Britain’s Ben Maher MBE is one of the world’s leading showjumpers and the new Olympic champion having won individual gold at the Tokyo Games with his current top horse Explosion W. Ben is also an Olympic team gold medallist from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Born in Enfield in 1983, Ben Maher began riding when he was eight and competed in pony classes from an early age. After leaving school, he trained with British rider Liz Edgar, before travelling to Switzerland where he spent two years riding for Swiss show jumper Beat Mandli. He has since gone on to become one of the most successful riders in the world, including being ranked as the world number one for some time.
He now runs his global equestrian enterprise Ben Maher Stables and splits his time between his stables in Florida and Hertfordshire. He’s engaged to fellow showjumper Sophie Gracida from USA.
Ben underwent serious back surgery in 2020 after suffering with pain for many years.
“I’d had a couple of bad falls and in the end it catches up with you,” he said. “Riding wasn’t at all comfortable, but it was the best place to be. Through the European Championships in 2019, I struggled with simple things like putting my boots on and walking the course. You get tired of fighting that all the time. Now, I feel like a new person.”
Ben Maher and Explosion W
Ben Maher’s current top horse is Explosion W, a huge 12-year-old gelding by the stallion Chacco-Blue, known at home as the “BFG”, and widely considered to be one of the best horses in the world. Pamela Wright and Charlotte Rossetter stepped in to buy the gelding from previous owners Poden Farmsafter “multiple offers and a series of negotiations headed up by owner Neil Moffitt, whose priority was to keep Explosion W with Ben and under the British flag”.
Talking about his “horse of a lifetime”, Ben says: “He’s so powerful off the floor, even over a cross-pole. But I think that’s what separates him from other horses. He’s such an intelligent animal and loves attention.”
Among Ben’s other top horses in recent years have been Concona, Cella, Diva II, Tic Tac, Robin Hood W, Rolette and his home-bred London 2012 Olympic horse, Tripple X III, who was sold as part of the resolution of a long-term legal dispute between Ben and his former backers Michael and Emma Phillips of Quainton Stud LLP.
What else has Ben Maher achieved?
In addition to his team and individual Olympic gold medals, Ben has also represented Britain at the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong and the 2016 Games in Rio.