Ben Maher has achieved a second sensational win in the Longines Global Champions Tour, following a thrilling jump-off in the Grand Prix of Ramatuelle, Saint Tropez.
Ben has a new string of top young horses and his victory in France follows his win in Madrid with Explosion W. This time he was riding Winning Good, whose incredible performance belied his lack of experience.
“Winning Good is only nine years old and I’m really lucky with the horses I am riding now,” said Ben. “It has been an amazing season so far. We are already in the GC Play Offs, but hopefully this has given me a boost in the ranking.”
With the world’s best showjumpers competing just metres from the famous Pampelonne Beach near Saint-Tropez, the event provided the perfect mix of glamour and global sport.
Uliano Vezzani’s testing course saw many top names drop out in the first round, including John Whitaker, Christian Ahlmann, Daniel Deusser and Kevin Staut.
Just seven combinations made it through to the jump-off with Peder Fredricson and Hansson WL first to go. They produced a fast clear and set the standard of 39.77sec.
Scope and talent
Edwina Tops-Alexander and California shaved almost one second off their time to take the lead on 38.78sec, but they didn’t hold on to the top spot for long.
Ben Maher was in it to win it, with the appropriately named Winning Good, and the pair galloped flat out to the Longines double. The young horse showed all his scope and talent, breaking the beam in a super fast time of 37.44sec.
However, the LGCT Grand Prix wasn’t over yet. Last to go were Colombia’s Carlos Lopez and Admara 2. As they galloped down the final line it looked like they might just take the lead, but they weren’t quite fast enough. Their time of 38.41sec put them in second place, ahead of Edwina in third.
Ben is now second in the overall LGCT ranking on 143 points, while Edwina has moved into the top spot on 154. Scott Brash has dropped to third place with 131 points.
Carlos Lopez has earned his place in the GC Play Offs and the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix, as Ben qualified earlier in the season, following his win in Madrid.