Ben Maher pockets £79,000 after five-star hat-trick

  • Ben Maher scored a five-star hat-trick at the Paris leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT), taking home €89,200 (£79,000) in total.

    The British rider took the opening CSI5* class on day one of the Paris event (5-7 July), riding the 10-year-old Dutch gelding Don Vito.

    The combination followed this up with a second victory on day two of the GCT.

    Ben then completed his hat-trick with a win on the nine-year-old chestnut Explosion W in later that day in the CSI5*1.50m/1.55m Longines Eiffel Challenge by 0.11 seconds.

    “It’s a great day,” said the London 2012 Olympic team gold medallist.

    “I’m lucky that I have some incredible horses, so I have to say thank-you to Poden Farms for letting me ride them — it’s a pleasure to jump at a high level like this with them.

    “[Explosion] is young, he’s better the more he jumps. I was on the fence as whether to compete in the jump-off tonight, as he’s going to jump tomorrow. But I did my plan, and it worked out.”

    Taking second place over Uliano Vezzani’s technical course was Frenchman Nicolas Delmotte, aboard Urano De Cartigny.

    Nicolas explained he is still getting to know his ride.

    “I am very happy with my horse, he jumped very well,” he said.

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    “These are my first jump-offs with him and I still have to get to know him better. He naturally is a very fast horse but I think that after the second last fence, I should have pushed him a bit more and I think that is where I lost a little bit of time.”

    World number one Harrie Smolders finished third aboard the 14-year-old gelding, Zinius.

    Ben and Explosion W went on to finished fourth in the GCT grand prix the following day (Saturday) and clipped two fences in the GCL on Sunday, to help the London Knights to seventh place.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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