Great Britain’s Scott Brash made his final night of competition in Qatar a memorable one, claiming top honors in the €500,000 CHI5* Grand Prix at Al Shaqabi in Doha on Saturday, March 5th.
Competitors enjoyed picturesque settings as the setting sun provided a stunning backdrop for the weekend’s premier event. Forty-one of the sport’s best horse and rider combinations would take to German course designer Frank Rothenberger’s 13 fence track, with 18 pairs progressing into the second round. At the conclusion of Round 2, four would be left to take on the final jump-off phase.
Rothenberger left no margin for error, building big from the very first fence. A 72 second time allowed would pose challenges of its own resulting in almost a dozen time penalties throughout the field.
Brash and Ursula XII (Ahorn x Papageno) who had narrowly missed out on a top placing the day before with a costly time fault in Friday’s 1.55m, came back to the show ring on Saturday with a vengeance. As first to enter the arena in the jump-off, the Scotsman posted a challenge for the riders that followed laying down a time of 45.21 seconds.
Finishing her weekend on a high note was Pilar Lucrecia Cordon of Spain. Cordon who also celebrated her birthday on Saturday, would actually post the fastest round of the night with the 11-year-old Begian Warmblood mare Galine La Cour Zichelhof (Major De La Coer x Ramiro) in 44.46 seconds but would lower a rail halfway through the course, ultimately pushing her into 3rd.
“It’s the first time I do Grand Prix like this with her, and I’m really, really happy,” said an enthusiastic Cordon. “At the end I had one down but it was good and I’m happy.”
Germany’s Christian Ahlmann and veteran Olympic mount Taloubet Z (Galoubet A x Polydor) looked to bring home a win but also accrued four faults ending their trip in 44.67 seconds for 4th place.
Last to take on the third and final phase was Turkey’s Omer Karaevli and Roso Au Crosnier who delivered a steady clear in 45.98 seconds securing 2nd place.
Saturday’s grand prix event was not just a big night for its winner, but also for its runner-up Karaevli. The 40-year-old’s 2nd place finish meant scoring his best result to date as well as for the 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Looping d’Elle x Odin de la Cense).
“It’s the best performance ever from my horse and also the best of my career,” said Karaevli.
Brash’s impressive victory is a result of his strong partnership with the 16-year-old Warmblood mare, who surprisingly had never won a grand prix previous to her spectacular victory in the $3,000,000 CP International Grand Prix presented by Rolex at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament on September 11, 2016.
“She’s a very special horse and she’s one for these three round competition, the bigger and harder the course, the better for her,” Brash shared. “She has all the attributes you need, she’s very scopey, very careful and has a massive stride”.
Now with a second five-star win under their belt, the pair look forward to the rest of the 2017 season with hopes of many more top results to come.
View full results of Saturday’s €500,000 CHI5* Grand Prix at this link