Ben and Explosion W jump into the money in Rome

Ben Maher and the awesome Explosion W jumped into third in the 5* 1.50/1.55m speed on the Global Champions Tour of Rome. 

Forty-three contended this speed class with Ben and the Chacco-Blue 10-year-old taking third 1.36 sec behind the winner, France’s Simon Delestre on Filou Carlo Zimequest.

This class ran concurrently with the first round of the Global Champions League. 

The overall ranking leaders London Knights put forward their Under 25 rider Emily Moffitt to be the pathfinder for the competition, the young talent bringing her top horse Winning Good for the first round of action in Rome. The 10-year-old bay gelding was a touch fresh and enthusiastic, giving Emily plenty to do to keep him in check. But he pulled her in a little too deep to the double down the VIP hospitality, the pole falling, and Emily having to slow him down throughout the remainder of the course - they would finish with 5 faults. Ben Maher brought out his top horse, Explosion W, and they looked to be on spectacular form - the chestnut horse powering around the track to finish clear.

It put the team in fifth overnight. The Hamburg Knights currently lead the best of three zero scores.

Ben slotted F One USA into seventh in the first of the 5* classes, the 1.45m two-phase, 2.32 sec off the pace.  Laura Kraut shared seventh after equalling on time with the Hales family’s Berdenn De Kegane and Harry Charles jumped a steady round to pick up one time fault for 19th on Borsato.

Alicia Store claimed victory in the 2* 1.15m speed with Capellini II, the Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve 12-year-old easing ahead to win by 0.40 sec.  Alicia was also clear on Uranie for fifth while four faults dropped Flossy Polland and Ilana to eighth in the 15-horse class.

Easy clears in the 43-strong 2* 1.30m speed earned Brits the lower places.  Red Morgan guided Kwikly into eighth more than four sec off the pace with Tess Carmichael in 10th on Atlantis PP Z and Flossy Polland finished 12th on Gerswin. 


Laura Renwick steered Top Dollar into third in the 3* 1.45m in Lier, Belgium.

Twenty-five of the mammoth 100 starters posted first round clears to reach the jump-off with Laura and the Dollar Du Murier/Darco 10-year-old finishing 1.69 sec behind the winner, UAE’s Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi on Cha Cha Cha 7.  Four faults dropped Harriet Nuttall on Galway Bay Jed and Jamie Wingrove with Pampelonne to 14th and 16th.

Emma Stoker eased Japatero VDM into second in the 3* 1.40m two-phase section two.  A mammoth 112 entries tackled this class with Emma and the Eldorado Van De Zeshoek/For Pleasure 10-year-old finishing 0.31 sec behind the winner.  Harriet Nuttall rode Night Of Glory OL into 15th spot.

Richard Howley guided Bellisma Z into fourth in the 3* 1.40m section one, the nine-year-old mare finishing 0.26 sec off the pace.  Amy Inglis was also double clear on Jule Van Den Tinnenpot to take 14th in the 82-strong class.

Arabella Prior claimed the top two places in the 1* 1.15m two-phase, winning with the Azteca VDL nine-year-old Friso and taking second aboard the eight-year-old MHS Sanfrancisco (Quidam Junior/Cavalier Royale), 0.58 sec separating the two.  Ellie Guy guided Loughnavatta Cedar into sixth and Jamie Wingrove was also double clear with Esso to take 16th in the 52-strong class.

Chloe Winchester finished fifth in the seven-year-old speed with Quasmo CK Z (Quasimodo Z/Glennridge) more than six sec off the pace.  William Funnell claimed eighth on Billy Spiral and Chloe also claimed 14th with Silvertops Chacco Old in the 74-horse class.

Brits bunched together in the 38-horse five-year-old speed with James Billington in second on Jillz (Denzel Vt Meulenhof/Calvinos) 0.39 sec behind the pace.  Emma was third and fourth aboard Skylandria Z (Super Trooper De Ness/Indoctro) and Orphea HQ (Emerlad Van’t Ruytershof/Epleaser Van’t Heike).  Steadier clears earned Kerstin Deakin 14th on Qlicious, James was also 17th on Jucatan VDL and Amy was 19th on Jillz Dice.

Emma Stoker rode Q Seven into eighth in the 57-horse 1.25m two-phase 5.50 sec off the pace.  Giorgia Distefano also jumped a clean round for 11th on Dincky Toy Z.

Joe Clayton claimed 13th in the six-year-old speed with Ninja JW Van De Moerhoeve 10 sec off the pace.  Chloe was also penalty-free on Icaterma for 16th in the 70-entry class.


In Chazey sur Ain, France, one time fault kept Louise Saywell and Graham Lovegrove out of the 2* 1.45m jump-off. 

Sixty-nine contended this class but only four posted first round clears to access the jump-off with Louise and Graham two of five on time faults only.  Louise was just a fraction over to take fifth on Keeley Durham’s Arko nine-year-old Arakan and Graham finished seventh on Silver Wave.  France’s Mathieu Billot took the win on Gatrona.


Text and Photos © Jumping Around & LGCT/Stefano Grasso

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