Edited press release
Wellington, FL – September 18, 2022 – Reigning Olympic Champion Ben Maher (GBR), no stranger to the winners, wrapped up a successful weekend at the Equestrian Village during September’s ESP Horse Show on Sunday to secure first place in the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix aboard Jane Forbes Clark’s Ginger-Blue. The quick-footed partnership edged out the class of 24 competitors from 11 nations, adding another win to Maher’s tally after clinching 1.40M open stakes on Forbes Clark’s Tic Tac and Ginger-Blue earlier in the week at the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies had achieved a double victory, respectively.
“These horses have been here all summer, so they jumped around $500,000 at the end [Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*] Class in April,” Maher noted. “I am very happy to be part of the team with Jane [Forbes] Clark how they keep her fit for me. This week has been a good week as it’s always a great show here on this side of the road. We’re just trying to keep the horses fit and running before they go to their next show in Toronto. Even though we couldn’t compete on grass today, it was great to ride indoors in this class today and bring the horses back over a few jumps.”
Sunday’s $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix featured an international field with participants from the UK, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Mexico, Canada, Italy and Venezuela. Course designer Andy Christiansen (ECU) had designed a course for the grass derby field but instead used a modified design at the Van Kampen Covered Arena as the class was rescheduled due to early morning rain. In the first riding round, seven duos rode fault-free over the time and qualified for the jump-off.
As the last competitors in the starting order, Maher and Ginger-Blue had to compete with a lead time of 41.93 seconds. The duo wasted no time on track, completing the course flawlessly and crossing the finish line in 40.56 seconds to claim the blue ribbon and the lion’s share of the prize money.
“Ginger-Blue is by nature a very fast horse, so sometimes I have to be careful that she doesn’t get too carried away. I was just trying to keep it smooth and keep the curves clean everywhere. She’s usually very fast on the last jump, so I just had to hold on to her,” Maher reflected on his jump-off trip.
Jad Dana (LEB) and After Eight, owned by Springhill Farm 1850 LLC, finished second in the competition with a clean time of 41.93 seconds followed by Kevin Mealiff (IRL) aboard Morlynn’s Cesar De B’Neville Farm with a clean time of 42.26 seconds. Five partners completed the class without a fault.
For the full results of the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix, please click HERE.