Scott Brash may be known by some as the cool ice man of show jumping, but he admitted that he will probably shed a tear as he retires his brilliant mare Ursula Xll at Olympia today.
Ursula, owned by Lord and Lady Harris and Lord and Lady Kirkham, is 17 and has twice been the top ranked horse in FEI competition; she won the 2016 grand prix at Spruce Meadows, Canada and was runner-up in the FEI Longines World CupTM leg at Olympia in 2017.
“We have a great partnership,” said Brash. “She gives you some feeling in a big class and I know what she’s going to do. Eventually she wants to have a foal, but she’ll come home with me and I will keep riding for a bit because she’s very fit and needs to be worked.”
Brash’s career has already included an Olympic gold medal, being world number one and winning the million-dollar Rolex Grand Slam, but the 33-year-old Scot admits: “I live for those feelings. The Grand Slam was one of the best things in my life, as was winning an Olympic gold medal in my home country, but it only makes me hungrier. I will want to win the World Cup final and an individual gold medal – I’m very motivated.
“I’m my fiercest critic. I have been cross with myself when I’ve won, but I’ve also come out of the arena with two down and been quite happy with that. I’m most comfortable when I’m in the ring. It’s what I love doing.”