Great Britain’s Ben Maher sealed victory in this year’s Global Champions Tour series at the penultimate leg in Rome last month and he attributes this achievement at least in part to his phenomenal horse, Explosion W.
“He just loves life,” says Ben of the 17hh chestnut. “I know he’s such a fighter and he’s not going to let me down.”
The nine-year-old Chacco Blue x Baloubet Du Rouet gelding joined the Moffitt family’s Poden Farms ownership two years ago, with stable jockey Emily Mason doing much of the production process, nursing Explosion up through the grades.
Ben teamed up with the speedy chestnut on the LGCT at the start of this year and the pair have fast proved one of the most formidable opponents on the circuit. Ben secured a hat-trick of LGCT grand prix wins during the season, with Explosion W as his winning ride at Madrid and Rome, also securing the runner-up spot in Shanghai, with top five finishes in Paris, London and Chantilly. Ben’s overall winnings so far on this year’s Tour amount to €794,480 — €547,065 of which were won by Explosion W. The gelding’s clear round rate stands at 86% and he has helped Ben’s GCL team London Knights to the lead in the overall rankings.
“Explosion has experience beyond his years,” says Ben. “I’ve been in Shanghai on the sand, Madrid on the grass, Paris in a smaller arena — he really has adapted to every environment. His game face is always on and he believes he can win. He gives me as a rider the belief that I can also do anything.”
Reflecting on his meteoric rise to the top of LGCT rankings, Ben adds: “I’ve been competing in the LGCT since almost the beginning and never really come close — I’ve never had the horsepower or the number of horses — so I have a lot to thank Poden Farms for and the Moffitt family.
“As Jan Tops said, it’s a team effort, they are young horses — we have a strong group of grooms and riders behind me, so it’s really thanks to them.”
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Ben and Explosion W will be heading to the GC Play-Offs in Doha, Qatar, next month, before targeting the LGCT Super Grand Prix in Prague in December where a further €1,250,000 in prize money is up for grabs.
“It’s been an incredible season for me,” says Ben. “I just kept my head down, stuck to my plan, trusted my horse. I have to believe that he will clear every jump, and I know he’s fast, so it’s great to be back in the top end of the sport this year.
“I think we’re just at the start of Explosion’s career, but I really feel that further down the line he could become one of the best showjumpers in the world.
“I think it’s just a matter of time before he becomes a showjumping household name.”
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