Ben Maher outpaces all at Windsor

Ben Maher topped the feature class of the day on day one of the 5* classes at Royal Windsor with Jane Forbes’ Tic Tac.

Thirty-one initially contended the world ranking 1.50m with only seven reaching the second and timed round with round one clears in the star-studded field, Ben the only British representative.

And it was all about the clock when five again returned penalty-free, Ben forging ahead on the 14-year-old Clinton/Darco stallion Tic Tac to win with just 0.30 sec to spare. Canada’s Eric Lamaze settle for second on his big winner, the Forsyth FRH 14-year-old Fine Lady 5, with Germany’s David Will on SIEC Copain in third. Max Kuhner for Austria took fourth on Cornet Kalua and the USA was well represented, Lauren Hough taking fifth on Adare and Laura Kraut just behind for sixth with Constable II.

Laura Kraut headed the first of the 5* International classes, taking the Manama 1.45m two-phase with just 0.16 sec to spare on the Indoctro/Concorde 14-year-old Whitney. Scott Brash with Hello Forever (For Pleasure/Nimmerdor) had to share second place with Billy Twomey and Kim Barzilay’s home-bred Je T’Aime Flamenco/Heartbreaker eight-year-old when they both broke the beam at exactly the same time in the 32-strong class.

Claire Beecroft jumped to the top in the Land Rover Stakes amateur 1.35m on Vanda Cartier. Eight contended the jump-off with Claire and the Lord Z/Rubert R 11-year-old mare outpacing all to take the speed class by 1.29 sec.

The USA’s Sophia Gracida took second on Sentimiento LS La Silla with Ireland’s Aisling Byrne in third with the fastest four aboard Perfect Rouge – a former ride of Matt Sampson. Russia’s Arina Abramovich guided Dino into fourth with Tony Pearson’s Billy Grand fifth and Tess Carmichael in sixth with Atlantis PP Z. Flo Norris was seventh on Songe de Toscane and Charlotte Uden aboard Jericho took eighth.

British-based South African Charles Luyckx claimed the amateur 1.30m speed stakes in fine style on the Darco 15-year-old Cicero II. Thirteen contended with four providing clears, Charles galloping ahead to take the win by 3.47 sec. Four faults dropped the Brits down the line with Flo Norris in sixth on Darling HDH and Tess Carmichael seventh aboard Bangle SR.

Photos © Jumping Around & courtesy British ShowjumpingJon Stroud Media