Scott wins in Cannes

It wasn’t just the temperatures that sizzled in Cannes. Scott Brash rode an exhilarating, exciting, heart-in-your-mouth, risk-taking round on Hello Forever to take the Longines Global Champions tour grand prix of Cannes.

“He jumped fantastic, he’s a real trier, but I think it can get a lot smoother,” he said afterwards.

Only four reached the third and final round, but it was no less exciting and ticked all the boxes as each rider posted quicker rounds. France’s Roger Yves Bost set the bar on Sangria Du Coty, but was mmediatel yrelegated by Germany’s Daniel Duesser and Equita Van Zorgvliet. Edwina Tops-Alexander had other ideas, and set off as though ridng a racehorse with the game Lintea Tequila to take a 0.65 sec lead.

It was short-lived. Scott set off at the gallop, taking out strides and daring the 10-year-old Hello Forever into tighter and tighter turns. And the risks paid off, he wiped a further 0.35 sec off the time to take a ‘slightly hairy in places’ British victory, the national anthem playing on Queen Elizabeth’s official 90th birthday.

“I wanted to get [fence] one to two good, but it didn’t feel good, sometimes he doesn’t lock on to what I want, there’s some improving to do,” said Scott.

A rail off an early oxer in round one for Laura Renwick on Bintang and the first element of the combination for Ben Maher on Untouched looked to diminish Britain’s chances. But the tough track produced only eight clears and Ireland’s Denis Lynch with one tme fault on All Star 5, so they all qualified for round two – Laura in 11th and Ben squeaking in at 18th. And they all provided round two clears to bounce up the order. The fastest rider in the second round, Laura took sixth and Ben claimed tenth. Denis also jumped another clear for fifth.

Ben was triumphant in Friday’s 1.45m speed with the 12-year-old Aristo Z (Andiamo/Flamenco De Semilly), winning with over three sec to spare over Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer on Balou Rubin R. Scott Brash brought Hello Guv’Nor, a Diamant De Semilly/Papillon Rouge 11-year-old, into eighth with a steadier clear. Laura Renwick and MHS Washington and John Whitaker’s Argento had four faults.

In Friday’s 1.50, Scott and Hello Forever posted four faults to take 12th with Ben on a relatively new ride, Neil Moffitt’s nine-year-old Untouched, finishing on five faults.

In Saturday’s 1* 1.30m speed, Claire Beecroft was just 0.09 sec off the pace for second with the Vermont/Indoctro 10-year-old Burgana. And James Emblen was hot on her heels for third on Filou Van Overis, a Baloubet Du Rouet/Nimmerdor 11-year-old. James with second ride Radioaktiv and Ashley Ray on Quite A Flower both incurred four faults to finish down the line.

Claire and Burgana took third in Friday’s 1.30m with Mackenzie Ray and Valse De Boguin in fourth. Leonora Smee and Waltons Top Flight incurred four faults for 16th.

Tess Carmichael took sixth in the 1* 1.40m on the Air Jordan Z 11-year-old Atlantis PP Z. Leonora on Waltons Top Flight and Claire with Vanda Cartier both came home on four faults for 13th and 14th.

Imogen Beecroft took second in Friday’s 1* 1.15m with the 15-year-old Untouchable with Ashley Ray in third on Quattro D’Ete. Leonora Smee was fifth on River Dance Semilly and Jane Davies took seventh aboard Cipriani.

Photo © LGCT/Stefano Grasso