Ben Maher (GBR) crowned a season of a lifetime winning the LGCT Grand Prix final in Doha at the weekend on the superstar young stallion Explosion W and was crowned the new 2018 Champion of Champions.
It was to be a double celebration for Maher too. His London Knights squad also wrapped up the team Global Champions League title.
It was a phenomenal end to 2018 for Ben with no less than five LGCT Grand Prix wins and after Saturday's triumph the British Olympic gold medallist paid tribute to his horses, Explosion in particular, and his team:
“I can’t quite take it in to be honest. I have such a good bond with Explosion W.
“I’ve been lucky to have many great horses in my career so far, and I’ve been doing the Longines Global Champions Tour for many years now but have never been in a position to contend for the Championship. I don’t know if I’ll have another season like this - I did nothing different this year, but fortunately for me everything went right and I had a great team of horses. But it’s also to my team around me, they get us here every week - there’s a lot of people to thank behind the scenes. Explosion has been in our programme for a while but Shanghai was my first big show on him. We had quite a surprise result there and then built on that. The horses give you such confidence, but I think many riders in today’s course changed their mind - I think I even asked Harrie at one point what his thoughts were! I trust Explosion, and that’s the difference - the quality of horse that he is and the luck I’m having at the moment.
Ben Maher thanks Explosion W for his performance ph. Stefano Grasso/LGCT
“You believe you can do anything riding a horse like Explosion. He’s just such a fun horse to be around, he enjoys his work - he enjoys his job. He could probably come out now and be happy to jump again. Fortunately it’s gone my way this year. Prague will be new territory - I haven’t jumped him indoors yet, we’ll give him a break and then produce him for the Playoffs. But we’ll just enjoy this one right now and let it sink in.”