South Scotland

BBC SPOTY 'disappointment' for showjumper Scott Brash

Scott Brash on Hello Sanctos Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scott Brash won showjumping's grand slam with Hello Sanctos

The governing body of showjumping in the UK has spoken out about a decision to overlook Scott Brash for BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

The 30-year-old from Peebles made history in September as the first person to win showjumping's grand slam.

Riding Hello Sanctos, he scooped the sport's biggest individual prize of 1m Euros (£725,000).

British Showjumping said they were "naturally extremely disappointed" that he was not nominated for the award.

A social media campaign to have the world number one included in the Sports Personality of Year shortlist has won more than 17,000 supporters.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption He was part of the British jump team which won gold at the London Olympics in 2012

Brash was part of the four-man jumping team which won gold at the London Olympics in 2012.

This year he had Grand Prix successes in Geneva and Aachen.

He went on to claim the grand slam with victory at Calgary, where he was the only competitor to ride a clean second round inside the time limit.

A spokeswoman for British Showjumping said: "We are naturally extremely disappointed to see that London 2012 team gold medallist Scott Brash's outstanding achievements have not been recognised, not only for him but for the sport as a whole.

"Scott's achievements are unsurpassed; this year alone he has held the world number one spot for eight consecutive months and he has won numerous Grand Prix.

"This is in addition to him securing the Rolex Grand Slam, a feat that many thought impossible."

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In an interview with Horse and Hound magazine, Brash said he was "not frustrated" by the decision of the BBC SPOTY panel.

He told the publication: "I'm not frustrated about not being nominated. I focus on my job and it's up to people outside of the sport to take notice."

A spokeswoman for the BBC said the equestrian will be mentioned during the awards ceremony.

She added: "A great many athletes are considered and debated by the panel. The independent, expert panel considered everyone and drew up the shortlist of 12 candidates through consensus agreement."

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Brash said he was 'not frustrated' by the decision of the SPOTY panel

Earlier this month the BBC awards faced criticism for including boxer Tyson Fury in the shortlist.

Thousands of people signed a petition calling for him to be removed after he spoke out on his views on women and gay people.

BBC director general Tony Hall told the Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee that the shortlist was drawn up by an independent panel and Fury was nominated for his "sporting prowess".

Andy Murray is the bookies' favourite to take home the prize, after helping Great Britain win the Davis Cup.

The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony in Belfast on Sunday.

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