This week we welcome the return of the reigning Olympic Champion Ben Maher to home soil as he competes in the five-star international showjumping classes at Royal Windsor Horse Show (12-15 May). Among the horses he’s competing at this year’s show is a very exciting and relatively new addition to his string, the nine-year-old mare Enjoy CK Z. We went behind the stable door with Enjoy’s groom Hannah Colman to find out what she’s like to look after.
ENJOY CK Z, 9yo Belgian-bred mare by Echo Van’t Spieveld out of Valente Van’t Kiezelhof (Coronado)
Rider: Ben Maher
Owners: Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright
About Enjoy: an exciting new recruit to Ben’s string, who will make her five-star debut at Royal Windsor. Enjoy only joined Ben Maher’s stables last summer and is under the same ownership as Explosion W. She was previously ridden by Belgian Jeroen Appelen and has cruised up the levels with Ben over the past six months, jumping double clear in the CSI4* grand prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida in March.
Groom Hannah Colman says: “She’s very sensitive and she likes to stick to her routine – as long as she goes out in the field every day, she’s happy. She likes to have her stable door open so she can look out all the time. But she’s just very sweet and kind, very easy to look after.
“We try to keep things simple for her at shows – she’s sensitive to noise so this will be the first real test. Wellington doesn’t have as big a crowd as the large shows in Europe like Windsor or the Globals, but she wears a bonnet in the ring and normally she’s pretty focused. But if she hears a loud noise in the stable or the field she’ll be a bit jumpy.
“She’s only just stepped up to the big shows so I guess we’ll get to know her a lot more this year. I took her to Oliva, Spain, last year and then Florida and she keeps getting better. She was jumping 1.30m when we got her, then she improved every week in Florida, to jumping double clear in her first four-star grand prix which was really exciting. When they’re still improving and you’re getting to know them, I really enjoy watching them in the ring, but when they get to a certain level and the pressure is on, I don’t! Fingers crossed for her this year.”
Horse & Hound will be bringing you all the action from Royal Windsor Horse Show, both online and in our bumper reports in next week’s magazine, in the shops on Thursday 19 May.
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