‘A minor judgement error’: first fence heartache for Ben Maher at World Showjumping Championships

  • Great Britain’s team pathfinder Ben Maher has collected four faults in the team final of the Agria FEI World Showjumping Championships.

    Riding Oakingham Stud’s 12-year-old stallion Faltic HB, the pair agonisingly tapped out the front rail of the oxer at fence one – and then proceeded to jump the rest of the very difficult track clear and in their trademark immaculate style.

    “That was a terrible start – the first fence down,” said Ben. “Normally he’s very, very focused on the first fence, maybe there was just a little bit of adjustment between the light outside and inside, I don’t know – it was just a minor judgement error. He just threw a toe and knocked it down.

    “It was a long way to go – that course is a long way after you’ve had the first fence down! But I just told myself to settle down, jump one fence at a time and he jumped unbelievable, he jumped fantastic. But those kind of fences at this level are expensive, but I’ll help the other boys now and hopefully we can stay in it this evening.”

    This was Ben and Faltic HB’s first error at the World Showjumping Championships, having jumped clear in each of the first two rounds and the British rider been in sixth place individually coming through to Friday’s third leg.

    “We’ll keep fighting,” said Ben. “I’m obviously not on my most experienced horse but Faltic’s done an incredible job this week, he’s really proved that he’s championship horse. It’s difficult for all the horses as there’s no room for error. And I think it’s going to change around a little bit, the top teams are strong,”

    World Showjumping Championships results: Great Britain in sixth

    Great Britain came in to Friday’s medal decider in sixth position and, after the first rotation of team riders had all jumped, the squad maintained a strong position in the World Showjumping Championships results. The only clear round from the first team riders came from Swedish hero Henrik von Eckermann riding King Edward, maintaining his nation’s dominant position at the top of the leader board.

    The second rider for the British showjumping team at the World Showjumping Championships was Joe Stockdale riding Equine America Cacharel, who also just picked up four faults.

    Harry Charles on Romeo 88 were set to follow and the anchorman again tonight (Friday 12 August) under the lights will be Scott Brash on Hello Jefferson, currently holding the silver medal position individually.

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