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Magnificent Maher regins supreme at LGCT Madrid

Sunday, 06 May 2018
CSI5* LGCT Madrid 2018

Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT Ben Maher and Explosion W won the LGCT Grand Prix of Madrid. Photo (c) Stefano Grasso/LGCT.

Ben Maher (GBR) and the Poden Farms owned Explosion W (Chacco-Blue x Baloubet Du Rouet) took a breath-taking win in front of a full capacity crowd at the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid.

Maher pulled off a hat-trick of wins this weekend, taking the GCL Madrid final for his team London Knights, the individual CSI5* speed class, before riding the 9-year-old chestnut gelding to victory ahead of home hero Eduardo Álvarez Aznar (ESP) with Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot (L'arc de Triomphe x Apache d'Adriers) and Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) with H&M Harley vd Bisschop (Dulf van den Bisschop x Coronado). Remarkably both Aznar and Philippaerts clocked the exact same time - to the millisecond - uniquely finishing in joint second place in the LGCT Grand Prix. 

Maher has earned a coveted ticket to the GC Play Offs, where he will compete in the Longines Global Champions Super Grand Prix. The result also sees Maher rocket up the overall rankings, to sit on 103 points and just behind compatriot and long-time leader Scott Brash (GBR). With a current score of 131 overall, Brash is pulling away from the rest of the field, and putting distance between himself and rival Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS), who is third on 100 points. 

"It was really about riding the course how it needed to be ridden and it was great sport," Ben Maher said after his win. "He (Explosion) has always been a good horse, but this year he has really come forward. 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 seven strides and it was right there and everything was just coming up wow."

"I tried to do my best. I was a little slow to the last line. My horse jumped very good today he really feels good for the rest of the season," commented Philippaerts who shared the runner-up spot with Alvarez Aznar. 

"At that moment I did not realise we were equal, I saw I was ranked 1st. I am still very happy. This atmosphere in my country, in my home. This was my club for many years. I was riding here. I am very proud of my horse. It was the first outdoor show for Rockefeller and I am more than happy," said Eduardo Alvarez Aznar. 


Source: Press release from LGCT // Photo © Stefano Grasso/LGCT



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