Excerpt from the November 2017 issue of Heels Down Magazine.
By Adriana Van Tilburg
If you have seen Harrie Smolders at horse shows this year, you will notice that he is often smiling from ear-to-ear. And with good reason, as he is (at time of publish) in the lead for the Longines Global Champions Tour Ranking.
He owes his two top horses a great deal for that: Emerald van‘t Ruytershof (out of Carthina Z by Carthago, bred by Bert van den Branden) and Don VHP Z (out of Sara van het Parelshof by Voltaire, bred by Guy de Schuymer), who was one of the most consistent show jumping horses of the last two seasons.
A striking liver chestnut standing at 17.1hh, Don VHP Z was the stallion that Harrie rode at the European Championships in Gothenburg and made a huge leap from 9th place to the 2nd place on the last day, ultimately clinching the silver medal. They also went double clear in the Nations Cup of Hickstead, earned third place in the LGCT of Paris, second place in the LGCT of Hamburg and the fifth place in the LGCT of Shanghai.
Despite the stallion’s size, Harrie is able to make use of the powerful horse to his advantage, perfectly balancing the horse around very sharp turns.
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