Britain’s Brash Brilliant at Chantilly CSI5*, but Smolders Steals Spotlight
In recent years, the UK's Scott Brash has won more than €3 million on the Longines Global Champions Tour. And this weekend’s stage in Chantilly, France was another great one for the Scotland native, with a win and two second-place finishes. But Brash was upstaged at Chantilly by the Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, who won the Grand Prix and helped move his team to the top of the GCL standings.
In the end, four pairs out of 24 advanced from the first round into the Grand Prix jump-off, where three (Smolders, Brash and Philippe Rozier of France) again had clear rides. The final podium positions were thus determined by the combinations’ times: 41.63 seconds for Smolders’ first place, followed by Brash and Hello Forever (42.82) and Rozier and Rahotep de Toscane (44.80). The three top riders earned €99,000, €60,000 and €45,000 respectively.
“Hello Forever was amazing today,” Brash said afterwards. “I was just too slow in the last class! I must say you can’t take it away from Harrie Smolders, he did an amazing jump-off round, he was very fast.”
Reflecting on the 2017 season so far (the next stop is in Berlin from July 28-30), Jan Tops, Founder and President of the Longines Global Champions Tour, said: “I must say this year the changes we really like — to have the shorter Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix with 25 horses in it means it is a quicker class, with the League the qualifier for it.”
“I like to see the sport progress,” Tops added. “For example, every year we make sure everything is better and better — better conditions for the riders, horses and owners. We think it’s important for the sport that all stakeholders benefit, and we try to make sure that people outside of the sport can follow it as well.”