Reigning Champ Scott Brash off to a flying start in Miami Beach Grand Prix

4 April - Reigning Longines Global Champions Tour Champion Scott Brash (GBR) and Hello Sanctos are through to the second round of the $600,000 Longines GCT Miami Beach Grand Prix. Having claimed a strong victory with his new mount Hello Forever in yesterday’s American Invitational, the World No1 went into the Grand Prix a firm favourite but facing hot competition from a stellar line-up of world-class riders from around the globe.

Of the 50 starters, 12 clears proceeded to the 2nd round, including Katie Dinan (USA) and Stakorado, Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) and Royce, Luciana Diniz (POR) and Apollonia, Beezie Madden (USA) and Simon, Bassem Mohammed (QAT) and Palloubet D Halong, Kent Farrington (USA) and Voyeur, and Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Rosana du Park.

The first round of the Grand Prix was a testing and technical course which caught out many an experience combination. The tight, awkward distances, tall uprights and sharp corners demanded precision, control and power. There were no clear bogey fences, though an airy vertical on a dog-leg following the Longines combination claimed many.

The top 18 riders come back to try their talents against another Uliano Vezzani course, including four on 4 faults. The U.S. had a strong showing with seven riders going through to the next round, but all eyes will be on Scott Brash and his 2012 Olympic Gold-medal winning mount as the combinations come back for their next 1.60m test, but the 29-year-old Scotsman will have to fend off some scorching competition from the host nation.

Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT