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Harrie Smolders wins Final seven-year-olds

Release date: 23/05/2018

This morning the world’s number one, Harrie Smolders, won the Final for seven-year-olds with Empress EH Z (Zang., Emerald van ’t Ruytershof x Darco). Twelve combinations out of the 38 starters qualified fort he jump-off. Ireland’s Trevor Breen was leading when Smolders started his round and showing that it could be done faster. Empress passed the finish line in 36.03 seconds and improved Breen’s time with more than 2 seconds. Bertram Allen gave his best shot, but had to settle for second place with Go To Fortuna. Breen finally finished third with Zilton Sl Z.
“Empress was bred by Axel (Verlooy) himself and I rode her dam Delilah Z successfully in young horse classes in 2013 and 2014. Empress is very competitive and she has a big heart. She is careful and wants to stay clear,” according to Harrie.

The podium of the six-year-olds’s Final was completely Belgian. Jos Verlooy won with the mare Emera Z (Zang., Emerald van ’t Ruytershof). Monday the pair finished third, but today all fell into place and they had the fastest time: 35.53 seconds. Alexander Housen finished runner-up with Uricas vd Kattevennen (Holst., Uriko x Cassini I) followed by Melanie Gelin and Attoucha Hero Z (Zang., Aganix du Seigneur x Diamant de Semilly).
Thus Harrie Smolders’s top horse Emerald (van ’t Ruytershof) produced both the winner of the seven-year-olds and the six-year-olds!
Ireland’s Conor McMahon won the Final for five-year-olds with an incredible fast round with the KWPN mare Iris (Starpower x Larino). They were 4.80 seconds faster than runners-up Benoit Petitjean and D’Rihanna. The 18-year-old is riding for Manton Grange Stables and he hopes to work there fulltime after he has finished his study. Conor has also played football at county level. In 2013 he competed at the European Championships for Children in Vejer de la Frontera, Spain, where he finished fourth with the team and fifth individually.  Third place was for Jörn Emschove and VDL Groep Inca for Germany.