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Ben Maher leaves his mark on CSIO week at Wellington International

Monday, 04 March 2024
CSIO4* Winter Equestrian Festival 2024 (W8)

Photo © Sportfot. Ben Maher and Point Break presented as winners of the $200,000 JTWG, Inc. CSIO4* Grand Prix by Travis, Jacqui, Wyatt, Harley, Payton Gould and William Harvey. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International



British Olympic champion Ben Maher celebrated a banner week at Wellington International during Week 8 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). He capped the final day on Sunday with a victory in the $200,000 JTWG, Inc. CSIO4* Grand Prix aboard Point Break, owned by Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright.

Five pairs jumped clear over courses designed by USA’s Steve Stephens and Nick Granat, but Maher was the only one to finish double-clear on the day. He and the Swedish Warmblood stallion (Action-Breaker x Balou du Rouet) set the standard as first to jump clear and first to return for the tie-breaking jump-off.

Photo © Sportfot. Ben Maher and Point Break, winners of the $200,000 JTWG, Inc. CSIO4* Grand Prix. Photo © Sportfot.

Coco Fath (USA) came closest to pipping the British rider, but settled for second on a single time fault in the jump-off. She rode Aventador 5, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Arpeggio x Landadel) for owner Hillside Farm, LLC. Belgium’s Zoe Conter rounded out the podium on La Una, a 13-year-old Oldenburg mare (Chacco-Blue x For Pleasure), owned by Stephex Stables, with the fastest four-fault round over the short course. 

“This is probably the biggest grand prix he's won,” said Maher of Point Break, a horse he’s had in his string since the stallion's six-year-old year. “It wasn't so long ago he was spooking off every golf cart, but he was always a very talented horse and he's progressed on very nicely.

“His athleticism is what separates him from the other horses,” continued Maher. “The way he can bend his body and move his shoulder allows my job to become much easier. I can ride at the jumps and trust that he can do the job for me.”

Photo © Sportfot. Coco Fath and Aventador 5. Photo © Sportfot.

Maher’s groom, Kirsty Bond, was presented with the $500 Grooms Award by Double H Farm after the victory in recognition of her care of Point Break.

The grand prix win for Maher was combined with Thursday’s victory riding Ginger-Blue in the Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup qualifier. The consistent results secured him the Martha Jolicoeur Leading International Rider Award, presented together with Michael and Wendy Smith.

“I've got a lot of horses ready to go at this level, so I'm very lucky,” said Maher. “But I've tried to use the horses sparingly. I really try to plan which horse is right for each class. To finish on this today has topped off a great week. The strength and depth in my team – both horses and people – it's a great time to be able to ride right now.”

Photo © Sportfot. Kirsty Bond accepting the $500 Grooms Award, presented by Double H Farm. Photo © Sportfot.

Tom Wachman (IRL) accepted the Niall Grimes “Sheers” Perpetual Trophy as top money-earning Irish rider during CSIO week at WEF, and earlier in the afternoon, Ashlee Bond (ISR) was honored with the Kate Nash Boone Style Award, presented by Michael Meller, for her style of riding and ability to maintain sportsmanlike composure while competing during CSIO week at WEF.





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