NEWS > Jumping
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 27/03/2014.

Showjumper Benjamin Meredith has a successful start to new partnership

US based Australian rider Ben Meredith has taken over the ride of former London Olympic showjumper Bernadien van Westuur with three successful placing's within the past month.

The 13 year old Belgian Warmblood mare was formerly owned and competed by twice Olympian Jill Terceira.  The pair represented Bermuda finished 47th  individually at the London Olympics. Bernadien was sold to a US junior rider in November last year who is currently taking a short break from riding. Ben was lucky enough to take over the ropes during her break in early January. From mid-February to date the combination has received a 3rd place in the Wellington 160cm Grand Prix, 2nd in the Wellington CSI4* 150cm and 5th in the CSI2* Live Oak International World Cup 140- 160cm.

“She's an amazingly talented athlete, she has fantastic technique with a huge heart. Every time she comes to a fence, she puts all her energy into clearing it” attributed Ben.

Ben appreciates how rare it is to build a competitive partnership in such a short amount of time. “I guess the main reason for our accelerated success together is due to a mutual respect for each other. She lets me do my job and I stay out of her way when she's doing hers.” Like most successful horses with a big heart ‘Queen Bee’ also has a big personality ‘she does have her own way and she's quite opinionated. She likes to stick her nose out between the jumps making it difficult to reel her back in especially towards the second half of the course. There's a fine line between making her listen and annoying her,” said Ben.

Hopefully this weekend Benjamin and Bernadien will be competing in the CSI5* FTI Finale with $500,000 prizemoney on offer.  Following that is the $200,000 CSI3* American Invitational, which is being held for the first time at Sunlife Stadium in Miami.

Ben isn’t the only Australian Showjumper currently competing and campaigning in the US, he is joined by Harley Brown, Thaisa Erwin, Scott Keach and Mark Lindh.

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