Ben Maher won the second Olympic gold of his career, adding individual show jumping to his team medal from London 2012.
Maher and his phenomenal horse Explosion W looked the favourites for the gold medal in his first ride. And the pair were unbeatable in a six-horse jump-off for the medals, securing Team GB yet another gold medal at the Tokyo Games.
“Ben Maher now 38, he’s been in this business a long time and has had lots of great horses to ride during the course of his career, has known what it’s like to be world number one.
All the talk before the Olympics was of the quality of the “natural born winner” Explosion W, a horse that Maher said “would probably make your breakfast for you if you asked him”.
“He’s the first horse I’ve ridden who grunts when he jumps – just like a tennis player – because he always puts in maximum effort,” Maher said of the 12-year-old Gelding prior to the trip to Tokyo.
“He’s so powerful off the floor, even over a cross-pole. I think that’s what separates him from other horses.”
Sweden’s Peder Fredricson took silver, with Maikel van der Vleuten securing bronze with the final ride of the competition on Beauville Z.
Just six of the 30 starters in today’s thrilling medal-decider jumped clear to qualify for the second-round jump-off against the clock and, third to go, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson set a serious target when clear again with All In in 38.02 seconds.