Hickstead, England – September 11, 2022 – Olympic champion Ben Maher (GBR) won the Breen Equestrian All England Grand Prix on Sunday just beating the 2021 winner Nicole Lockhead Anderson (GBR) by a matter of milliseconds.
Riding the nine-year-old grey Zangersheide mare Enjoy CKZ (Echo van’T Spieveld x Coronado), Ben made the most of his penultimate draw in the jump-off to go just 0.06sec ahead of Nicole Lockhead Anderson (GBR) and Miss Aragona PS to take the lead. Ben’s Tokyo team-mate Holly Smith (GBR) was last to go with Don Vito II, but a fence down ended Holly’s hopes of winning, and left Ben at the top of the leaderboard.
It was the first time Ben has won the Grand Prix class at Hickstead’s All England September Tour. “What a fantastic show this is, to give these younger horses experience in the main ring – the sun is out and it’s been really good sport,” said Ben.
The win marked a return to form for Enjoy CKZ. “I’ve struggled with her a bit since Windsor, she’s a very sensitive mare, so today I thought I’d just go in and ride fast and get her confidence back a bit,” said Ben. “She really seemed to take it on so it’s been a big confidence boost for her and for me, and hopefully we’ll have an upward progression from today. I haven’t done a lot of jump-offs with her but now I know she’s naturally a very quick horse, and I learned a lot about her.”
Final Results – Breen Equestrian All England Grand Prix
1) Ben Maher (GBR) & Enjoy CKZ
2) Nicole Lockhead Anderson (GBR) & Miss Aragona PS
3) Phillip Miller (GBR) & Don Royale
Source: Press Release by Victoria Goff for Hickstead Press Office
Photo: © AEJC – Hickstead / Elli Birch / Boots & Hooves Photography