British showjumping star Scott Brash has won almost everything there is to win in the sport but admits he will never feel satisfied without an individual Olympic gold medal.
Brash won team gold alongside Ben Maher, Nick Skelton and Peter Charles at London 2012 but no British showjumper has ever triumphed at the Olympics in an individual event.
The 30-year-old has already made history this year by becoming the first rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam – after claiming successive victories at the three major Grands Prix in Germany, Switzerland and Canada.
But despite pocketing a 1million euro bonus for the remarkable achievement, world number one Brash already has Rio firmly in his sights.
“Winning the individual event in Rio would be an amazing achievement,” Brash told Press Association Sport.
“I’m still kicking myself for the fence knockdown at the individual in London in 2012.
“I should have been jumping for at least a silver, and really a gold medal so that definitely drives me on, absolutely.
“I really don’t want Olympic gold to be something that eludes me for the rest of my life so I’ll be trying my best to put that right in Rio.
“It would be very good for the sport’s profile, for my profile, to be successful there and if bringing back gold medals means more recognition then great.”
Brash’s prize horse is Hello Sanctos, which he has ridden since early 2012 and with whom he has won all his major titles.
At 13 years old, Hello Sanctos is at the peak of his powers, and Brash, who expects at least another two years out of his super-horse, insists his success has been very much a joint effort.
“I like to think the horses are superstars themselves – lots of people come and get pictures with Sanctos rather than me, he’s more famous than I am really,” Brash said.
“I like to show the world how good they can be, it’s like a football manager coaching young players, you get a lot of reward out of educating a horse through the years.
“For Hello Sanctos to win the Grand Slam – it has never been done before and we could go another 30 years and it would never be done again.
“Three different arenas mean the horse has to be happy indoors as well as outdoor and on different courses. All three of those events have the best riders in the world too.
“It’s right up there in my career. I would say winning the Grand Slam and the Olympic gold medal in London were the two greatest achievements in our lifetime.”
Hello Sanctos will rest in January and February next year, in preparation for Rio, and will also sit out the prestigious Olympia London International Horse Show, where Brash will be riding later this month.
“He can’t do everything and I thought Olympia would be one show too many for him this year,” Brash said.
“I love our home show. The atmosphere is always great and the home crowd always cheer me so I’m looking forward to that.
“I don’t often get the chance to ride in front of home fans as there aren’t many five star events in Britain so it’s always nice to come home and compete in front of the home crowd.”