Rapper DJ Khalid and hit makers Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain and Snoop Dogg might have made the phrase famous with their club banger “All I Do Is Win.”
But Canada’s Brian Morton is living it in IRL.
Just don’t expect the BC-native to ever say those exact words out loud. Morton is a consummate professional, unfailingly polite and poised—he’s more likely to sip wine than gin.
His record over the past month is certainly worth boasting about, though.
In September, Spruce Meadows’ resident rider—Morton took over the coveted position this past the winter—travelled to Ontario with a pair of greys and claimed back to back national Grand Prix wins at Caledon Equestrian Park. Aboard Crusader Z, he won the $20,000 Grand Prix on Sept. 20 and a week later, Sept. 27, claimed the $25,000 Grand Prix with Cadillac.
Last week at Thunderbird Show Park in Langley, BC, Morton added a third Grand Prix victory to their record.
Making his international debut for Spruce Meadows, Morton captured the $73,000 ATCO Cup Grand Prix 1.45m CSI2* with Cadillac on Sunday at the Harvest Welcome. It was the first FEI event of the 2020 season in Canada after the COVID-19 pandemic put competition on hold in the spring.
First of 10 to return for Peter Holmes’ (CAN) jump off, he and the 10-year-old Hanoverian set the standard with a double clear in 40.66 seconds.
“It’s always an interesting position to go first in the jump-off. It’s almost advantageous if you end up pulling off your plan,” said Morton. “My plan was to try to be fast and smart at the same time. I think there were two pretty difficult right turns—one to the second jump in the jump-off and one, a hard inside line to the combination.
“[In] both of those places, I really took a shot at it,” he continued. “They weren’t places where you could totally make it easy for your horse. You had to give your horse the best shot you could and trust them to help you out, and that’s exactly what Cadillac did.”
With a host of speedy riders to follow, including Olympian Tiffany Foster (CAN) with veteran partner Brighton, reigning Canadian Champion Beth Underhill with Count Me In (CAN) and Olympian Katie Laurie (AUS), who claimed both the $37,000 Artisan Farms Welcome CSI2* and the Volvo Canada 1.45m CSI2* under the lights earlier in the week at tbird, Morton wasn’t confident they’d done enough to secure the win.
But one by one the rails started to fall.
“It ended up being a hard jump-off, and you could see that, because not many jumped clean again in the jump-off,” he said. “To be honest, when I came out of the ring, I thought I had been too slow. These jump-offs have gotten so fast with all these great riders and a lot of fast riders, too. I thought I would be placed, but I didn’t think, right out of the gate, that I would end up winning it.
“It was just a long, nail-biting wait. As it started to get deep into the field and I saw all these good riders have a fault, that’s when I actually started to think that today might be my day.”
Rachel Cornacchia (CAN) and Valkyrie de Talma logged the only other double clear on the day, finishing second (40.99 seconds). Foster and Brighton claimed third with the fastest four fault round (40.29).
For a reflective Morton, the hometown win capped an incredible if unusual year. “There’s something that just seems very fitting on a day like today, where I get to win in my hometown and get to go home and have a glass of wine with my parents and celebrate the journey.”
Or in the immortal words of Ludacris: “Can’t never count me out (No), y’all better count me in (Yo).”