New York City—Sept. 27
Last month Martin Fuchs and Ben Maher went toe-to-toe at the Longines FEI European Championships (the Netherlands), with Martin Fuchs getting the individual gold medal on Clooney 51 and Ben Maher taking silver on Explosion W.
This weekend the two are on the same team as members of the London Knights. They each tacked up their European Championships mounts and put in the best performances of the day in the first round of the Global Champions League competition here at the Longines Global Champions Tour of New York. That puts the London Knights into the lead heading into tomorrow’s final round of competition.
After putting in two faultless rounds, the two breathed a little sigh of relief as in order to have a shot at the series title, they must win this weekend.
Maher put in the fastest time of the day on Dutch Warmblood by Chacco-Blue to win the lion’s share of the €150,000 prize money given away to individuals.
“I’m very fortunate to have won the class but I don’t think I went as fast as he possibly could go, with tomorrow in mind,” said Maher, who rides for Great Britain. “As the class went on a lot of horses didn’t jump clear rounds which worked in my favor.
“He likes to be alert,” he added. “He likes things to come up quick. He looks for the next jump. He’s a very intelligent horse. This was a good start to what’s going to be a long weekend.”
Daniel Bluman and Ladriano Z put in the next best round to take second, with Uno de la Roque and Belgium’s François Mathy Jr. taking third.
Valkenswaard United (Marcus Ehning/Cornado NRW and Alberto Zorzi/Cinsey) lay second in the team competition, and Chantilly Pegasus (Mathy and Constant van Paesschen/Verdi Treize) sit third.
Maher had nothing but praise for the launch of the Longines Global Champions Tour of New York, which takes place on Governor’s Island in New York City.
“I’ve been to New York City before but it’s my first time jumping here,” he said. “It’s an incredible backdrop, and hopefully people will come and support here. It’s not difficult to get here, just jumping on the ferry. It’s always difficult, first time at a venue like this, what to expect. I’m sure once it builds momentum over a few years and people know it’s here and the venue will also build and grow over the next couple of years. This is definitely a city that should be on the calendar for the Global Tour.”