Ben Maher’s former five-star ride retires to stud

28 May - Milena 8, one of Ben Maher’s former five-star rides, has been retired by her owners, the Ward family.

The 18-year-old Caretino mare competed at her final show in Cagnes Sur Mer, Nice, in April with Scarlett Ward.

And after a successful career the family have now decided to retire and breed from her, and Milena is currently at Twemlows Stud in Shropshire.

The mare was originally bought by Peter Ward for his oldest daughter Stephanie to compete. However, the ride was then taken on by Dan Neilson.

The pair won the grand prix of Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dortmund in 2010.

“When we bought Milena in Germany in 2007 we couldn’t have dreamt how much joy she was going to bring us,” Peter told H&H.

“I have had so much fun watching both my daughters ride the mare as well as Dan Neilson and then Ben Maher riding her for us.

“Dan formed a super partnership with the mare. They had great success at European shows pushing both Dan and Milena into the top 20 in the British Showjumping rankings.”

Milena was then competed at five-star level by Ben Maher and successes included winning numerous classes at London Olympia in 2011 and 2012.

When Ben took on the ride, Peter’s partner, Jill Willows, became joint owner.

“Together we went to some super shows in Europe. For Jill,who had only owned racehorses previously, this was a new experience that she really enjoyed,” he said.

Scarlett Ward, who has been based with Tim Stockdale, then took over the ride from Ben.

“When my younger daughter Scarlett Ward returned from working in Germany and Holland, she took on Milena and had an amazing year in 2013, culminating in riding at the Gucci Masters in Paris and two weeks later taking second place in the World Class Under 23 championship at Olympia,” Peter added.

The mare will now have a new career as a broodmare.

“We hope she can get in foal and eventually she will return to our yard in East Yorkshire,” said Peter.