Based from his yard in West Sussex, Scott Brash MBE is Great Britain’s hottest prospect and is the world highest ranked equestrian show jumper. Aged just 30 years, his achievements already include an Olympic and European team gold medal in 2012; winner of the Global Champions Tour (the youngest ever to do so) in 2013 and in 2014. And now in 2015 he has made history by becoming the first rider to win the sport’s grand slam.
Scott’s love for riding began at the age of seven, when he first took up the sport. He competed in his first show when he was nine. His rise through the ranks since those days has been largely due to a consistent and determined dedication to being the best that he can be. And following London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, Scott, still not quite out of his teens, discovered a new focus. He wanted to compete at those games.
That he should succeed in hitting such an ambitious (some might say outrageous) target, is clearly testament to Scott’s skill as a rider, but also to his tenacity and single-mindedness. But despite a steady rise up the UK rankings, his place in the team was far from assured. A key turning point was his partnership with Hello Sanctos, a horse owned by Lady Pauline Harris and Lady Pauline Kirkham.
When his selection for TeamGB was finally confirmed, Scott said: "Everything has happened so quickly and each year has just got better and better for me. When I think about the fact that I only got the ride on Sanctos at the end of last year and the way we have bonded along with the confidence I have in him, it’s quite remarkable."
"I just hope that I can now go out and do [credit to] my country and everyone who has supported me and helped me get to this point; my grooms, vets, farriers, friends, family and in particular my owners, without whom this would have been impossible."
Scott totally justified his selection. On Hello Sanctos the man from Peebles struck gold in the team event. After an unforgettable contest at Greenwich, culminating in a dramatic jump-off between GB and the Netherlands, it was Team GB’s Nick Skelton, Ben Maher, Peter Charles and, of course, Scott who made pole position on the rostrum to receive the Gold Medal. Scott, riding Hello Sanctos, was instrumental in getting the team into the jump-off, with a terrific clear round which had earlier delighted the home crowd.
And two days later, in the individual competition, Scott put in a highly creditable performance finishing equal fifth making him, alongside Nick Skelton, Great Britain's highest placed competitor. Had it not been for a single fault on the final round, then we might even have seen Scott add another medal to his collection!
The year 2013 has seen Scott go from strength to strength. Aside from picking up an MBE, in the European championships he was part of Great Britain’s gold medal success, and at the same time achieved an individual Bronze.
A tremendous year was topped off when, at the Longines Global Champions Tour in Doha, Scott sealed victory in the Grand Prix, giving him the overall title. It was the 23rd of November, Scott’s 28th birthday!
2014 brought more of the same. Now ranked world number one Scott consolidated his position by retaining his Longines crown, with notable wins at Cannes, Estoril, Geneva and London.
And so on to 2015, which has seen Scott top another tremendous year by become the first show jumper in history to achieve the grand slam! This was achieved by first taking Grands Prix successes in Geneva and Aachen, and then, as the only competitor to ride a clean second round inside the time limit, he claimed victory in the Calgary Grand Prix in Canada.
"What can I say about Sanctos," Scott said of his horse afterwards, "he is the horse of a lifetime."
Well the big question now is, can it really get any better than this?