Did you know that if Ben Maher hadn’t been a showjumper he would have loved to pursue a career as a Formula 1 driver? Luckily for us, the racing circuit’s loss has been the equestrian world’s gain and, as this fun video of quick-fire questions reveals, there’s much more to the popular rider than the competitive horseman you see in the ring.
What makes Ben tick? Well, he’d prefer a cup of coffee to a mug of tea. And, says Ben, he’d choose a night in rather than a night out (with Netflix, not Amazon, as it turns out). But salad over pizza? Ben, you do surprise us!
Which actor would Ben choose to play his role in a film? Notting Hill-star Hugh Grant, he says (so if any Hollywood producers happen to be reading this…) while comedian Keith Lemon would be his perfect dinner guest.
There are no surprises as to who his favourite horse is right now — the brilliant chestnut gelding Explosion W (pictured), with whom he has enjoyed a phenomenal string of grand prix victories, is the obvious answer.
When it comes to the sportsmen he most admires, he would cheer for Roger Federer over Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon and Ronaldo comes out top over Messi on the football pitch. But he reveals an (as yet) unfulfilled burning ambition when asked what sport he enjoys outside showjumping.
“I always felt that if I wasn’t a showjumper I’d be a Formula One driver and I got to go to my first F1 race, and go in the pits, last week,” says Ben. “I’m very jealous of that sport.”
Watch out, Lewis Hamilton — although we hope Ben won’t be swapping his saddle for a Mercedes cockpit any time soon.
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As preparations begin in earnest for the London International Horse Show at Olympia next week, we went behind the scenes
>Many thanks to Rolex Grand Slam Of Show Jumping for the footage. The next leg of the series is at the Dutch Masters from the 12-15 March, where the new world number one and current Grand Slam contender Martin Fuchs will be hoping to follow up on his victory in Geneva.
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