Ben Maher and Explosion W reach round two of LGCT Super Grand Prix on zero score

  • The Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Super Grand Prix defending champions Ben Maher and Explosion W are one of only five combinations who will progress through to round two on a clean slate. The pair jumped an exceptional opening round, showing all their usual finesse, in the O2 Arena in Prague on Saturday (20 November) night.

    The fastest of those pairs to jump clear in round one was Henrik von Eckermann of Sweden with his incredible clear round machine, King Edward, with whom he won team gold at the Tokyo Olympics. They earn pole position as last to go in round two over a new track set by course-designer Uliano Vezzani.

    Reigning Olympic champion Ben finds himself in penultimate draw, with the remaining zero scores coming from France’s Olivier Robert (Vangog Du Mas Garnier), Darragh Kenny of Ireland with VDL Cartello and Spanish rider Sergio Alvarez Moya on Alamo.

    An impressive field of four British riders had qualified for this prestigious end-of-season finale, and Scott Brash just picked up four faults with Hello Jefferson. John Whitaker came home on nine faults with Unick Du Francport while Sameh El Dahan, who recently switched nationality from his native Egypt, also picked up eight faults with Joanne Sloan-Allen’s home-bred WKD Aimez Moi.

    All faults are carried through to round two of the LGCT Super Grand Prix.

    Only Sweden’s Malin Baryard-Johnsson, who was eliminated in round one when her horse El Barone III Z took a dislike to the Longines treble combination, will miss out on a place in round two, meaning a field of 14, from the original 15, line up once more to claim a share of the substantial prize money of 1.25million euro.

    This is the third running of the LGCT Super Grand Prix, which was last held in 2019 as the global pandemic brought a halt to last year’s event. Ben won the competition that year with sole double clear on Explosion W, closely followed by runner-up Darragh Kenny who just missed out with two time-faults, and both now look set to take the battle to the wire in this year’s rematch.

    There’s plenty to play for in round two of the LGCT Super Grand Prix, we’ll be bringing you all the action as it happens.

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