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Making his victory today all the more remarkable was the fact that Brash rode the same horse into the winner’s enclosure in yesterday’s Oslo Grand Prix in which Angelica Augustsson and Mic Mac du Tillard lined up second. “Everyone was questioning me because I rode him fast in the Grand Prix yesterday but I know my horse!” he said today. Hello Sanctos will go to the second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Western European League series at Helsinki in Finland next week and will then travel to Doha in Qatar for the Global Champions Tour Final in November.
Runner-up, Steve Guerdat, said “the last show I did was not great – it was our horse’s first show back since the Europeans and that is why he jumped in two of the smaller classes earlier here. Today I could feel in the first round that he was a bit too fresh and jumping with a bit of caution – our first round was not so smooth. When we did the jump off he was already better” Guerdat pointed out.
Third-placed Marcus Ehning left the post competition press conference early. “My wife and I are expecting our next baby. She is a bit nervous because I am far away so I have to catch the first plane back!” he explained.
Geir Gulliksen finished fifth for Norway, and was very happy with his result. “It is always very exciting competing in front of your home crowd. I was a bit worried as I jumped two rounds yesterday – I didn’t know how he (his horse, Edesa S Banjan) would react but he did great today. It is a great achievement for an old chap from Norway!” joked the 53-year-old rider who has been the linchpin of the Norwegian team for many years now.
Meanwhile Scott Brash reflected on yet another great day’s work. “It feels great and my horse feels in very good form. It is great to start off with a win” he said. He talked about the frenzy that ensued when his horse’s noseband broke. “We rushed around trying to borrow one, luckily Jimmy (Geir Gulliksen) had just got off the ring and he let me borrow his – it turned out to be lucky for him and and me as well!” he explained.
And he talked about Hello Sanctos, the 11-year-old gelding which he rode to team gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games last year, and who played a pivotal role again at the PSI FEI European Jumping Championships in Herning, Denmark this summer.
“He is the horse of a lifetime considering what he has done for the country – he is outstanding. You don’t get too many like him. He is very clever, very sharp. When you work him at home he is very lazy, as if to say ‘do we really have to do this training?’, but then he goes into the ring and gives you his heart!” he said.
Press Conference Quotes..
Morten Aasen, Oso Show Director: “I have been part of this event for 22 years now. Longines, the new sponsor, has made things very exciting. Longines has brought in a new level of professionalism which is very nice. Moreover, 7 out of the top 10 riders are here which proves that the show is popular and we are very proud of that!”
Marcus Ehning (GER): “I have won the FEI World Cup three times and have great memories of it. I think it is a good series”.
Scott Brash (GBR): “I watched Marcus’ round and I thought he was too fast. I didn’t see Steve’s round but I knew he was second. I didn’t think I’d be as quick as he was but I got the strides just right today.”
Geir Gulliksen (NOR), talking about his horse, Edesa S Banjan: “I met the breeder of the horse in Belgium – he was seven at the time and was a bit of a character. He jumped his first Grand Prix last year but I think he has some good years in front of him, just like his rider! I have had many horses in my life – this one is small but very athletic. I was worried he was tired today. He is very different at home and even in the collecting ring – he is a completely different horse in the arena and you would question whether he can actually do it.”