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

Ben Maher and Ginger-Blue. Photo ©Anne Gittins Photography

Edited Press Release

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. 

“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.” 

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

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.  

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. 

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

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The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA)

The Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association (PCHA), a non-profit corporation, has as its main purpose the promotion and development of the sport of horse showing, primarily in the Hunter/Jumper, Western and Reining disciplines. These objectives are accomplished by setting the standards for showing on the West Coast and approving shows that meet these criteria. 

Founded in 1946, the Pacific Coast Horse Shows Association promotes the interests of owners and exhibitors, cooperates with exhibitors, officials, and management of competition, publicizes and advertises PCHA sanctioned shows, encourages and assists owners, exhibitors, and breeders of horses to maintain, develop and improve the quality of horses of the Hunter, Jumper, Western and Reining divisions.