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Brash has taken a short run-up before leaping to top of rankings

Scott Brash, the showjumper from Peebles, has been surprised by how quickly he has risen to the top of the world rankings.

Scott Brash has credited his backers for the speed of his success. Picture: Nick Ponty
Scott Brash has credited his backers for the speed of his success. Picture: Nick Ponty

The Scot will compete today in the Longines FEI World Cup class at the London Inter­national Horse Show as world No.1, a place above British rider Ben Maher.

The pair both won gold medals in the Olympics last summer and comprise part of an impressive field in London once more. The competition between the two will be of some interest given their success - Maher is among the list of previous Olympia World Cup winners - while Brash considers it all to be part of the growing optimism within ­British showjumping.

Great Britain hold both Olympic and European team titles - the feat has only previously been achieved by Germany - while Brash and Maher also won European individual medals this year. In addition, Brash has been crowned overall Global Champions Tour winner, so both riders are at the peak of their powers.

It is the ascent of Brash which has been the most arresting, though, since he only made his senior Great Britain debut a little more than three years ago - his potential inviting the financial backing of Lady Kirkham and Lord and Lady Harris. They would buy the Scot his horse, Hello Sanctos, ahead of the Olympics and also own Ursula, the horse which he will ride today.

"I didn't think I could get to No.1 as quickly as I have," said Brash. "It was always my main aim after the Olympics, but I didn't think it would happen a year later. I thought it would take four or five years.

"Everything has to go right, but I am just very fortunate to have the owners behind me that I do and the horses that I have. That's what makes it the success it is. Every sportsman and sportswoman's ultimate goal is to become No.1 in their sport and be the best they can be. To achieve that goal means a lot. I am very grateful for everyone's help for helping me get where I am."

Brash - who was once described as having "ice in his veins" by Rob Hoekstra, the Great Britain team manager, when it comes to jumping pressure rounds - will be an integral part of Britain's bid for world championship success in France next year. A victory in Normandy would complete a title clean sweep of world, Olympic and European titles.

"The owners of the horses are just amazing, and I am in a very good place just now," said the Scot. "I think everyone is looking for a half step-up in life, but you don't get it sitting still. You have got to go out, prove yourself and take your chances, and I am just very grateful that they noticed me and what I was doing.

"Having myself and Ben at the top of the world rankings is great for British showjumping. We are very good friends. He is very professional in what he does and I think if there is any rivalry at all there between us it is all very good and friendly. We spur one another on."

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