London will host the 11th round of the 2015 Longines Global Champions Tour between 24 – 26 July at West London’s stunning Syon Park.
The capital played host to the world’s premier show jumping event for the first time in 2013 and the Grand Prix has since been dominated by home riders Ben Maher and Scott Brash.
We caught up with British showjumper, Scott Brash, to find out how he’s been gearing up for this month’s event. Read the full interview here…
Hi Scott, how do you feel the Championship season is going for you?
“It’s been pretty good so far! I think winning the Grand Prix in Miami was a good start and I was happy with my younger mare, Hello M’Lady, in Shanghai. I haven’t performed as well in the last couple of events but my horses feel good so I hope to get some more good placings soon!”
Talk us through a typical day before a Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix…
“I normally bring a couple of horses to a Tour, so I’ll work them in depending on what their schedule is, what they did the day before and what else they have to compete in; I just try to focus on the job in hand and do what I think is right for each horse.”
How did you start your career in show jumping and how did you get to where you are now?
“My father bought my sister and I a pony when I was 7 and by the age of 10 I was hooked on the jumping. And the reason I am where I am today is because of all the horses and ponies I have ever ridden, good or bad they have turned me into the rider I am and have got me to where I am in my career.”
What’s been the highlights of your career thus far?
“The Olympics has to be something pretty special – for anyone in sport it’s the ultimate really, so that was something definitely on my list. Then winning the championship title for the Longines Global Champions Tour twice was a huge highlight for me, winning both the top 10 and Grand Prix in Geneva was really special and to win the Aachen Grand Prix was a massive dream come true. The other highlight was meeting my owners Lord and Lady Harris and Lord and Lady Kirkham that we have such a unique partnership and the opportunity to do the things we do.”
What advice would you give to someone who would like to become a professional show jumper?
“I’d probably say don’t give up – if you want something enough, then everything you do should be focussed on achieving that. You can always achieve more than you think you’re capable of, and it’s getting through the low points that really makes the difference to doing well. For show jumping specifically I’d say always place importance on the partnership between you and your horse; you can have the best horse or rider in the world, but if you don’t click together, then you’re never going to be able to get the best out of both of you.”
Who do you think is in with a chance to win the overall Championship this year (other than you!)?
“That’s a tough question as there are so many good riders in this Championship. I’d say Luciana [Diniz] is having a good Tour so far, she’s currently the ranking leader but is showing a lot of consistency in each leg that she rides in so I think she will be tough to beat.”
What makes the London leg of the Tour special for you, and does competing in front of a home crowd make a difference?
“It is a great feeling to ride in front of your home crowd; the British fans are so supportive and I’m always grateful to see how strong the show jumping community is. I go into every round focussed on doing my best, but there’s a certain feeling and energy you get when you know the crowd around you are literally cheering for you; it’s pretty special. Because there are some of the top names in British show jumping competing this year, I think there will be an extra energy; individually for the riders of course, but also collaboratively as everyone will want us to do well! That’s a good feeling.”
What would be your top tips to ticket holders attending the Longines Global Champions Tour of London?
“I think just to go and enjoy it. There will be some excellent jumping and it is always interesting to go to the warm up and watch the riders working in. I have learnt a lot in my career just by watching other top riders warming up. And get a good seat in time to watch the Grand Prix, its sure to be a great class. I’ll look forward to see you all there!”
Longines Global Champions Tour takes place at London’s Syon Park between Friday 24 July – Sunday 26 July, book now at Ticketmaster.co.uk.