‘Magic’ Ben Maher wins $1.4 million Super Grand Prix
Even the all-conquering Briton and his Dutch-bred wonderhorse Explosion W finished their stellar year on a high as they triumphed from the 1.4 million Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Super Grand Prix in Prague.
The Super Grand Prix is one of the principal events of the GC Playoffs.
“Magic,” Maher told the audience, once asked what he believed about Explosion W, a feisty 10-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding.
READ: Ben Maher residing New York dream with overall LGCT name
“There aren’t any words that may explain him,” said Maher, that sealed his second straight general LGCT name earlier this season following a dominating year that saw the set triumph in New York, London and Rome.
The LGCT Super Grand Prix matched all 18 individual winners this season against each other.
“This time last year, we had a difficult show here, he didn’t enjoy the Prague arena , had a small amount of a problem on the top corner, but he’s come back stronger and he proved he is as great as he is tonight,” Maher said.
After moving clear in the first round, Maher turned right into a crowded O2 arena in the next round in the understanding another error-free ride would hand him victory during Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Balou du Reventon, who had been leading with 2 time faults over fourteen rounds.
Maheran Olympic champion at his home London Summer Olympics in 2012, understands all about performing under stress.
However, for a split second, it looked as if it had been thrown by Maher away. Approaching the weapon, a pole touched. It bounced up in the air as the crowd gasped, but didn’t fall.
“I took some danger, I didn’t go too fast to jump the crystal clear around,” said Maher, whose triumph was applauded by American rock star Bruce Springsteen. “I had some chance over there around the pink and it stayed up. I knew it would be my day,” stated that the 36-year-old Maher, the single rider to make two clear rounds.
“I tried to keep my eye at work, but I know, when he rolls a fence like that, normallyhe does not touch another weapon at the program,” said Maher. “I had a little chance, that is what sports is all about.”
An Maher also paid tribute to his group.
“Just great feeling, to have the ability to win , on this horse, and also the folks that are on me, to ensure it is possible, all of them know who they are. It’s an awesome feeling to the end of the year.”
GCL Super Cup
The four-day Global Champions Playoffs will end on Sunday with all the $6.4 million GCL Super Cup for teams.
Eduardo Alvarez Aznar of Spain teamed up with Maikel van der Vleuten and Holland’s Marc Houtzager to choose the GCL Super Cup for the Madrid This past Year.
Madrid at Motion will combine Valkenswaard United Paris Panthers, Shanghai Swans, Monaco Aces and Cannes Stars in Sunday’s final, which will observe the group ride off in prize money with $ 3 million.
Friday’s semifinals saw the shock removal of pre-event favorites London Knights, headed by Maher, and also the St. Tropez Pirates.
The London Knights had finished the regular season at the top of the leaderboard for the second year running, with $2.3 million in prize money. The Pirates, directed by the past season’s LGCT Super Grand Prix champion Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia, had finished the regular season in 2nd place, with $1.7 million in earnings.