British showjumper Ben Maher is welcoming the addition of an exciting new horse to his string.
Sixtine De Vains, an eight-year-old Selle Français mare by Calvaro, has been produced to the top level by Swiss rider Pius Schwizer.
But Ben’s patron Jane Clark, who owns several of his other top horses including Cella and Aristo Z, has purchased the bay mare for Ben to ride.
“I’m so excited to welcome Sixtine De Vains to my string of horses!” said Ben, now ranked number 14 in the world, on his Facebook page today (Wednesday 26 November). “Thank you very much to my owner Jane Clark. Thank you Pius for… bringing on such a talented horse!”
Most recently, Pius finished third with Sixtine De Vains in the Longines FEI World Cup qualifier in Helsinki in October, won by Olympic champions Steve Guerdat and Nino Des Buissonnets.
The week before, Pius and Sixtine took sixth in the grand prix at Oslo. But the pair had enjoyed a promising summer season competing at five-star shows, with the talented mare attracting plenty of attention.
The mare had previously been ridden by another Swiss rider, Markus Hauri.
“I wish Ben Maher and Sixtine the best of luck,” Pius said on his website.
At the time of the planned sale of the horse the Swiss rider said: “With Sixtine I had a lot of success and she would have offered me great prospects. But I have to look ahead and hope to fill this huge gap in my string of horses soon.”
One of Ben’s other top horses, the 13-year-old gelding Urico, had to be retired from the sport after picking up a serious injury in La Baule earlier in the year and Cella has been out of action since picking up a minor over-reach injury just before the World Equestrian Games in France in September.
Ben and US-based Jane Clark have been on the lookout for a new addition to their string for a while and Sixtine joins them just in time for the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida in January.