Ben Maher and Ginger-Blue Claim the Blue in the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix

Sep 18, 2022 - 4:06 PM

Wellington, FL – Sept. 18, 2022 – No stranger to the winner’s circle, reigning Olympic champion Ben Maher (GBR) concluded a successful weekend at Equestrian Village during the ESP September horse show on Sunday, grabbing the top spot in the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix aboard Jane Forbes Clark’s Ginger-Blue. The quick-footed partnership bested the class of 24 entries hailing from 11 nations, which added another victory to Maher’s list after finishing one-two in the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake earlier in the week on Forbes Clark’s Tic Tac and Ginger-Blue, respectively. 

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Ben Maher and Ginger-Blue, pictured with Susie Wong, Feed Sales & Technical Representative Equine Specialist on behalf of Nutrena, won the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix. ©Anne Gittins Photography

“These horses have been here the whole summer, so the last time they jumped was the $500,000 [Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*] class in April,” noted Maher. “I’m very lucky to be a part of the team with Jane [Forbes] Clark as they keep them fit for me. This week was a good week to come as it is always an amazing show over here on this side of the street. We are just trying to keep the horses fit and keep them going before they go to their next show in Toronto. Even though we didn’t get to compete on the grass today, it was great to ride indoors today for this class and get the horses back over some jumps.” 

Sunday’s $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix showcased an international field, with competitors representing Great Britain, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Lebanon, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Mexico, Canada, Italy, and Venezuela. Course designer Andy Christiansen (ECU) had created a course for the grass Derby Field, but instead used an altered design in the Van Kampen Covered Arena as the class was relocated due to early-morning rain. Throughout the first round of riding, seven duos tripped the timers without any faults to qualify for the jump-off.  

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Ben Maher and Ginger-Blue ©Anne Gittins Photography

As the final competitors in the order-of-go, Maher and Ginger-Blue were up against a leading time of 41.93 seconds. Wasting no time around the track, the duo handily completed the course without accruing any faults and crossed the finish line in 40.56 seconds to secure the blue ribbon and lion’s share of the prize money. 

“Ginger-Blue is naturally a really fast horse, so sometimes I have to be careful not to let her get too carried away. I just tried to keep it smooth and keep the turns neat everywhere. She is usually very quick to the final fence, so I just had to keep her steady,” reflected Maher of his jump-off trip. 

Click above to watch the Winning Ride Replay, presented by Assets Risk Management!

Jad Dana (LEB) and After Eight, owned by Springhill Farm 1850 LLC, earned the runner-up spot in the competition with a double-clear time of 41.93 seconds, followed by Kevin Mealiff (IRL) aboard Morlynn Farm’s Cesar De B’Neville with a fault-free time of 42.26 seconds. Five partnerships finished the class without any faults. 

For the full results of the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix, please click HERE

Ben Maher and Tic Tac won the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. ©Anne Gittins Photography
Ben Maher and Tic Tac won the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake. ©Anne Gittins Photography

Friday featured the $10,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Stake, which saw 28 partnerships vie for the top spot in the class. Maher made the most of his two entries in the competition and finished one-two ahead of the rest of the field. Maher and Tic Tac led the way with a victorious time of 44.19 seconds without any faults in the jump-off, followed by Maher’s other Forbes Clark entry, Ginger-Blue, in second position with a double-clear time of 45.03 seconds. Andres Espinet (PUR) and his own Ferrari DN nabbed the third-place spot with a fault-free time of 47.07 seconds, the third-fastest of only four double-clear contenders in the class. 

Alannah Wagstaff and Great Thing won the $5,000 Premier Equestrian 1.35m Stake. ©Anne Gittins Photography
Alannah Wagstaff and Great Thing won the $5,000 Premier Equestrian 1.35m Stake. ©Anne Gittins Photography

Alannah Wagstaff (USA) and Great Thing, owned by Mill Pond Farm Inc., jumped to first prize in the $5,000 Premier Equestrian 1.35m Stake on Saturday. Out of five jump-off qualifiers, Wagstaff and Great Thing finished the class as the quickest of only two double-clear pairs with a leading time of 41.42 seconds, followed by Luiza Leivas da Costa (BRA) aboard Analtyse Ste Hermelle, owned by Bonne Chance Farm LLC, in a time of 42.27 seconds. Dominique Roux (PAN) and her own Casaktie earned third place as the quickest four-fault duo over the short course. 

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Hadley Becker and Lyranta Van’t Gebroekt won the Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic. ©Anne Gittins Photography

Hadley Becker of Wellington, FL, and her own Lyranta Van’t Gebroekt earned the blue ribbon on Sunday in the Medium Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic. The duo navigated the 1.30m fences the swiftest out of the field of entries, ultimately picking up the victory as the only pair to qualify for the jump-off course. Becker and her mount were also honored as the division champions after earning the most cumulative points thanks to Sunday’s first-place finish combined with an earlier second-place result. 

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Caroline Michele Dugas and Skyfall won the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic presented by Equiline. ©Anne Gittins Photography

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic presented by Equiline featured 15 entries on Sunday. Finishing the class as the only double-clear partnership ahead of the five other jump-off contenders, Caroline Michele Dugas of Vestavia, AL, and her own Skyfall clinched the top honors to round out a successful weekend. The combination had already jumped to a first-place finish and a second-place ribbon in the division and easily earned the championship tricolors thanks to their three podium placings. 

Sunday’s action concluded the ESP September horse show, but the 2022 ESP Summer Series will continue in a few short days with the ESP Florida State Fall & Region 10 ASPCA/NHSAA Maclay Championship, which will run from September 22-25, 2022. 

To view the prize list for the 2022 ESP Summer Series, please click HERE

Photo credit ©Anne Gittins Photography. These photos may only be used once in relation to this press release with proper credit. 

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