Ben Maher’s multi-winning mare Cella, owned by Jane Clark, retired from the sport over six years ago but the first of her offspring could be making their competition debuts in the near future.
As Ben told H&H’s showjumping editor Jennifer Donald in this week’s third and final festive edition of The Horse & Hound Podcast, currently supported by Veredus and its UK distributor Zebra, the outstanding grey mare has been busy producing future generations of potential superstars.
“Jane Clark still owns her and she’s breeding — we have so many foals from her I can’t tell you how many we have!” said Ben. “They’re all by embryo transfer so she lives a happy life, she’s in the stable, she goes out in the field every day and still looks like she could go in the ring.
“We had the first of her progeny arrive home just last week, so that one’s being jumped under saddle now and we’ll slowly start to see them come through over the next few years.”
Ben Maher and the charismatic grey mare soared to so many successes together in a partnership spanning nearly three years, being crowned the FEI’s top ranked combination in 2013. They won in Florida, Aachen, at the London leg of the Global Champions Tour and claimed team gold and individual silver at the 2013 European Championships.
“She was feisty but she was an incredible mare,” said Ben. “She was a fighter, she had so much attitude — kind of like a free spirit. If she was in a good mood that day she was very hard to beat, but equally she had some days when she was not so happy!
“She was extremely talented, very careful and extremely fast, but not the most comfortable to ride. I had many many back issues with her during that time and shortly afterwards, she felt rather like a washing machine when you were on the canter and she sometimes cross-cantered, but she really knew how to leave the jumps up. A good mare will fight for her rider and she was incredibly fast.”
Cella made her final international appearance at the London Global Champions Tour at Syon Park in 2015, aged 13.
“She was very, very healthy and then unfortunately we had to stop the sport with her, so it’s just a shame we didn’t get a few extra years with her,” said Ben.
Hear more from Ben Maher as he chats about Explosion W, Tripple X III, Alfredo and even first pony Dougal in this week’s festive episode of The Horse & Hound Podcast – listen here or search “The Horse & Hound Podcast” in your favourite podcast app.
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