Olympic champion on ‘unscheduled holiday’ following ‘bad fall’

  • Olympic showjumping champion Ben Maher is recovering after he had a “bad fall” while competing in the US last week.

    Ben is in Florida, where he has been jumping a number of horses at the Winter Equestrian Festival, at Wellington International.

    “Due to a bad fall last week, I will be taking an unscheduled holiday,” said the Tokyo individual gold medallist yesterday (9 February). “I appreciate all of the kind messages”.

    Ben added that he will keep everyone updated on his recovery, and he hopes “to be back soon”.

    Ben has had a number of top placings in Florida, including a win with his 20-year-old Rio Olympic partner Tic Tac during the second week of the series. The pair fought off 22 combinations to top the CSI3* 1.45m speed class on 19 January by two seconds, then two days later Ben and the stallion were third in the CSI3* 1.50m.

    On 28 January Ben had another victory, in the CSI4* grand prix, with new ride Dallas Vegas Batilly, owned by Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright. Ben and the 10-year-old Selle Francais mare were the quickest in the 14-horse jump-off, with Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Namaste Van Het Ecykeveld having to settle for second and Kent Farrington third with Toulayna.

    The Winter Equestrian Festival is in its fifth week, and will run until 2 April. The show welcomes riders from around the world, with top names on the roster including Laura Kraut, McLain Ward, Daniel Deusseur and Rodrigo Pessoa. Among the Brits competing are Amanda Derbyshire, Jessica Mendoza and Samuel Hutton, while the Irish riders in action include Bertram Allen, Conor Swail, Daniel Coyle and Darragh Kennedy

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