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Ben Maher back in the ring – with Explosion W

Monday, 08 May 2023

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Ben Maher and Explosion W in Aachen in 2022. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



After a three-months break from showing due to a shoulder injury, reigning Olympic Champion Ben Maher is back in the ring – and so is his 14-year-old Tokyo gold medallist Explosion W (Chacco-Blue x Baloubet du Rouet). Jumping at the CSI3* event at Sentower Park in Belgium this weekend, the crowd favourites did two clear rounds in the 1.40m and 1.50m classes. 

While Maher has not shown since the end of January after he sustained a shoulder injury in a fall, Explosion’s last show was at CHIO Aachen in July 2022 where the two ended 10th in the Rolex Grand Prix. “After Aachen, Explosion still jumped really good, but to me he didn’t feel like himself – he was not as happy with his job as he normally would be,” Maher explained to World of Showjumping. “So, we decided to give him a break and a bit of a rest with some rehabilitation as well. We did a bit of water spa and the water treadmill, and a few things like this, before he came back to full work.”

“I decided to not push for Geneva with Explosion, which was my original plan for him, but then I had new horses I could jump so I stayed calm with him,” Maher continued. “We were all ready to go in Florida; the plan was to jump him a big class at the end of January and then maybe bring him to the Rolex Grand Slam at The Dutch Masters. I jumped him in the morning at home and he felt amazing, then I went to the show where I fell off another horse and broke my shoulder. I had a horse ready to go, but no rider…”

“Ulrich Kirchhoff has helped me a little bit in Florida; I had all my horses fit and ready to go but wasn’t able to ride – so he’s been helping out, especially with Explosion; working him, keeping him fit, jumping a couple of times every week so he’s been jumping all the way through January, February and March. It was fun to be back on this week, and he feels like the old Explosion – happy, pulling, and excited to be at the show. I just worked him today after he had jumped two days and he had even more energy, which was a little bit what wasn’t the case once or twice last year,” Maher said.

“I will decide a little bit now with my shoulder what I feel comfortable to do because it is still very early for me, but maybe I will take Explosion to Windsor next week for the Grand Prix and then we make a bit a plan as we go,” Maher detailed about the 2023-season. “Perhaps I will aim him for Aachen this year, but I also have to get myself fit and come back. However, we protect him – he has a big team of horses around him, so we save him for the right shows and try to make it count and then hopefully looking forward to Paris 2024.”

“I’m very fortunate, I have horses to do a little bit everything,” Maher continued to speak about the season ahead. “I will for sure compete a bit on the Global Champions Tour-circuit, but maybe not as much as I did last year because I already have had a slow start. I will definitely do a few more Rolex-shows; probably aim Explosion and Dallas Vegas Batilly more on these, keep Faltic and Ginger-Blue a bit for the Globals, I have Exit Remo as well – many horses that can jump the bigger classes, so I’m very lucky – and then we have the European Championships coming at the end of the summer too.”


8.5.2023 No reproduction of any of the content in this article will be accepted without a written permission, all rights reserved © World of If copyright violations occur, a penalty fee will apply. 

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