World number 6 Dutch rider Harrie Smolders was named Champion of the Longines Global Champions Tour 2017. (Photo © Stefano Grasso)
World number 6 Dutch rider Harrie Smolders was named Champion of the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour with a total of 278 points.
After completing a long LGCT season consisting of 15 legs, Harrie Smolders took his first title with accumulated 278 points and waiting for his countryman Maikel van der Vleuten, who escorted him in second place accumulating 263 points.
With great suspense the Dutch rider Harrie Smolders had to at least ensure his classification to the last Grand Prix, if he wanted to have a chance to claim for maximum honors, after he arrived in 257 points by 260 of the Italian rider Lorenzo de Luca and same amount of 257 points tied with the former World Ranking leader Christian Ahlmann of Germany.
Once Lorenzo de Luca and Christian Ahlmann did not qualify, Harrie Smolders had to focus on ensuring a good result, finishing 15th in the overall classification on last Grand Prix, which gave him 21 points, secured the championship plus €294,500 as prize.
Winner of the Grand Prix No. 10 by Harrie Smolders, his best results accompanying the victory were two second place in Rome and Hamburg, plus a third in Paris and two fourth places in London and Maimi.
Completed an excellent season that consolidates the Longines Global Champions Tour as the main reference of the show jumping, the champions since 2010 in the Overall Ranking have been Marcus Ehning (2010), Edwina Tops-Alexander (2011), Edwina Tops- Alexander (2012), Scott Brash (2013), Scott Brash (2014), Luciana Diniz (2015), Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (2016) and now Harrie Smolders (2017).