Show Jumping

Scott Brash’s Ursula Is Retirement Bound

©FEI/Arnd Bronkhorst/Pool Pic

Ursula XII, a horse whose name is reminiscent of 90s sitcom Friends and/or Disney’s The Little Mermaid, depending on the year you were born, will grace the show ring no more.

Scott Brash’s celebrated mare jumped her last international class at CHI Geneva last week, logging a top six finish in the Rolex Grand Prix in her final appearance.

The bay mare is best known as the horse who secured Brash’s stunning back-to-back victory—and her first Grand Prix win—in the $3 Million CP International at Spruce Meadows in 2016. (Brash won the class in 2015 aboard Hello Sanctos.)

But it was a string of second place finishes that once made Ursula the number one horse in the world.

In 2013, the British-bred sport horse finished second in the World Cup of Verona and the Grand Prix Gucci in Paris. The following year she logged three more runnerup Grand Prix placings at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington (Florida) and in an international ranking class in Stuttgart (Germany).

It wasn’t until her first championship that Ursula won her first international class. Piloted by Brash, she captured the final leg of the 2014 FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Lyon to finish third overall.

Sidelined by injuries until 2016, Ursula cemented her celebrity status when she won Brash the first ever $1 Million payday for a show jumping rider in Calgary.

Said Brash after that historic victory:

“I’m really happy for Ursula. She’s always been an unbelievable horse but probably never had the recognition she deserves. She was the number one horse in the world but had never actually won a grand prix. She’s been second so many times…So to go through two years of injuries and then finally get back to the top end of the sport to win the biggest grand prix in the world, I’m absolutely over the moon.”

The 17-year-old mare is ending her career at the top of her game. Brash and Ursula captured the LGCT Grand Prix of Mexico in March earlier this year and added second place finishes in both the London Olympia Grand Prix and the Rolex IJRC Top 10 FInal in Geneva to their record in 2017.

Next up for Brash’s super mare: pampering and motherhood—in that order.

“Ursula will stay with us at my stables,” Brash told RolexGrandSlam.com. “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.”

It’s a bittersweet moment for Brash.

“I don’t think I will ever ride a horse again that can jump around such a big course as easily as Ursula can,” he continued in the Rolex Grand Slam Q&A. “She gave me an unbelievable feeling around that course and I am really going to miss that.”

 

But from the looks of it the Olympic gold medalist’s social feed, the news is just plain sweet for Ursula.

Happy retirement, Ursula!