today here at Spruce Meadows was a dream come true.”

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