Ben Maher Ends Winter Vacation With Win At Palm Beach Masters

Feb 2, 2019 - 5:27 PM

Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 2

Ben Maher has been itching to return to the show ring since his last competition in December. While his top dogs remain on vacation following a jam-packed 2018 season, Maher, who rides for Great Britain, plans to develop his up-and-coming string during the winter circuit. The list of which includes Cirus Du Ruisseau Z, the 9-year-old Zangershide gelding (Chellano Z—Cadence Du Ruisseau Z, Carthago Z) he rode to victory in the $71,200 NetJets Classic at the CP Palm Beach Masters.

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Great Britain’s Ben Maher won the $71,200 NetJets Classic aboard Cirus Du Ruisseau Z. Tori Repole Photos

“Cirus is pretty new to this level, but he is a very fast horse,” said Maher, who has been riding the Poden Farms-owned horse since last fall. “Although they’re sponsors for today, the NetJets double was quite a hard combination to jump, so I made sure not to go too fast earlier on to get the double out of the way and then tried to go as fast as I could around the finish half of the course. The jumps just came up right.”

Twenty-three took to Alan Wade’s course, and Maher was one of seven to return for the jump-off.

“Cirus has a great character; he’s a trier,” said Maher, who crossed the timers in a winning 44.82 seconds. “He’s being produced, and in the end will probably move to Emily Moffitt, but he’s really an easy horse. He loves to do his job; he’s naturally fast, [and] he’s a pleasure in the stable. I promised him a day off tomorrow, and he can go in the field if he jumped a clear round in the jump-off, so my groom will make sure that I hold my word to that.”

Conor Swail and 13-year-old SLS stallion Rubens LS La Silla narrowly missed out on first place. They finished in 44.96 seconds.

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Conor Swail and Rubens LS La Silla finished .14 hundredths of a second behind Ben Maher to take second.

“I was very happy with how the round went,” said Swail. “[Rubens] is sort of more scopey and [has] more of a slower canter, so it’s much more difficult when you’re up against these guys on quicker-stepped horses.”

Rubens has been on break since November 2018, with the Masters being his first Fédération Equestre Internationale-competition in the new year.

“He had a very successful last year with me,” Swail said, “and I was delighted with how he went. [I] thought the round went well.”

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Eve Jobs and Venue d’Fees Des Hazalles tied for third.

Third place saw a two-way tie between Egypt’s Nayel Nassar and Luciver V, and the United States’ Eve Jobs and Venue d’Fees Des Hazalles, who crossed the timers in 45.04 seconds.

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Nayel Nassar and Lucifer V took home equal third.

Full Results

We’re on site at the Longines Palm Beach Masters CSI4*-W all weekend to bring you news, photos and results. Check back all weekend for more!

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