CLOSINGS: View Closings

'Magic' Ben Maher wins $1.4 million Super Grand Prix

Ben Maher and his horse Explosion W closed out a season for the ages by taking the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix in Prague to complete his hat-trick of titles in 2019.

Posted: Nov 25, 2019 9:00 AM
Updated: Nov 25, 2019 9:00 AM

Under pressure as the hot favorite in show jumping's richest competition, Ben Maher did what he does best: win.

The all-conquering Briton and his Dutch-bred wonderhorse Explosion W finished their stellar season on a high as they triumphed in the $1.4 million Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Super Grand Prix in Prague.

Staged in the O2 Arena in Prague, the Super Grand Prix is one of the main events of the four-day GC Playoffs, the sport's richest competition with a record $13 million in prize money.

"Magic," Maher told the crowd, when asked what he thought about Explosion W, a feisty 10-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding.

READ: Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title

'No words'

"There are no words that can explain him," said Maher, who sealed his second straight overall LGCT title earlier this year after a dominating season that saw the pair win in New York, London and Rome.

The LGCT Super Grand Prix pitted all 18 individual winners this season against each other.

"This time last year, we had a tough show here, he didn't like the Prague arena here, had a little bit of a problem on the top corner, but he's come back stronger and he proved that he is as good as he is tonight," Maher said.

Bouncing pole

After going clear in the first round, Maher rode into a packed O2 arena in the second round in the knowledge another error-free ride would hand him victory over Ireland's Darragh Kenny and Balou du Reventon, who had been leading with two time faults over two rounds.

Maher, an Olympic champion at his home London Summer Olympics in 2012, knows all about performing under pressure.

But for a split second, it looked as if Maher had thrown it all away. Approaching the third fence, the big-striding Explosion W touched a pole. It bounced up in the air as the crowd gasped, but didn't fall.

"I took some risk, I didn't go too fast to jump the clear round," said Maher, whose win was applauded by American rock star Bruce Springsteen. "I had some luck over there on the pink one and it stayed up. I knew it would be my day," said the 36-year-old Maher, the only rider to produce two clear rounds.

"I just tried to keep my eye on the job, but I know, when he touches a fence like that, normally, he doesn't touch another fence in the course," said Maher. "I had a little luck, that's what sports is all about."

An emotional Maher also paid tribute to his team.

"Just amazing feeling, to be able to win here, on this horse, and the people that are around me, to make this possible, they all know who they are. It's an amazing feeling towards the end of the year."

GCL Super Cup

The four-day Global Champions Playoffs will end on Sunday with the €6.4 million GCL Super Cup for teams.

Last year, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar of Spain teamed up with Holland's Marc Houtzager and Maikel van der Vleuten to take the inaugural GCL Super Cup for the Madrid in Motion team.

Madrid in Motion will join Paris Panthers, Valkenswaard United, Shanghai Swans, Monaco Aces and Cannes Stars in Sunday's final, which will see the winning team ride away with €3 million in prize money.

Friday's semifinals saw the shock elimination of pre-event favorites London Knights, led by Maher, and the St. Tropez Pirates.

The London Knights had finished the regular season at the top of the leaderboard for the second year running, with €2.3 million in prize money. The Pirates, led by last year's LGCT Super Grand Prix champion Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia, had finished the regular season in second place, with €1.7 million in earnings.

Click to Submit Photo

 

 

Huntsville
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 64°
Florence
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Fayetteville
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 63°
Decatur
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 63°
Scottsboro
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 64°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 247587

Reported Deaths: 3131
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby36376562
Davidson31748337
Knox1273889
Rutherford11893114
Hamilton11758109
Williamson710256
Sumner6114110
Wilson469059
Putnam444056
Montgomery421756
Out of TN407935
Madison378079
Sullivan376346
Bradley358723
Washington347651
Sevier335122
Blount334336
Maury330737
Robertson261441
Hamblen246448
Tipton236723
Dyer223732
Unassigned22063
Gibson216244
Hardeman189833
Coffee189425
Obion178822
Trousdale17758
Greene175052
Bedford170920
Fayette169225
Dickson169119
Anderson168814
McMinn164036
Loudon162311
Lawrence161820
Cumberland161025
Wayne16007
Weakley156126
Carter155633
Jefferson155521
Monroe146228
Warren143910
Lauderdale143617
Henderson141626
Hardin139720
Macon134325
Roane13027
Franklin129519
Haywood129527
Overton122717
Hawkins120925
White118814
Johnson11507
Carroll114826
Marshall113810
McNairy112927
Rhea111118
Cheatham106011
Cocke105814
Campbell103012
Bledsoe10174
Smith99113
Lake9853
Giles96936
Fentress91611
Lincoln8973
Crockett86820
Hickman80315
Henry79611
Marion7739
Chester73214
DeKalb73217
Decatur66311
Grainger6114
Grundy57011
Union5433
Claiborne5266
Polk51113
Jackson4525
Humphreys4504
Morgan4437
Houston42017
Benton4199
Unicoi4183
Cannon4152
Clay40613
Lewis4033
Scott3845
Sequatchie3462
Stewart33111
Meigs3276
Perry3082
Pickett2747
Moore2692
Van Buren2071
Hancock1193

Community Events