Scott Brash jumped Ursula into second in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen – known as one of the most testing in the world. They were just two faults behind the winner, Germany’s Phlipp Weishaupt on the Holsteiner stallion LB Convall.
The toughness of the Grand Prix held its fearsome reputation – not one clear was produced over Frank Rothenberger’s first round track. The time allowed accounted for the majority of faults and only 13 riders of 40 completed inside the time but incurred jumping faults, and the three that posted jumping clears picked up time faults – The Netherlands’ Gerco Schroder (Glocks Cognac Champblanc NOP) and Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs (Clooney 51) on one and Philipp on two.
Scott and the Ahorn/Papageno mare Ursula posted four faults in round one, but made it to the 18-strong jump-off with six others on four and eight five faulters.
Round two was almost a different class. A total of 11 riders provided clears, including Rolex Grand Slam titleholder Scott with the fastest time of the class, and as others fell by the wayside, he bounced up the order. Philipp piled on the pressure with a class clear in round two, and the atmosphere was electric as the final two on one time fault each took their turn. But the sport can be cruel – Martin’s horse stopped at the last and Gerco hit a rail to leave Philipp the worthy winner.
“I’ve been riding in the Aachen Grand Prix for the last 10 or 12 years, and that was the toughest course I have jumped,” said Philipp.
Scott was delighted with Ursula.
“She feels fantastic and jumped wonderful today. She’s been out of the sport for two years and is 15 now, so to get her back to this level, my team have done a wonderful job. My hope was to bring her to Aachen because I though it would be a good ring for her, and she proved that today,” he said.
There were some great names and imminent Rio Olympic rider and horses trailing in their wake. Sergio Alvarez Moya took third on Carlo, Marcus Ehning took fourth on Pret a Tout, Tiffany Foster on Tripple X took fourth, McLain Ward and HH Azur were fifth and fellow American Beezie Madden was seventh on Cortes C.
Guy Williams and the 16-year-old Titus took fourth in the SAP 5* speed, 2.10 sec in arrears. Phillip Miller and Brendon Stud’s Unbelievable Darco/Hamilton nine-year-old Unbelievable Lady jumped a lovely clear for 14th with Michael Whitaker on JB’s Hot Property in 17th on a fast four.
ROLEX GRAND PRIX 2016 RESULTS
1. Philipp Weishaupt (GER), riding LB Convall
2. Scott Brash (GBR), riding Ursula XII
3. Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP), riding Carlo 273
4. Marcus Ehning (GER), riding Pret A Tout
5. Tiffany Foster (CAN), riding Tripple X III
6. McLain Ward (USA), riding HH Azur
7. Elizabeth Madden (USA), riding Cortes ‘C’
8. Daniel Deusser (GER), riding Equita van’t Zorgvilet
9. Judy-Ann Melchior (BEL), riding As Cold as Ice Z
10. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER), riding Fibonacci 17
Photo courtesy Rolex