Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso
Longines Global Champions Tour 2019 Champion Ben Maher (GBR) has raised the stakes ahead of the €12 million GC Prague Playoffs later this month by revealing he plans to bring his star horse Explosion W.
Throwing down the gauntlet to his opponents in the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix and the GCL Super Cup, Maher will be hoping the incredible horsepower of Explosion W will propel him to victory in the capital of the Czech Republic. Today a fast-paced look at the excitement to come is revealed in a new teaser video, showcasing the stars of show jumping vying for the LGCT Super Grand Prix as the top 18 riders of the season go head to head for glory. To watch the film, click here.
In an exclusive interview, the two-time LGCT winner spoke of what it meant to take such an accolade in two consecutive years, and revealed the incredible bond between the British Olympian and his star horse.
Maher spoke of the extraordinary talent of Explosion W, one of the key anchor horses of the GCL team London Knights, owned by Poden Farms. The now 10 year old horse burst onto the LGCT scene in 2018 and has catapulted to the status of equine superstar under Maher’s careful guidance and management. He said: "In my opinion Explosion is the best horse in the world because he’s proved himself in every environment and in multiple situations time and time again. And he’s proved it’s not a fluke. He’s won in small arenas - New York was quite a small arena - he’s won in big arenas like Madrid, grass, sand, hot temperatures, cold temperatures, and that has been the difference I believe."
After winning the 2018 Longines Global Champions Tour title, as well as the GCL team series with the London Knights, Maher focused his attention on taking back-to-back Championships, building on his special bond with the chestnut gelding and activating a detailed plan for the champion horse.
Maher said: "We’re able to pick big goals and work backwards from them. That’s what makes him so special and then it enables me as a rider to place other horses around him which creates a successful team."
2018 saw the electrifying launch of the LGCT Super Grand Prix with Edwina Tops-Alexander claiming the Champion of Champions title after a very tense jump-off between the best in the world. Last year a double refusal from Maher and Explosion W in the GCL Super Cup Final caused unforeseen drama and ruled the London Knights out of a chance for the win. But Maher is confident a further 12 months in Explosion’s early career has strengthened their bond and trust in each other: "He’s a very rounded horse now - he knows everything about the world and hopefully we’ve taught him everything that he needs to know. We trust each other, we love each other, and that’s why for me he is the horse of a lifetime."
Please click here for tickets to the GC Prague Playoffs at the O2 Arena in the Czech Republic. The event runs from 21 - 24 November and features the cream of show jumping talent every day.
To find out who the 2019 LGCT Super Grand Prix contenders are click here.
For the daily schedule of the show, please click here.