OG Tokyo: EXPLOSION W WINS GOLD!!!
Incredible!!! They got the job done! Ben Maher lived up to the expectations by winning individual gold with the legendary Explosion W. Maikel van der Vleuten grabbed the bronze!
All six riders in the jump-off were delivering a nail-biting clear round. Being the fourth to start, Ben Maher on Explosion W (Chacco-Blue out of Uarina ster sport-spr prest by Baloubet du Rouet, bred by Willy Wijnen from Berlicum) showed to be in a class of their own. In a breathtaking pace they completed the course in 37.85 seconds, immediately giving the impression that everyone just watched the golden ride. A fantastic end of this individual final with the best pair in the world ranked in the place they belong. Gold for Ben Maher, gold for Explosion W and therefore gold for his proud breeder Willy Wijnen. Dreamed about for so long and now it has become reality.
And then Maikel van der Vleuten on his Bustique-offspring Beauville Z. As the last one to enter the jump-off they knew the bar was set high, with five fast clear pairs ahead of them. The Dutchman performed a fantastic round. He needed one second longer than the brand-new Olympic champions Ben Maher/Explosion W, who are following in the footsteps of that other magic British/KWPN duo Nick Skelton and Big Star, obtaining the well-deserved bronze medal. An incredible achievement for the driven Maikel and his only eleven-year-old horse. In between these giants, Peder Fredricson placed himself on the silver position as the best out of three Swedish riders in the jump-off. Aboard the Kashmir van ‘t Schuttershof-son H&M All In, he gave it his all and finished in 38.02.
More information about the KWPN-horses at the Olympic Games can be found on this overview page.
Photo: Dirk Caremans, Hippofoto.be