In celebration of Britain Equestrian naming their show jumping team earlier this morning, we’re bringing you a behind-the-scenes look from 2013 of new minted squad member Ben Maher’s barn in England, as he discusses the many facets an entire team must put into creating a gold medal-winning horse and rider.
From exercise regimens to the newest breakthroughs in science, Ben is always working towards the fittest, soundest, and most competitive mount possible. He says that’s really the only way to maintain your edge under pressure with all the best riders in the world attempting the same feats as you. (I would imagine that having Olympic rings hanging in your indoor arena as you jump around helps, also.)
At 33, Ben Maher is far and away the most junior rider on the British show jumping squad, with the next eldest rider having 23 years on him. But that doesn’t mean he’s green. As the short film indicates, Ben was part of the Olympic gold medalist team on home turf in the London 2012 games, and he’s continued to pile on the successes in the years since. He won three CSI5* and one CSIO5* in 2016 alone on two different mounts (Tic Tac and Aristo), including the Rolex Victory Grand Prix in Wellington during the winter season.
2013 was a banner year for Ben, as he took individual silver and team gold in the European Championships, and also took over the #1 World Ranking slot for a time. He was the first British rider to hold the title in 20 years.
Like any good little show jumper, Ben had been riding much of his young life, but began jumping at the age of eight in the pony divisions. He trained with former British rider Liz Edgar for several years before moving to Switzerland to apprentice with Beat Mandli, where he learned the business behind the competition, and eventually returned to England to establish his own yard.
In 2005 he became the youngest person ever to win the Hickstead Derby, and in 2006 was named British Show Jumping’s best up and coming rider. (They certainly nailed that one on the head!)
Congratulations to Ben on being named to another team, and good luck on the #roadtorio!
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