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Flying Dutchman Harrie Smolders Wows at LGCT Miami Beach

Release date: 13/04/2017

Photo: LGCT / Stefano Grasso

The first day of the Longines Global Champions Tour kicked off at the stunning set up of Miami Beach with the Flying Dutchman Harrie Smolders (NED) and his relatively new horse Zinius setting the pace for the weekend to come with a blistering win. 

As the sun shone down, spectators lined the edge of the arena to witness the world’s best take to the sands to compete in the opening class of the weekend. The two phase competition was a good test for the riders, with many making the trip from Mexico City last weekend to ride in this very different arena. While the Mexico City arena was a huge expansive grass track, the smaller sand arena provided new challenges to the riders, with tight turns and easy to roll vertices catching out a few of the world’s best. 

Young star Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) and Ustina Sitte put in a strong performance with the large striding horse making short work of the technical track. They finished just tenths of a second behind Harrie, unable to knock the top Dutch rider from pole position. Hot on Nicola’s heels, and another young Belgian star was Jos Verlooy (BEL) who put in a strong performance with Napa Valley. 

The next class is the Global Champions League Round 1, where the teams will take to the track to compete for pole position ahead of Saturday’s final. Tune in at 13:00 to see who takes the top spot!