Just like last weekend, it was former world no. one and Rolex Grand Slam-winner Scott Brash (GBR) that won the 30,000 Euro Grand Prix presented by CHG at the Spring MET I 2018. With a copy-paste victory, Brash and the 9-year-old Hello Mr. President (Comme d’Api VD Hacienda x breeding unknown) took their third win at this year’s Tour – and their second Grand Prix title in a row.
“I am obliviously delighted with Hello Mr. President!” a happy Brash said after winning. ”He is coming into his own this year, and is really stepping up.”
The 1.45m course, set by Peter Schumacher (GER) and Franz Madl (AUT), counted thirteen fences and was set in the beautiful Valencia ring in lovely, sunny January weather. For another weekend, there were top names on the start list – including Lorenzo De Luca (ITA), Julien Epaillard (FRA), Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and Pedro Veniss (BRA) – all winners of some of the biggest Grand Prix competitions on the circuit.
“It was a nice course for a two-star Grand Prix, and with eleven of the 46 riders going clear we got a good number for the jump-off,” Brash detailed. ”I think we have seen good course building here during the first part of the Tour.”
In the jump-off, no one could beat Brash who left a margin of 1.45 seconds down to the runner-up position – and it was another smooth performance against the clock from the British rider. “I thought he probably jumped even better in the jump-off than in the first round,” said Brash about Hello Mr. President's round against the clock. “I just tried to keep it smooth, and go as fast as he is capable of at this stage of his career.”
“I believe each horse is very individual, and has its own character,” Brash answered when asked if Hello Mr. President has any similarities to any of his other more famous mounts. “However, his mother is a pony and what I can see in him sometimes are some of those features. He is very clever, very quick and a real winner!”
Behind Brash, in second and third, followed two French riders: Nicolas Deseuzes on Quilane de Lezeaux (Grenat de Grez x Page de Paulstra) and Olivier Robert on Eros (Querlybet Hero x Forever) who had only 0.02 seconds separating each other in the jump-off. Home favourite Laura Roquet Puignero (ESP) with Sandi Puigroq (Diamant de Semilly x breeding unknown) was again best for the hosts to take the fourth place with the last double clear of the day.
Brash’s competitors better watch out, he will return to the second part of the Spring MET 2018 that gets underway on February 6th as the Tour now takes a one week break.
Photo credit © Hervé Bonnaud / www.1clicphoto.com. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.