Ben Maher and Robin Hood W showed they were back to their best when finishing second in the World Cup qualifier in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday.

The 13-year-old gelding had been out of action for five months and had only recently returned to international competition with Ben, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Sunday.

“Today’s course was one of the biggest grand prix tracks I’ve seen for a long while and it played to my horse’s advantage because that’s the way he likes it,” said Ben.

Last to go in the seven-horse jump-off, Ben and Robin Hood W, who he owns in partnership with Mike and Emma Phillips, finished 2sec outside Germany’s Marcus Ehning’s (Noltes Kuchengirl) winning time.

“We decided to give him a longer break and he’s come back in flying form now.

“His eyes were on stalks a bit in the grand prix on Friday and I think ‘surprised’ is the best way to describe how he felt!” a delighted Ben told H&H. “But it’s very exciting for me — it’s great to have Robin back.”

It was also a superb show for Ireland’s Billy Twomey. Riding his brilliant mare Tinka’s Serenade, he won Friday’s grand prix and a two-phase on Saturday.

See full report in next week’s H&H (10 February).

Picture by Katya Stuppia/FEI