Show Jumping

Ben Maher Pulls Off a Hat Trick in Madrid

©Stefano Grasso/LGCT

Ben Maher blew up Madrid on Saturday.

Riding Explosion W, the British rider won both CSI5* classes at the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid.

The pair started the day with a victory in round two of the Global Champions League Madrid. The Santiago Varela Ullastres’ designed CSI5* speed class saw Maher top the standings and clinch the win for his team London Knights.

Just hours later, the speedy pair went on to capture the LGCT Madrid Grand Prix, too.

Last to go in the jump off, Maher and chestnut gelding set a blistering pace, leaving out a stride to the last to stop the clock in 37.73 seconds. It was nearly two seconds faster than their closest rivals.

Did we mention, the horse is only nine?

“[Explosion] has always been a good horse, but this year he has really come forward,” said the Olympic gold medalist.

“He has a great character and really enjoys his job and the way he does it, it doesn’t take a lot out of him. He is bucking, playing in the warm up arena and really enjoying his job. He will take a bit of a rest now. We are very fortunate, the Poden Farms team, we have a lot of horses. He (Explosion) is quirky, he has character but he is a very friendly horse and gives 110%. He is a naturally fast horse so I just use his natural speed. I planned to do 7 strides and it was right there and everything was just coming up wow.”  

Eduardo Álvarez Aznar (ESP) with Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot and Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) with H&M Harley vd Bisschop tied for second, clocking the exact same time—to the millisecond—in the LGCT Grand Prix ((39.79 seconds). Pieter Devos and Espoir took third in 40.54 seconds.

With his victory, Maher is assured of a spot in the GC Play Offs, where he will compete in the Longines Global Champions Super Grand Prix. Three other riders have confirmed their tickets, Scott Brash (GBR), Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Gregory Wathelet (BEL).