A Golden lesson for EHC's members
On the 23 June we were honoured to welcome Olympic gold medal winning showjumper and Land Rover ambassador, Ben Maher, to Brixton for a very special visit.
Generously arranged by Land Rover, Ben Maher took time out of his busy schedule, ahead of the start of the London Longines Global Champions Tour, to spend time with some of our riders at our yard.
As part of the visit six lucky members received the lesson of a lifetime when Ben gave a showjumping masterclass.
Conscious of the fact that they were being watched by the former world number one, nerves were running high but Ben's calm and encouraging manner quickly put everyone at ease and soon the group were confidently tackling the fences.
Ben spent time with each rider, giving them expert advice on improving their jumping technique and sharing some of the knowledge that has helped take him to the top of his sport.
As the session came to an end the riders asked if they could put what they had learnt to practise in a puissance competition. Hearts were in mouths as Ben inched the jump higher and higher with victory going to Shanice Reid.
"Jumping with Ben was amazing. I learnt that when you have a slow horse you keep a light seat around the course to keep the horse moving forward. Everyone had a great time and we all learnt something new. It’s not everyday you get a lesson from an Olympic gold medallist" explained Shanice
After the lesson, Ben chatted with everyone about his career and, much to everyone's delight, passed round his coveted London 2012 gold medal.
Meeting EHC members clearly had an impact on Ben who said: “It’s a real privilege to come to Ebony Horse Club on behalf of Land Rover. I have met some wonderful young people today, some of which have great riding skills and horsemanship. You can’t underestimate the effect that horses can have on people and so for these kids to be able to regularly partake in this sport right in the heart of their inner city community is brilliant.”
A massive thanks to Ben for spending the afternoon with us in Brixton it was a real inspiration for everyone involved.
Thanks also to Land Rover for making the day possible and the generous donation of rugs and saddle cloths that will be put to very good use.