The latest in the Chronicle of the Horse’s cool new series of split-screen jump-off videos shows Ben Maher chasing down victory, literally, on Saturday night in Wellington.
Top: Photo ©Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com, via a press release.
Britain’s Ben Maher and Cella (left) were neck-and-neck with teammate Scott Brash and Ursula XII (right) in the jump-off of the $370,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 5* when Maher pulled a bold move down the final line.
Maher explained in a press release,
I don’t know, everything was going so fast to be honest!” he laughed. “I actually planned to take a stride out and do six on the bend from the first to the second jump (the plank), but when I rode in I was a little nervous with the trees on the side that if I angled the plank, she might stop (and) not look where she was going, so I decided to not take too much risk there. I think the way I can gallop Cella to a double like that and a liverpool afterwards is like no other horse. I can gallop her and she kind of stops, backs up, jumps up and that’s where I can make up the time.”
“It probably looked erratic to the last fence, almost hurtling I guess, but it wasn’t by choice,” he said. “I turned back tight to the vertical, and she cut left on me, which I was ready for, but she did it a little harder than I thought and she landed a little flat-footed. I knew I had to be committed from the first stride, and I was going, and I got four strides down there and that oxer looked like it was still on the other end of the arena, but I kept going. I don’t know how she jumped it, but she did it. I knew if I pulled to the last fence I would be giving it to Scott, so I gave it my best shot.”
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