Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Dallas Vegas Batilly snatched a sensational victory in the fourth leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ 2023/2024 Western European League series in Verona, Italy today.
“It was a very difficult jump-off, you had to ride the right lines to make it smooth and fast and Dallas gave everything to me today, she was really fighting for me and everything went my way - she was incredible!”, Maher said.
Maher, who finished third at round three of the Western European League in Lyon, France last weekend, was thrilled with today’s winning result which has moved him into third place on the Western European League leaderboard. With a running tally of 35 points he is already within sight of a qualifying spot for the Longines 2024 Final which will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia next April.
“All my horses are in form right now, it’s a credit to my team, my owners and my sponsors, we’ve built this over the last few years and they all deserve this. It’s great when it all comes together!”, he said this evening.
Despite the challenge it presented, he enjoyed the tension created by the enthusiastic crowd.
“It has been a few years since I was here in Verona last time and it is great for us riders to compete in a venue with so many spectators. They witnessed such good riders and horses today, and this is great for our sport!”, he added.
Over one year
Talking about Dallas Vegas Batilly he explained, “we have her for a little over one year now. I am very fortunate with my owners and sponsors who are very supportive. I had a few upcoming horses, but we felt I needed one more horse ready for the big classes so we got her and it took me some time to get to know her well. She’s great, but she likes to be the boss and for me to be the passenger!”
Asked what he has in mind for the mare after today’s success he said wisely, “I will just enjoy today first! I have learned over the years to enjoy the wins, because in this sport you lose more than you win!”