Ben Maher wins WEF grand prix
The Olympic champion Ben Maher, who celebrates his fortieth birthday as we speak (30 January), is in flying kind already this 12 months and earned his third massive class win of WEF (Winter Equestrian Competition) on Saturday, this time driving prime new mare Dallas Vegas Batilly.
There was additionally grand prix success nearer to dwelling for Eire’s Mikey Pender, and 16-year-old Maisy Williams continues to impress whereas James Smith racked up an excellent tally of 10 worldwide victories in a single week. Right here is H&H’s round-up of this week’s worldwide winners, plus showjumping outcomes.
‘It’s been some time since I’ve run to the final fence like that in a jump-off’
Olympic champion Ben Maher landed Saturday’s NetJets CSI4* grand prix on the Winter Equestrian Competition (WEF) with prime new mare Dallas Vegas Batilly, owned by Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright.
Ben and the 10-year-old Selle Francais mare got here dwelling quickest in a 14-way jump-off to beat Eire’s Shane Sweetnam driving the big-striding Namaste Van Het Eyckeveld and US rider Kent Farrington on rising star Toulayna.
“She’s taken a while to get used to me and my system,” mentioned Ben, who first teamed up with the “delicate” mare 4 months in the past, taking on from Frenchman Nicolas Delmotte. “She’s jumped some nice rounds and was clear within the grand prix in Geneva. However each time we come to the jump-off; we’ve had issues with the steering.
“I’ve discovered I’ve to ask her to do issues, not inform her.”
“We’ve solely had her for 4 months and it’s been a little bit of a trial and error course of, however she’s an unimaginable horse and eventually we managed to determine the jump-off this night when the time counts,” defined Ben. “It’s all the time prime competitors right here, superb environment, it was packed this night, and it was a tough sufficient course for this early within the 12 months.
“I truthfully tried to not watch what the others had been doing [in the jump-off] and I don’t have a lot expertise with Dallas on the minute, typically after I’ve turned too brief she’s acquired opinionated on me, however every little thing got here off proper tonight and it provides me plenty of confidence for the longer term. I do know she has an enormous stride so happily I knew I may get there [to the final fence] – it was fairly lengthy and it’s been some time since I’ve been working to the final fence like that in a jump-off! However it was good enjoyable and it couldn’t be a greater begin to the 12 months.”
Ben’s groom Derren Lake gained the $500 grooms’ award, introduced by Double H Farm.
Eire’s Bertram Allen was additionally a winner at Wellington Worldwide, topping a 1.45m pace class on the Billy Mexico daughter Emmylou, for house owners Ballywalter Stables and Noel Delahunty Connaught Bloodstock.
“I’ve a really aggressive horse and she or he gave a large effort,” mentioned Bertram. “She’s simply implausible and I knew that if I rode properly that I may have an opportunity as we speak.”
Pender’s glory and a 10-class successful streak
Irish rider Mikey Pender and HHS Calais landed the CSI3* grand prix on week one of many Villamoura Atlantic Tour in Portugal, simply beating Nice Britain’s Olli Fletcher and Good day William after 13 combos jumped off for the €13,150 prime prize. Yesterday Mikey had additionally gained the 1.40m jump-off class with the eight-year-old HHS Los Angeles.
British showjumper James Smith loved an outstanding successful streak of 10 worldwide lessons within the opening week, successful every little thing from younger horse lessons to a world rating competitors with the Renwicks’ nice Arkuga.
“We had a superb week!” mentioned James. “I’ve a number of of Laura Renwick’s horses whereas she’s on her approach again. I rode Michelob for them for the primary time and he gained the six-year-old lessons day-after-day, then seven-year-old Dame Diamant Z gained two.”
James additionally made his debut with new experience Juno Rose 23, a 2022 HOYS finalist for earlier rider Emma Crawford.
“This was my first present along with her and she or he gained day-after-day – three out of three – she’s very good,” James informed H&H.
“John Renwick is thought for liking to win, so we had been pretty going for it from the beginning of the tour! However they’re a beautiful bunch of horses so that they make my job a lot simpler. It was a superb week – it’ll be laborious to maintain it going however we’ll strive!”
Amongst this week’s different massive three-star winners had been Chloe Aston (Diatendra Von Rocherrath Z) and Man Williams on the 18-year-old Rouge De Ravel. Man’s 16-year-old daughter Maisy topped Friday’s 1.30m pace class on new experience Piggle van de Bucxtale, having additionally gained a younger horse class with Gold Rush.
Epaillard claims a World Cup hat-trick
Speedy French rider Julien Epaillard loved a exceptional successful streak by 2022 and has began 2023 in the identical vein, posting his third victory of the World Cup season in Amsterdam.
He and the 10-year-old mare Donatello D’Auge soared dwelling faster than runners-up 23-year-old Swiss rider Edouard Schmitz and Quno, with Brazilian Yuri Mansur and the good Vitiki ending an emotional third after an eight-strong jump-off.
Julien, ranked quantity three on the earth, now heads the Western European League desk forward of the World Cup Closing in USA in April.
“It’s my first five-star win with Donatello D’Auge, so it’s actually particular for the household and the group,” he mentioned.
Edouard Schmitz, who’s half the age of the winner, quipped: “Subsequent time I’ll beat the previous man!” And Yuri Mansur mentioned of Vitiki, who has returned from a damaged leg incurred in a fall in Aachen. “We had such an extended and laborious story, however the best way he’s leaping this season is unbelievable. This horse is all the time emotional for me.”
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Credit score: Sportfot
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