Ben Maher admits it is a dream come true after being named showjumping’s new world number one by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI).
On top of winning team gold at London 2012, Maher also won team gold and individual silver at August’s European Championships in Denmark, seeing him leap from 19th to the top of the world rankings table.
And Maher, who is currently competing in Calgary, insisted the news would take a while to bed after achieving one of his life goals.
He said: “It will take a little time to sink in!
“Becoming number one has always been a long held goal of mine and now it has come true.
“It’s been an amazing year since winning gold at the Olympics. When Jane Clark’s horses joined my existing team I was able to focus on each horse’s strengths and this consistent approach has paid off.
“I would like to thank all my owners, staff and sponsors who have played such a huge part in this process.”
In addition to Maher’s success, fellow London 2012 gold medallist Scott Brash MBE went from 25th place to ninth, giving Great Britain two riders in the world’s top ten.
And Rob Hoekstra, World Class Performance Manager for Showjumping, said he was extremely proud of their achievements.
Hoekstra said: “British showjumping is on a high and back where it should be – at the top and winning.
“To have Ben now ranked the best rider in the world and Scott sitting in ninth place is the best news I could have received – it shows the great results they have been having in the past 18 months.
“The gold medal win at the Olympics was purely a start – now we find ourselves 12 months later with another team gold and two individual medals.”
© Sportsbeat 2013