You had to be fast, very fast, to stand a chance of winning in the central arena at Equita this morning. Seven riders finished within the same second, but it was Ben Maher who set the pace in the first class of the CSI5*, the Prix de la Ville de Lyon.
"I'm really pleased; Lyon is one of my favourite indoor competitions and it's always good for your confidence to start a competition like Equita with a win. Vadeline is ten years old but I have only been riding her for three weeks. Until now, I had only done small classes with her; this is our first important competition and she reacted really well. I can continue on the World Cup circuit with her, and especially Stuttgart. "
"Vadeline belongs to English and American owners, and I'm delighted to be able to repay their confidence so quickly, particularly as her former rider, Scott Smith, had very few horses of this level and decided that the mare should continue with me. I am very lucky to have so many great horses in my stables," beamed the British rider, Olympic Champion in the team event at London. The London Olympics enabled Ben Maher to gain the confidence of new owners, and particularly the American Jane Clark who entrusted him with five new horses.
Ben Maher finished ahead of the Irish rider Shane Breen on Cos I Can.
Michel Robert and Catapulte, the first French pairing, finished in fourth place.