The Dutchman Harrie Smolders take the first victory of the Longines Global Champions Tour in London, relegating to the second and third place British’s William Funnell and Laura Renwick. (Photo © Stefano Grasso)
World number 16 Dutch rider Harrie Smolders opened the London Longines Global Champions Tour with a resounding victory.
Rounding out the two phases in 26.39 seconds, Harrie Smolders and the 13-year-old gelding Zinius (Reve x Kannan’s Nabab) owned by Eurohorse BVBA-Axel Verlooy, secured the first win of the week to take 50 World Ranking Points, leaving the second and third place to the home riders.
The course designed by the Italian Uliano Vezzani served as a stage to mark the opening of the 12th leg of the LGCT, with the participation of 54 pairs. Completing a fast round for Harrie Smolders, he outshone the British William Funnell with the 14-year-old gelding Billy Angelo (Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Kroongraaf) in 26.91 seconds to take second place and Laura Renwick with the 14-year-old stallion Van de Vivaldi (Vivaldi van de Kempel x Golden Joy J) finished third in 27.05 seconds.
For the Pan American Ranking, four-time Canadian Olympic medalist Eric Lamaze scored in seventh place with the 12-year-old stallion Coco Bongo (Caretino x Calido) in a time of 29.75 seconds and Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut got the ninth place next to 8-year-old gelding Curious George (Codex One x Dutch Capitol) in 32.80 seconds.
Going to the Latino Ranking the Venezuelan rider Emanuel Andrade was 23rd, completing his field with the 12-year-old stallion Ricore Courcelle (Quaprice Bois Margot x Alme) in 4 fouls and 31.58 seconds.