ph. Horse and Hound
In the final showdown of Olympia, Ben Maher and the nine-year-old mare Diva II gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about, taking home both the 2014 Olympia Grand Prix and the H&M Leading Rider Award. “It’s been an unbelievable week,” said Ben, also crowned the show’s leading rider. “I’ve brought a young team of horses and they’ve all done so well.”
Picking up the most points available in the final class of this year’s Olympia Horse Show event in London, Ben took home the H&M Leading Rider of the Show Award with a total of 84 points, as strong lead for the British Gold Medalist. The Netherland’s Maikel van der Vleuten finished second with a total of 61.5 points while Britain’s very own Robert Whitaker moved up to third position on the overall Show Rankings with a total of 48.5 points.
Ben delivered an incredibly exciting Grand Prix finale. The Olympia Grand Prix saw a five-rider jump-off – with no less than three British riders in the mix – the former world number one and the flashy up-and-coming British-bred daughter of Kannan scored the winning time from mid-draw. Her relative inexperience told only when it came to the prize-giving – she spooked dramatically at the trophy and Ben was forced to drop the silverware.
“She needs to get used to winning – she’s not used to trophies yet!” said Ben, who also collected a cheque for 21,250euro. “She’ll have a rest now before she goes to Florida next week – and hopefully I’ll have a couple of days off too.”
Finishing second after a good week in London was Dutchman Maikel van der Vleuten with VDL Groep Arera C and third went to Kevin Staut on Ayade De Septon Et HDC.
Source: Horse & Hound