Ben Maher jumped into third in an exciting, action-packed 5* 1.50m jump-off in the big class of Friday night with Don Vito at the Global Champions tour of Miami Beach, just 0.68 sec separating the top four riders.
Eleven of 57 starters posted round one clears although only nine came forward to the jump-off as Ireland’s Denis Lynch (RMF Echo) and Shane Breen (Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker) opted not to run and keep their horses fresh for the following day’s Global Champions league.
Ben was quick on the 10-year-old Don Vito (Quaprice Z/Jus De Pomme) but two others were quicker and they took third 0.61 sec off the pace.
The Netherlands’ Maikel van Der Vleuten took the win despite losing a stirrup on Arera C, chased hard by Italy’s Alberto Zorsi, in second on Fair Light Van T Heike.
One time fault put Ben and Winning Good into ninth spot in the 1.45m speed. Shane Breen (CSF Vendi Cruz), Michael Duffy (Jules Van Den Tinnenpot) and Michael Whitaker (Cassionato) all had four faults to take 12th, 13th and 15th. Qataris’s Bassem Mohammed took the win on Argelith Squid.
Amanda Derbyshire outpaced her 37 rivals in the 2* 1.35/1.40m two-phase with the Cartani/Corrado I 12-year-old Lady Maria BH on the opening day of the Global Champions tour of Miami. The pair powered ahead to take the top spot by 1.84 sec.
Four faults in the 5* 1.50/1.60m dropped Ben Maher and the 10-year-old Don Vito down the order for 14th. Scott Brash on Hello Shelby and Michael Whitaker aboard Cassionato also returned on four n the speed class, won by Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Cristy. This class also counted as round one of the Global Champions league, with Scott lying fifth as half of the New York Empire team with Georgina Bloomberg (Manodie II H) and Ben and his London Knights partner Nicola Philippaerts (H&M Chilli Willi) took sixth at the halfway stage.
An easy double clear put Ben and the Winningmood nine-year-old Winning Good into 19th in the 67-strong 1.45m two-phase. Shane Bren returned similar rounds aboard Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker for 21st. Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt took the win on Sansibar.