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And the winner is…. Harrie Smolders!

Sunday, 04 February 2018
CSI5*-W Bordeaux 2018

Photo (c) R&B Presse/S.Rispail.
Harrie Smolders and Emerald in action. Photo (c) R&B Presse/S.Rispail.

There is no stopping Harrie Smolders! The Dutch rider is on a winning streak, and took his second big victory at Jumping Bordeaux when going to the top in Sunday’s CSI5*-W Grand Prix Land Rover Trophée Mairie de Bordeaux – this time riding the 14-year-old stallion Emerald N.O.P. (Diamant de Semilly x Carthago Z). On Friday, the world no. two won the biggest class in Bordeaux – a 1,50m speed class – riding Zinius (Nabab de Reve x Kannan).

The 1,60m Grand Prix consisted of 12 obstacles and 15 efforts, with three combinations but no triple combination and was built by Uliano Vezzani. As many as 14 out of the 36 horse-and-rider combinations starting in the class cleared the first round, and qualified for the jump-off that consisted of seven obstacles and eight efforts.

For a while it looked like it would be a home win to the joy of the ecstatic audience as Simon Delestre (FRA) was in a lead with Gain Line (Stolzenberg x Raphael) with a time of 34,68 seconds. But coming to the end of the field of riders, Jur Vrieling (NED) took over the lead riding the 12-year-old black stallion VDL Glasgow v. Merelsnest N.O.P. (Nabab de Reve x Udarco) when crossing the finish line in 33,62 seconds. Vrieling didn’t get to keep the lead for long though, as his countryman – the very last to go in the jump-off – Harrie Smolders nailed it and flying through the finish line in 33,06 seconds.

“Of course it is an advantage when you go last, since you have more information then. I knew what I had to do to win,” a happy Smolders said after his win. 

Emerald, who has enjoyed a break from the ring, is definitely back in top form: “This is only his second show being back. We were in Leipzig, where he did a few small classes and he did a small class here in Bordeaux yesterday where he felt so good that I decided to put him in the Grand Prix. And you can tell he has experience. He knows how the game works and he recognizes the tracks from the course designer. That is why he is back in action so quick.”

Emerald is one of Smolders‘ options for the FEI Longines World Cup Final in Paris, but he still needs to qualify. “Emerald hasn’t started in any World Cups yet, so I will be riding him in Gothenburg,” Smolders said.

Fourth place went to Robert Whitaker (GBR) with Catwalk IV (Colman x Corleone) while Sweden’s Irma Karlsson – who made her World Cup-debut on Saturday night when being clear in the first round – ended fifth with the 10-year-old Ida van de Bisschop (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Papillon Rouge).


Text © World of Showjumping based on press release from R&B Presse / Picture © R&B Presse/S.Rispail 

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