Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Horsemart interviews Ben Maher at HOYS 2008

HM – Hi Ben, how’s it going for you?
BM – I have been unlucky so far! Hopefully it will get better this afternoon.

HM – How are your results?
BM - I have competed in all the international classes and have been placed. It’s frustrating as I have just had one fence down, very unfortunate!

HM – How so you like it here at HOYS?
BM - I like it here as it’s in the UK! I have been abroad a lot lately and it’s really nice to be home in front of a British crowd who have given me a lovely welcome. It’s also nice for the sponsors & owners to be here and watch.

HM – I have watched you today run around from signings to the collecting ring to the stables! How do you plan your days?
BM - Normally I stick to the plan and prior planning is very important! Once your entries are in you can get organised but as always things change! I got double booked for signings today for instance. I got really tired too after so much running around. I have been competing very early morning and then as you know then on again very late.

HM - Which horses have stood out for you this week?
BM - Robin Hood is on great form, I am saving him for the Grand Prix.
I am really pleased with Wonder Boy who is proving to be a lovely horse. He will be a favourite with crowds as he is big and grey and very beautiful.

HM – Do you own him?
BM - I am part owner with Mr & Mrs Phillips

HM – We were all on the edge of our seats watching the Puissance, what happened?
BM – Sadly it’s not the first time I have done that, he is the best wall jumper and that’s well known on the circuit, not due to how I trained him or anything he can just naturally do it. What can I say we just tapped the top pole of the first fence and had it down, rules are rules!

HM – You jumped the wall beautifully and totally clear.
BM – Yes, I managed to get a good approach and I think he would have jumped another round easily! I was really disappointed.

HM – You took a very different line to wall compared to Ellen and Robert Whitaker, why was that?
BM – He is a very experienced horse and been doing this for 3 or 4 years that’s all he does so he knows his job. He is used to jumping the wall and up to then I too took the same line as the others. Recently in training he has started to anticipate the jump so I changed my way on the night to almost confuse him a bit. So I came in and took a wider line then changed to the right lead which he favours which gave me a sound approach. It worked I was really pleased with the way he jumped.

HM – What’s next for you?
BM – I’m off to Belfast then New York and Toronto to qualify for the world cup with Robin Hood.

HM – When will we see you next?
BM – I’m sort of on a world cup final tour if you like! After the states I will be home to do a demo at Addington then Geneva and Olympia.

HM – Thanks Ben it has been a pleasure talking to you and watching you this week – good luck and we will look forward to seeing you at Olympia.