A Grand Prix with $2m in prize money at stake was always going to test the top riders with one of the toughest courses imaginable, but Ireland’s Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global battled their way through to the second round and pulled off a sixth place overall at Spruce Meadows in Canada tonight.
With nine riders retiring in the first round and four eliminations (including Ireland’s other rider, Cian O’Connor with Good Luck) the attrition rate was high, with only four clear rounds emerging from a starting field of 38, in wet and cold conditions.
Broderick and Going Global had one rail down in the first round, and were one of 12 to qualify for the second, where they jumped clear but notched up a time fault to give them a total of five faults.
By the end of the second round, only the USA’s McLain Ward with HH Azur and Britain’s Scott Brash on Ursula XII had accomplished the elusive double clear round that all had been seeking, and in the ensuing jump-off Brash again went clear while Ward took a rail down for four faults.
Brash therefore became only the second rider ever to win the Spruce Meadows five-star Rolex Grand Prix in two successive years, and collected a $1m dollar first prize (680,000 euro).
Greg Broderick picked up a cheque for $90,000 (60,000 euro) for his efforts in the world’s richest Grand Prix.
Cian O’Connor’s Good Luck jumped clear up to the 10th fence in the first round, but the horse then put in an unexpected sudden stop and the rider fell, earning an automatic elimination.