“How was that” shouted little Ben has he looked back at his father with hopes to clinch his maiden wicket. Unable to do so he tried his luck with football, oh well he missed his very first penalty. Dejection coursed through him like gushing white water over the Niagaran rapids. Wasn’t long before his father decided to put him on a horse and try his luck with jumping the beast over fences.
Two decades later we know the same little Ben as the great Ben Maher or well “magician” Maher who has taken the world of showjumping by storm.
London 2012 Gold, Longines Global champions tour 2018 and numerous world cups to his name, the humble Englishman still goes by the name of little Ben in and around the vintage stables of Enfield, England.
For the little ones who don’t know what showjumping is here’s what you’re looking for:
What do you call a uniquely exquisite sport where the partnership you’re allowed is your horse? That’s show jumping. What do you call a sport where your equipment is a 600 kilo animal who could choose to not cooperate with you at any given point of time? Yes that’s the show jumping for y’all.
The drill seems pretty simple a set course of about 10-15 jumps is set out in a large expansive area. Riders on their majestic horses try the course within an allotted time. Any rider within the time limit qualifies to a jump off. Dropping a jump costs 4 penalties and so on.
Being a recognised Olympic sport it’s the only place which upholds enough equality to let men and women compete at an equal footing without any separate categories.
Today the sport involves so much more than just jumping over fences in a posh arena. Events like Dressage and 3 day eventing have also made their way to the top. Who says horses are galloping machines who feed the rich their “Sunday morning shenanigans”. Horses bring the whole concept of a “poetry in motion” to life.
~Written by Vishwa Shah