Scott Brash to defend Global Champions Tour title in London

By Aly RowellBBC Sport
Scott Brash
Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos won team gold for Britain at the London Olympics

Olympic gold medallist and world number one Scott Brash leads a strong British contingent in the London leg of this season's Longines Global Champions Tour.

Brash, 29, partners his Olympic horse Hello Sanctos at the event in Syon Park, London, where they will hope to defend their Grand Prix title on Saturday - the feature class of the weekend.

British riders have dominated the home leg of the Global Champions Tour in recent years.

Ben Maher took the Grand Prix in 2013, held in Olympic Park at Stratford, after a thrilling jump-off with Olympic team-mate Nick Skelton.

Global Champions Tour
More than £7m in prize money on offer for the seasonTop 30 riders in the world are automatically invited to compete at each event
Fifteen events across 13 countries with this year's locations including: Miami, Paris, Rome, Shanghai & DohaTour began in 2006 with six venues - Palm Beach, Cannes, Monaco, Estoril, Valkenswaard & Lanaken.

Twelve months ago, Brash won the event held at Horse Guards Parade in London. The rider, from Peebles in Scotland, will arrive at the new venue on Friday as world number one - a position he has held for 19 of the last 20 months.

"It is a great feeling to ride in front of your home crowd; the British fans are so supportive and I'm always grateful to see how strong the showjumping community is," said Brash.

The Syon Park event is the 11th leg on the Global tour, which visits cities such as Paris, Shanghai, Miami Beach and Doha over the seven-month season.

Brash has won more than £1.4m in prize money from the series and is bidding for a hat-trick of overall titles. With five events left, he is just three points behind Portugal's leader Luciana Diniz.

Dubbed the 'Formula 1' of equestrian, the London leg sees Brash being joined by fellow British stars like Maher, Michael Whitaker and John Whitaker, while Jessica Springsteen - daughter of rock star Bruce - and three-time Olympic medallist Beezie Madden head a powerful American contingent.

Other contenders include leading German riders Marcus Ehning and Ludger Beerbaum, France's Kevin Staut and Roger-Yves Bost, plus top Swedish rider Rolf-Goran Bengtsson.