Doha, QAT – Nov. 11, 2017 – It was a night of sporting jubilation and celebration as Harrie Smolders was officially crowned 2017 LGCT Champion and local hero Bassem Hassan Mohammed delivered an emotional home victory in the immense floodlit arena of AL SHAQAB in Qatar.
After 15 exceptional Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix all across the world, consistently featuring the best riders and horses, the final event of the season unfolded with a magical Hollywood ending as crowds gathered to watch the climax of the most challenging show jumping circuit in the world.
Spectators of all ages held their breath as Bassem Hassan Mohammed, riding Gunder, demonstrated nerves of steel in the nine-strong jump off to win the final LGCT Grand Prix of the season a full two seconds ahead of Janika Sprunger on Bacardi VDL and Peder Fredricson on H&M Christian K.
Dutchman Harrie Smolders and his superstar ride Don VHP clocked up four faults in the LGCT Grand Prix, but his supreme performances all season, against the best of the best in show jumping, had already ensured he was 2017 Champions of Champions.
Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned presented both the coveted LGCT trophy to Smolders and also the winning medal to Qatari rider Bassem Hassan Mohammed in front of local and international fans and guests. His Excellency Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani was also in attendance along with diplomats from around the world.
Smolders was also able to catch the tour’s other championship as a member of the Hamburg Diamonds in the Global Champions League. Despite a dazzling win by Valkenswaard United in Qatar, their nearest rivals Hamburg Diamonds had done just enough by finishing fifth to strike gold in the race for overall championship.
Some intrepid riding from the Mexico Amigos helped them secure the final spot on the GCL podium in third.
“We gave some hope to United, but at least we finished well,” said Harrie Smolders of the Hamburg Diamonds, who has secured an unprecedented double as the star Dutch rider is also the winner of the 2017 Global Champions Tour series.
His team-mate Eric Lamaze, riding with a rib injury, added: “We wanted to win this — Harrie has done so many clears for the team so it was my turn to help today.”
Hamburg Diamonds’ other key players this season have been John Whitaker, Piergiorgio Bucci and Jos Verlooy.
Valkenswaard United, who took the title in the inaugural GCL last year, were represented by Bertram Allen (Molly Malone) and Alberto Zorzi (Fair Light van’t Heike) in this glittering final and both produced measured double clears to soar clear of a high class field of 18 teams.
“We came here knowing we had to win here today, and unfortunately it wasn’t enough to win the League, but we gave it a good shot all year,” said Bertram. “We’ve had plenty of ups and downs but at least we finished on a really great note.”
Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Doha CSI5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Gunder / Bassem Mohammed / QAT / 0 | 82.37 / 0 | 35.31
2. Bacardi VDL / Janika Sprunger / SUI / 0 | 80.89 / 0 | 37.34
3. H&M Christian K / Peder Fredricson / SWE / 0 | 82.03 / 0 | 37.41
4. VDL Groep Verdi Tn / Maikel Van der Vleuten / NED / 0 | 82.57 / 0 | 37.76
5. Silver Deux de Virton H D C / Kevin Staut / FRA / 0 | 79.38 / 4 | 35.39
6. Espoir / Pieter Devos / BEL / 0 | 80.75 / 4 | 35.94
7. California / Edwina Tops-Alexander / AUS / 0 | 81.76 / 4 | 36.06
8. Clooney / Martin Fuchs / SUI / 0 | 82.94 / 4 | 36.83
9. Alcazar Sitte / Kevin Jochems / NED / 0 | 83.02 / 4 | 49.55
10. Chacanno / Henrik von Eckermann / SWE / 4 | 74.71
11. Fine Lady / Eric Lamaze / CAN / 4 | 77.66
12. Molly Malone V / Bertram Allen / IRL / 4 | 78.14
For full results, click here.
Global Champions League of Doha CSI5*
Place / Team / Team Total Faults | Time
1. Valkenswaard United / 0 | 151.01
2. Mexico Amigos / 4 | 155.60
3. London Knights / 6 | 161.51
4. Paris Panthers / 8 | 155.19
5. Hamburg Diamonds / 9 | 155.96
6. Madrid in Motion / 12 | 149.85
7. Doha Fursan Qatar / 12 | 162.76
8. Miami Glory / 14 | 157.63
9. St Tropez Pirates / 15 | 166.14
10. Chantilly Pegasus / 16 | 148.14
11. Rome Gladiators / 16 | 155.64
12. Moscow Bears / 16 | 162.29
For full results, click here.
LGCT: Final overall standings after leg 15 in Doha, QAT
Rank / Rider / Country / Total Points
1. Harrie Smolders / NED / 278
2. Maikel Van der Vleuten / NED / 263
3. Lorenzo de Luca / ITA / 260
4. Christian AHLMANN / GER / 257
5. Alberto Zorzi/ ITA / 255
6. Scott Brash / GBR / 245
7. Martin Fuchs / SUI / 211
8. Kevin Staut / FRA / 203
9. Jack Towell / USA / 190
10. Niels Bruynseels / BEL / 189
For full LGCT rankings, click here.
GCL: Final overall standings after leg 15 in Doha, QAT
Rank / Team / Total Points
1. Hamburg Diamonds / 312
2. Valkenswaard United / 308
3. Mexico Amigos / 250
4. St Tropez Pirates / 244
5. Miami Glory / 241.5
6. London Knights / 217
7. Doha Fursan Qatar / 211
8. Rome Gladiators / 203
9. Paris Panthers / 202
10. Shanghai Swans / 196
For full GCL rankings, click here.