British one-two in Florida grand prix

  • Ben Maher and Scott Brash secured a British 1-2 in the $125,000 Fidelity Investments CSI3* grand prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Florida at the weekend.

    The pair were flying the flag for Britain on Saturday (25 January) with world number 2 Ben and the American-owned Cella winning the class, while world number 1 Scott finished 2nd with Ursula XII.

    Ben and Scott were the only riders to produce double clears in the 10-horse jump off.

    “Cella feels great, she’s at home here. She loves the Florida sunshine and she loves the arena,” said Ben.

    “She’s had a bit of a rest to be fresh for this year and I’m very, very happy with her. She is jumping fantastic and it’s great to be back competing her again.  I am in a very lucky position, she’s an unbelievable horse.”

    He added: “I knew Scott was going to push me, there was no way he was going to leave the gate open. I went and watched him go, I knew what I had to do and I pushed Cella hard across the ground without taking too many chances. I trusted that we had good timing and it all came together.”

    This was Scott’s first week of competition at this year’s WEF and he was delighted with Ursula’s debut.

    “Ben and I are very good friends,” added Scott. “I think it’s a rivalry in a really good way. He wants to beat me as badly as I want to beat him. It’s good for Great Britain.”

    Fellow Brit Tim Gredley, who is now based in Florida, finished 9th space with Unex Chamberlain Z.

    The 3-month WEF takes place in Wellington from January-March each year.

    For more don’t miss this week’s issue of H&H for full report in Brits abroad, plus a look at how British showjumping has renewed its strength. Out Thursday 30 January.

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