The arena’s best riders and horses have flown to Qatar for the glittering finals of the Longines International Champions Excursion and International Champions League which might be held on the huge cutting-edge AL SHAQAB area in Doha.
After 15 legs, over the past eight months, Maher has constructed an unassailable lead over his opponents within the person Longines International Champions Excursion, and can be formally topped the season’s winner on Saturday.
”It is been an extended yr and it is roughly surreal being the champion,” Maher informed CNN EQ in Doha.
“It is not one thing I anticipated beginning out the yr and it unquestionably wasn’t the preliminary objective however issues began to spread over the summer time.
“I received in Madrid and alternatively in St Tropez on my 2nd horse. After that, we discovered championship bid can be imaginable.”
The 35-year-old sealed the total name through racing to victory on the excursion’s earlier tournament in Rome.
It was once his 3rd win of a 2018 season which has observed occasions happen the world over; from Mexico Town to Miami, to Shanghai and during Europe. Riders have competed for a report $40 million in prize cash.
“Profitable the LGCT name would unquestionably be some of the greatest achievements in my occupation to this point,” says the 2012 Olympic group champion.
“Taking gold at your own home Olympics was once a once-in-a-lifetime alternative however to turn into LGCT champion it’s a must to be constant at such a lot of occasions, over the entire yr, at other locations and in numerous international locations. It is been about managing my horses and my group over the lengthy season.
“A large number of paintings is going into that, no longer simply from myself but in addition everybody round me. It is laborious to make other folks notice simply what is going in in the back of the scenes and what number of hours and lives were taken over to reach the championship.”
”Competing in Doha can be superb. Having already received the championship, clearly the power is off just a little however I additionally be expecting to finish the season on a top and do smartly within the ultimate grand prix magnificence.”
Knights Can Win The Struggle
The power may well be off Maher within the person ultimate however he’s additionally the executive and a key member of the London Knights squad who’re in line to take the group festival, the International Champions League.
Flying the crimson, white and blue colors this season, Maher has been joined through Swiss superstar Martin Fuchs, main Belgian brothers Nicola Philippaerts and Olivier Philippaerts and younger celebrity Emily Moffitt. With victories in Shanghai, Madrid, Chantilly and London they have got collected $386,608 this season and will scoop an extra $2.three million in the event that they seal the championship in Doha.
“It is virtually all concerning the group festival for me this weekend.” Says Maher. “We have now the youngest group within the league and they have been superb to paintings with. We now have grafted laborious all season to get so far. League victory is inside of our seize however it is not carried out but and it is important to complete the activity this weekend.”
The Knights cling a 23-point benefit heading into the overall tournament however it is Valkenswaard United, the 2016 Champions and remaining yr’s runners-up, who may well be those to stop them from victory.
“Valkenswaard have superb and skilled riders on their group however infrequently it is higher to be younger and hungry,” mentioned Maher. “It is labored smartly for us all of this yr. We now have used all 5 riders and lots of other horses. With the ability to rotate via our squad has in reality helped.”
If Maher can upload the group championship to his LGCT Championship it could be a bumper pay-day for him.
“I have not thought of successful the double. After I sealed the championship in Rome, it was once improbable however I am right here to do my activity once more and whole our season for the group.”
Struggle For Prague Puts
Doha would possibly sign the top of the normal season however new to 2018 is the addition of the International Champions Playoffs in Prague in December. The winner of the LGCT Grand Prix of Doha will take the remaining qualifying spot for the LGCT Tremendous Grand Prix on the Playoffs. And the highest 16 groups within the ultimate total score after Doha will undergo to the GCL Tremendous Cup Playoffs.
With the highest 4 groups being fast-tracked to the semi-finals of the GC Playoffs, every other nice contest will spread between the groups these days in 3rd, fourth and 5th puts at the score. Miami Celtics on 244 issues are most effective 9 issues forward of Rome Gladiators and they’re just one level in entrance of Shanghai Swans. Those highly-competitive groups are fielding their superstar performers to make sure they end within the best 4 to enter the GC Playoffs.