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Ben Maher wins back-to-back grands prix in Florida

Ben Maher has had another lucrative week at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Florida — winning his second grand prix class.

Showcasing another new horse, courtesy of US patron Jane Clark, Ben jumped Urico to victory on Saturday night (9 February) in the $82,000 Adeqan CSI** grand prix, with a time of 43.81sec.

And one week before he had claimed the $100,000 Fidelity Investments CSI** on Mrs Clark’s Cella.

“Urico jumped great,” said Ben. “I was lucky at fence one; I had a lucky rub. Another day it may have fallen.

“He jumped better and better as the jump-off went on.”

The Olympic gold-medalist beat Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Siri into second place and US rider Brianne Goutal and Cloverleaf Farm’s Uata was third.

Urico is a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Zandor Z and Ben has had the ride since October last year, popping over to the US every couple of weeks to ride him, Cella and three other horses owned by Mrs Clark.

“I know that I am lucky to ride such great horses,” said Ben. “I think things are just going my way right now.

“I have a great team of people behind me and a lot of people helped even in the last couple of days to make Urico feel the best that he could tonight.

“I think it is the element of the horses maybe liking me, something new. When things are fresh sometimes they go your way in the beginning as well, but they are great horses and it makes a big difference.”

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