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Team GB’s Ben Maher wins Olympic GOLD in individual showjumping event via dramatic jump-off

BREAKING NEWS: Ben Maher wins Olympic GOLD for Team GB in individual showjumping event via dramatic jump-off victory by 17 HUNDREDTHS of a second

Great Britain’s Ben Maher and his Explosion W horse secured a gold medal in the individual showjumping in dramatic fashion via a six-way jump-off in Tokyo. 

The 38-year-old made it through to the final round where he competed alongside three riders from Sweden, home favourite Fukushima Daisuke and Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten.

Maher recorded a time of 37.85 seconds in the jump-off which ended up being 17 hundredths of a second faster than his closest rival Peder Fredricson from Sweden to pick up his first gold medal since the London 2012 team event gong. 

Team GB’s Ben Maher (middle) won Olympic gold in the individual showjumping event in Tokyo

On board Explosion W, Maher won by 17 hundredths of a second in the six-way jump-off

 On board Explosion W, Maher won by 17 hundredths of a second in the six-way jump-off 

Van der Vleuten from the Netherlands picked up the bronze medal on Wednesday night.

Thirty riders and horses competed the event in Tokyo, with Maher joining Scott Brash and Harry Charles as Team GB’s representatives. 

Brash, riding Hello Jefferson, was in medal contention after the opening round but a time fault for the pair all but ended their hopes. 

And when Charles knocked down four fences before his retirement, Team GB’s medal hopes rested on Maher who went into the jump-off in third place after watching all of the 29 other riders go first.

Maher's victory means the individual jumping gold medal will remain in Great Britain again

Maher’s victory means the individual jumping gold medal will remain in Great Britain again

Enfield-born Maher likened Explosion W’s power to driving a Ferrari following victory in the £430,000 Rolex Grand Prix at Royal Windsor last month and he showed excellent pace to get round the jump-off course in 37.85 seconds. 

That time beat Fredricson’s effort, and when final rider Van der Vleuten got round in 38.90s – it crowned Maher and his horse as champion. 

Maher’s success means the individual showjumping gold will stay in Britain following Nick Skelton’s victory on Big Star at Rio 2016 five years ago.

The result also means Team GB now have five Olympic medals in the Tokyo Games’ equestrian section, equalling the total they amassed at London 2012 with the team jumping event still to come. 

Ireland’s trio of Cian O’Connor, Bertram Allen and Darragh Kenny also missed out, with O’Connor – like Brash – collecting a solitary time fault. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk