Ben Maher and Tipsy du Terral. ph: McCool.
In his first appearance at The Las Vegas National, Ben Maher of Great Britain took home top honors in the $35,000 Blenheim Welcome Jumper Classic, presented by Master Surfaces, at the Las Vegas National Horse Show CSI4*-W in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Forty-four entries competed on the eight-obstacle-course designed by USA’s Oscar Soberon. In the competition against the clock, Maher, 24th in the order, put up an unbeatable time of 30.29s aboard the ten-year-old Selle Francais mare Tipsy du Terral (Toulon x Quat’sous).
“The course was tougher than I was expecting,” Maher said. “In the end, there were enough riders that were clean, but fortunately it went my way.”
“This is a great venue. It’s nice to not have to go too far to the show,” commented Maher. “I can wake up in the morning and come right here. I’ve been to Las Vegas for the World Cup Finals and coming here has the same exciting feeling now as it did then.”
Holding the lead until Maher galloped in, Colombia’s John Perez and the 16-year-old KWPN mare Utopia (Ircolando x Notaris) finished 2nd, stopping the clock in 31.12s.
Third place honors went to USA’s Richard Spooner and Arthos R, the 12-year-old KWPN stallion by Namelus R and Mermus R. The duo closed out the podium placings with a time of 31.41s.
As for Maher, he will look to pick up more wins this week before Saturday’s end to the competition.
“I’ll show Tipsy this week and then head back to Europe with some other horses and maybe go to Olympia in London,” commented Maher. “I was in Doha last week and am here this week, and the standards did not change. There is not a difference in the level of riding from venue to venue.”
Thursday will feature the $15,000 South Point Jumper Stake, presented by Secchiari, and the $50,000 FEI Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation.
In the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, a total of 14 athletes will qualify for the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place at the AccorHotels Arena in Paris, France, from April 10-15, 2018. The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US, and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for next year’s Final, alongside winners of 15 leagues around the world.
The 2017-2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League competition began in August, across seven East and seven West Coast venues in three countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Las Vegas National Horse Show is one of only 14 events chosen, and this is the only leg of the prestigious tour that will be hosted in Las Vegas. More at: feiworldcup.org.
The full results can be viewed here.