CSI5* FEI World Cup, USA: Britain’s Ben Maher rides to victory in the GP with Diva II.
Wellington, Florida played host to the penultimate qualification leg of the FEI World Cup for the American Division over the weekend.
There were also several European riders taking part and it was Britain’s Ben Maher that stole the limelight and won the World Cup GP worth 372 thousand dollars in prize money.
Maher was competing with Diva II and was involved in a thrilling battle in the jump-off with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with Fibonacci 17 and Laura Kraut with Cedric.
The course was designed by Alan Wade and it was a demanding one for the 41 riders competing. The first clear for instance in the second round came at the 17th time of asking and was carried out by Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Fibonacci 17. Fans then had to wait another 17 runs before the next one from Laura Kraut and Cedric, while the third and final clear came from the other finalist and eventual winner Ben Maher with Diva II.
In the jump-off, it was Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum who went round the course first of all registering a time of 46.31 seconds. It looked like it might be good enough for the win as the second rider to go round the course Laura Kraut collected 4 penalties.
Dashing her hopes though was Ben Maher recording an even quicker time of 46.03 with Diva II, a 10 year-old mare belonging to the Anglo-European studbook, and daughter to the well-known stallion Kannan. Diva II is owned by Tatiana Korsakova.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum remained happy with her performance nonetheless in what was a tough course judging by the amount of penalties from the other riders. As for her mount, Fibonacci 17 (For Feeling) showed great qualities and seeing as the horse is just 10 years of age there is plenty of room for improvement.
Final Results: $372,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 5*, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate
1. DIVA II: 2005 AES mare by Kannan x BerliozBEN MAHER (GBR), Tatiana Korsakova: 0/0/46.03
2. FIBONACCI 17: 2005 Swedish Warmblood gelding by For Feeling x CorlandMEREDITH MICHAELS BEERBAUM (GER), Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC: 0/0/46.31
3. CEDRIC: 1998 Holsteiner gelding by Chambertin x Carolus ZLAURA KRAUT (USA), Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc: 0/4/46.76
4. WOKLAHOMA: 2003 KWPN mare by Sheraton x CalvadosROBERTO TERAN, JR. (COL), Ark Partners LLC: 1/82.81
5. OHLALA: 2003 Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x CardentoLAUREN HOUGH (USA), The Ohlala Group: 4/74.96
6. ROYCE: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Café au Lait x GrandilotMARGIE ENGLE (USA), Elm Rock LLC: 4/78.24
7. BARRON: 2004 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by For Pleasure x Nabab de ReveLUCY DAVIS (USA), Old Oak Farm: 4/80.94
8. MACARTHUR: 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Concorde x UnknownMICHAEL HUGHES (USA), Christina Fried: 4/81.04
9. CARISMA: 1999 Swedish Warmblood mare by Cardento 933 x Maraton 600DANIELLE GOLDSTEIN (ISR), Israeli Equestrian Partners: 4/81.93
10. SHOWGIRL: 2000 Selle Francais mare by Gold De Becourt x Elf IIIYANN CANDELE (CAN), Watermark Group: 5/82.76
11. FLAMING STAR: 1999 AES gelding by Fairman x UnknownCHARLIE JACOBS (USA), CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 5/83.72
12. FLOWER: 2005 Belgian Warmblood mare by Bon Ami x Randel ZNINA FAGERSTROM (FIN), Nina Fagerstrom: 5/84.65
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com