2015 News

What makes the ultimate Grand Prix Show Jumper?

Release date: 09/10/2015

Photo: Stefano Grasso / LGCT

Brains, bone structure or bravery? The question of what composes the ultimate Grand Prix show jumper is one that has been mulled over for many centuries. Within the Longines Global Champions Tour we see many of the very best horses in the world compete in a variety of unique destinations. From grass arenas to sand rings, city venues to ocean fronts, the Longines Global Champions Tour showcases the talent of the stars of show jumping across the globe. As we head to Doha, we will see a different challenge, with horses competing in a large sand arena under the evening lights, and as the final event draws the season to a close, the pressure will be on to see who is crowded Champion for the 2015 season. 

But what is it about these very special horses that make them so talented? 

“Hello Sanctos, Orient Express, Argento… They’re completely different horses; different breeds, different sizes. But what unites them is intelligence,” explains German show jumping legend Ludger Beerbaum. It seems that the general consensus amongst the top riders and breeders is that a good mind is the key factor to successful show jumpers, as well as strong physical attributes. 

But what does it take to compete on a global scale, with venues and locations on different continents? John Whitaker expands, “They have to have a good temperament, they need to be able to travel well and have a good mind. Those horses are hard to find.” 

But once they are found, the partnership between horse and rider is key. And it is as much the communication between them and the growth and development of the relationship as it is raw talent and mind set. 

Ludger explains further; “Even a horse like Hello Sanctos, he’s grown into it, and he was lucky to find the right rider at the right time. He will do whatever Scott asks him to do; go fast, turn short. That’s really a nice example of how a couple develops and grows into it.” 

Scott Brash talks us through why he feels Hello Sanctos is such a star: “I think it takes a lot in a horse to make them extra special, particularly on their brain side. [Sanctos] has a fantastic brain, he’s so easy to do everything with and he loves jumping. They have to love it, they have to want to win for you and he definitely has that.” 

To find out more, check out the film below: