Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title

Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title

(CNN)Ben Maher produced a brilliant performance to win the New York leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour for the world’s top show jumpers and claim the overall title for the second successive year.

Unlike last year, when Maher and his Dutch-bred wonderhorse, Explosion W, were so dominant they clinched the overall championship with one more event to go, the 2019 title race had gone right down to the wire. Maher had been trailing his rival Pieter Devos of Belgium by just one point before winning the 18th and final leg in New York.Earlier on Saturday, Maher had also brought home the overall championship for the London Knights in the Global Champions League for teams.

    “I knew it was going to be a tough weekend,” said Maher. “The dream was going to be to win the team and the individual, obviously. And this doesn’t happen very often.” Maher, a 36-year-old Briton, paid tribute to Explosion W, a big-striding, 10-year-old chestnut gelding. This season, the pair, who also won in Rome and London, have amassed €593,151 ($648,968) in prize money. Read More”What a horse,” said Maher. “He is incredible and I am very lucky to ride him.”READ: Ben Maher on the secrets of his successREAD: Pieter Devos on the secrets of his success Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Ben Maher, riding Explosion W, won the final round of the Global Champions Tour in New York, to clinch the overall title for the second straight year.Jump-offRiding third in a seven-horse jump-off, the pressure seemed to get to Devos, who made a mistake early on that caused his horse Claire Z to stop in front of an oxer. The Belgian eventually finished in seventh place in New York with eight penalties. “I don’t know what to say really,” said Maher, when asked if he had spoken to Devos. “I feel bad for him, it’s been a tough day, he gave a great fight. …He had an unfortunate mistake here. It’s sport, it’s happened to me before and I am sure he is going to come back strong.” As the sixth rider to go, Maher steered Explosion W round the sandy arena on Governors Island, off the southern tip of Manhattan, at a steady pace. The pair took the lead with a clear round in 34.08 seconds, beating the previous leader, Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Cornado NRW, by 0.57 seconds. Could the final rider, Maher’s London Knights’ teammate, Martin Fuchs, stage an upset?Riding his second horse, The Sinner, the Swiss rider was never able to match Explosion W’s pace, and eventually finished in third place, 0.87 seconds behind Maher. READ: Global Champions 2019: Schedule and resultsBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLNew York – New York: The iconic skyline of dominated the final round of the regular season which took place on Governors Island off Lower Manhattan. Hide Caption 1 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBelgian Pieter Devos held a narrow lead over defending overall champion Ben Maher.Hide Caption 2 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBut Britain’s Maher took the Grand Prix title to secure back-to-back Longines Global Champions Tour crowns.Hide Caption 3 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLMaher’s trusty steed was the impressive Explosion W.Hide Caption 4 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLSaint-Tropez – Saint-Tropez: Jessica Springsteen rode RMF Zecilie to her very first individual victory on the Global Champions Tour. Hide Caption 5 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLSpringsteen, daughter of famed rocker Bruce, was a popular winner at the glamorous beach side venue on the French Riviera.Hide Caption 6 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLRome – Rome: Italy’s famed Carosello IV Reggimento Carabinieri a Cavallo put on a display for the Global Champions Tour spectators in Rome. Hide Caption 7 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBritain’s Ben Maher, the defending overall champion, clinched the Rome Grand Prix to climb to the top of the season standings. Hide Caption 8 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLValkenswaard – Valkenswaard: Maikel van der Vleuten and Dana Blue on the way to victory in Valkenswaard.Hide Caption 9 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLThe Tops International Arena, in the Netherlands, is a wonderful venue to host the Valkenswaard leg of the tour. Hide Caption 10 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLLondon – London: Winless all season, defending overall LGCT champion Ben Maher hits back with a bang on Explosion W on home soil.Hide Caption 11 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLShane Sweetnam goes airborne on Alejandro at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.Hide Caption 12 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBerlin – Berlin: Dani G. Waldman and Lizziemary triumphed in Berlin.Hide Caption 13 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLGermany’s Ludger Beerbaum and Cool Feeling missed out by just 0.35 seconds.Hide Caption 14 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLChantilly – Chantilly: Darragh Kenny rode to victory on Balou du Reventon in front of the spectacular Chateau de Chantilly north of Paris. Hide Caption 15 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBen Maher and Explosion W in action at Chantilly.Hide Caption 16 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLParis – Paris: The Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Mars provided a stunning setting for round 11 of the Longines Global Champions Tour. Hide Caption 17 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLNew dad Christian Ahlmann jumped to his fifth victory on the global circuit.Hide Caption 18 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLMonaco – Monaco: The glitzy riviera resort of Monaco held the 10th and halfway stop of the Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League. Hide Caption 19 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLDutchman Maikel van der Vleuten riding Beauville Z dazzled under the floodlights in the principality. Hide Caption 20 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLDutchman Maikel van der Vleuten won the Monaco leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour riding Beauville Z. Hide Caption 21 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLCascais, Portgual – Cascais: Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs clinched double victory by winning both the Longines Global Champions Tour event and partnering Ben Maher to triumph in the Global Champions League for London Knights on the Portuguese coast.Hide Caption 22 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBritain’s Maher, the defending LGCT overall champion, rode his Explosion W to second in the individual Grand Prix in Cascais.Hide Caption 23 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLStockholm, Sweden – Stockholm: Peder Fredricson celebrates after winning the inaugural LGCT in the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm.Hide Caption 24 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLThe Swedish capital welcomed the Global Champions Tour for the first time in June 2019. Hide Caption 25 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLCannes, France – Cannes: The “City of Stars” on the French Riviera hosted round seven of the Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League. Hide Caption 26 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBelgium’s Niels Bruynseels riding Gancia de Muze edged British Olympic gold medalist Scott Brash to win his first LGCT Grand Prix event. Hide Caption 27 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLHamburg, Germany – Hamburg: Home favorite Daniel Deusser rode Jasmien v. Bisschop to victory in the Hamburg leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour.Hide Caption 28 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLSpectators enjoyed lavish hospitality in the German city as the world’s best show jumpers competed just yards from their seats.Hide Caption 29 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLMadrid, Spain – Madrid: Fuchs rode Chaplin to victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix, as well as partnering Maher to win the Global Champions League title for the London Knights.Hide Caption 30 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLMadrid – Madrid: Van der Vleuten on Dana Blue finished a narrow second behind Fuchs in the Spanish capital.Hide Caption 31 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLShanghai, China – Shanghai: Danielle Goldstein rode Lizziemary to the Longines Global Champions Tour title in Shanghai in early May.Hide Caption 32 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCL – Israel’s Goldstein beat Irishman Darragh Kenny on Balou du Reventon by just 0.08 seconds in the jump-off.Hide Caption 33 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLMiami Beach, USA – Miami Beach: The spectacular waterside setting provided a picture-perfect backdrop for the Miami Beach event. Pictured: Georgina Bloomberg riding Chameur 137.Hide Caption 34 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLBelgium’s Pieter Devos and his 11-year-old Claire Z triumphed in an eight-rider jump-off for his first GCT win since 2014. Hide Caption 35 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLDevos beat Harrie Smolders and Don VHP Z by 0.04 seconds in a nail-biting finish.Hide Caption 36 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLMexico City, Mexico – Mexico City: Jerome Guery and Quel Homme de Hus celebrated their first LGCT victory in Mexico.Hide Caption 37 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCL – Guery’s stallion was given to him by his best friend two months before the event but they gelled to win a 12-horse jump-off.Hide Caption 38 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCL – The Campo Marte venue, at more than 2,000 feet above sea level, hosted the equestrian events at the 1968 Olympic Games.Hide Caption 39 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCLDoha, Qatar – Doha: France’s Julien Epaillard and Usual Suspect d’Auge raced to victory in the jump-off in the season opener in Doha.Hide Caption 40 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCL – The event was held at the state-of-the-art Al Shaqab Equestrian Facility in Doha.Hide Caption 41 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title Photos: Best images from 2019 Global Champions Tour and GCL – Britain’s Maher came into the 2019 season as overall LGCT defending champion.Hide Caption 42 of 42Ben Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT titleBen Maher living New York dream with second overall LGCT title‘A naturally fast horse'”It was a fast jump-off here today, Explosion jumped incredible in the first round and the first round of the Grand Prix, so he gave me a lot of confidence,” said Maher. “He felt a little bit quiet, it’s been a hot day here today for the jump-off, but I got going and picked the distance up everywhere I needed to pick it up,” he added. “He is naturally a fast horse, he just understands me, I understand him, we have a great connection and it’s just a pleasure to be in a sport like this.”Maher took his second overall individual title with 301 points, 18 points clear of Devos. Germany’s Daniel Deusser finished in third place, at 34 points back.”It’s incredible,” said Maher, who won Olympic gold at the 2012 London Games. “Last year was a little bit unexpected. I had two 9-year-old horses that really carried me the whole season, and we won one or two shows early, so there wasn’t too much pressure. This year, I’ve used Explosion a little less. …I’ve used multiple horses, and it just shows how lucky I am, to have the few owners that I have, and they support me to make this all possible.”Follow @cnnsport

    Global Champions League Earlier on Saturday, Maher and Fuchs won the New York leg to claim the overall Global Champions League championship for teams for the second straight year for the London Knights.Fuchs, riding the experienced gelding Clooney 51, and Maher with Explosion W, produced four flawless rounds over two days to win the final event of the regular season. The Paris Panthers were second, while the Prague Lions finished third. The Knights won the overall title with 326 points, just three points clear of Saint Tropez Pirates, and 23 points ahead of Madrid in Motion. The Knights had won Madrid, Cascais (Portugal), Stockholm and London earlier in the season.As team manager and rider, Maher played an instrumental role in its success. After securing the win in New York, the Briton paid tribute to his team, which also included Under-25 rider Emily Moffitt of Britain and Belgian twin brothers Olivier and Nicola Philippaerts. View this post on Instagram

    The @longines archway doesn’t get much better than this 😍🗽 . . . 📸 @longinesglobalchampionstour / Stefano Grasso 📸 #lgct #longines #horsesofinstagram #showjumping #newyork #usa #bigapple #newyorknewyork #equestrian

    A post shared by Longines Global Champions Tour (@longinesglobalchampionstour) on Sep 27, 2019 at 6:00am PDT

    “The whole team have played a part,” Maher said, adding it hadn’t been an easy season as the Knights struggled with a few rider injuries. It has also been a successful season for Fuchs, the newly crowned European champion.”A great year for me,” said Fuchs. “My horse Clooney has been fantastic the whole year, and to be in such a team with the London Knights and to be with Ben Maher performing always great, it’s amazing.”The Knights had been lying in pole position in New York overnight, and after Fuchs and Clooney put down a clear round on Saturday, Maher rode into the arena as the final rider in the knowledge four penalties or better would bring home the overall team title once again.Leaving nothing to chance, the experienced Briton took the fastest route around the course, finishing with a clear round.

      “There was a lot of pressure before coming here,” said Fuchs. “So we said we bring Clooney and Explosion, two of our best horses. We knew we had to win, and that’s what we came for.”With the regular season now finished, all eyes will be on the GC Prague Playoffs. Staged in the middle of the Czech capital between November 21-24 , the Playoffs will see the world’s top riders battling it out for a total prize money pot of $3.3 million.