Ben Maher loses top young showjumper Balvaro

  • Ben Maher has lost one of his top young horses in what appears to be a freak heart attack.

    Balvaro, a five-year-old by Calvaro who had shown immense promise over the fences and had been touted as an Olympic prospect for 2016, collapsed while being lunged by one of Ben’s grooms between Christmas and New Year.

    It all happened very quickly but afterwards we sent him to the clinic and tests revealed that there was nothing abnormal and absolutely no signs as to why he’d had a heart attack,” Ben told H&H.

    “It was just one of those things.”

    The extravagant stallion had been tipped as one to watch by H&H in the “new stars of 2011” feature (29 December). He’d been bought by Emma Phillips of the Quainton Stud from the Netherlands earlier in 2011.

    “He was only five, but he was seriously good,” added Ben. “You never know how good they are going to be but he certainly turned heads.”

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