Ben Maher has been declared the overall winner of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) of 2018 after securing his third grand prix victory of the season in Rome on Saturday (8 September).

“It has been an incredible season, I can’t quite believe it,” said the British number one rider. “It is great to be back in the top end of the sport.”

Ben’s win in Italy came on the Poden Farms’ nine-year-old Explosion W and the new champion of champions paid tribute to his owners.

“I have a lot to thank Poden Farms and the Moffitt family for, it is a team effort,” he said. “To finish in style like this is something I will savour for some time. To win is a dream come true.

“Explosion W is incredibly fast, I have never ridden a horse as fast without really pushing him,” he added. “What a horse.

“I’m really going to enjoy this moment.”

Ben’s earlier LGCT grand prix wins came in Madrid and Saint Tropez and he will be in the field of 16 riders who head to Prague in December for the new Longines Super Grand Prix.

The Hertfordshire rider is also at the top of the Global Champions League team championship as part of the London Knights squad and next stop is the finals in Doha, Qatar, in November.

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“No one deserved it more than Ben this season,” said the LGCT president, Jan Tops. “He managed his horses well, he had the goal to win this, it’s the most difficult [championship] to win over 16 legs, against all the best horses and riders in the world.

“You have to have a good plan, great management and of course a bit of luck but he did everything well and it’s very well deserved.”

Don’t miss the full report from Ben’s win in Rome and reaction to his championship title win in this week’s Horse & Hound, out Thursday 13 September.