Rolex Testimonee Scott Brash (GBR), the only rider to have ever won the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, announced the retirement of his 17-year-old mare Ursula XII yesterday duing the CHI of Geneva. In a heartfelt interview Scott pays tribute to the Scottish Sport Horse as he reflects on the incredible journey they have had together.
Did you feel emotional knowing this would be Ursula’s final performance?
It felt amazing out there, but yes, I have mixed emotions, in one way I am feeling very sad that it’s her last event, but on the other hand I am delighted with her and how she performed tonight. She has been an amazing horse and to jump big courses like that at her age and feel as good as she does is a credit to my team and to the owners. I get a lot of reward in stopping her at the top end of the sport, in such good health and condition, which for me is the main thing.
There were a lot of world-class combinations in the jump-off, were you happy with how it went?
I was slightly disappointed with the jump-off, being first to go is really difficult especially with so many fast riders behind me. The course rode slightly differently to how I walked it and if I had been slightly later and seen some of the others go, I might have changed my tactics slightly. But Ursula jumped amazingly, I can’t complain, and I am very happy.
What’s next for Ursula?
Ursula will stay with us at my stables. We are hoping she will go in foal next year, she will make a really good mother as she has the best temperament and I think she really wants to be a mother, when she sees other foals, she always looks at them and is interested in them, so fingers crossed for that. We will make sure she enjoys a very happy retirement and she will certainly be very pampered.
What’s been your best moment with Ursula?
I think winning the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex at CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in 2016 has to by my favourite moment with her. I don’t think I will ever ride a horse again that can jump around such a big course as easily as Ursula can. She gave me an unbelievable feeling around that course and I am really going to miss that.
Source: Press release from Rolex Grand Slam
Photo: © Rolex Kit Houghton