In his first appearance at The Las Vegas National, Great Britain’s Olympian Ben Maher took the victory with Poden Farms’ Tipsy Du Terral in the $35,000 FEI 1.45m Blenheim Welcome Jumper Classic, presented by Master Surfaces. Forty-four entries rode Oscar Soberon’s power and speed course. Twenty-fourth to go, Maher’s smooth track and forward pace in a time of 30.29 could not be beat. Holding the lead until Maher galloped in, John Perez and Utopia finished second, stopping the clock in 31.12 seconds.
“The course was tougher than I was expecting,” Maher said. “In the end, there were enough riders that were clean, but fortunately it went my way.”
Of the unique aspect of this city and, in particular, the South Point Arena & Equestrian Center, Maher noted, “This is a great venue. It’s nice to not have to go too far to the show. I can wake up in the morning and come right here. I’ve been to Las Vegas for the World Cup Finals and coming here has the same exciting feeling now as it did then.”
He continued, “I’ll show Tipsy this week and then head back to Europe with some other horses and maybe go to Olympia in London. I was in Doha last week and am here this week, and the standards did not change. There is not a difference in the level of riding from venue to venue.”
Tune in tomorrow for the $15,000 FEI 1.35m South Point Jumper Stake, presented by Secchiari, and the $50,000 FEI Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation.