A Win For Qatar At LGCT Doha

Bassem Mohammed, biggest carer win
Credit : Longines

Sunday 12 November - 03h58 | Lulu Kyriacou/ Press Releases

A Win For Qatar At LGCT Doha

The Longines Global Champions Tour 2017  concluded in Doha yesterday with a win for the home side when Bassem Mohammed won the Grand Prix. Harrie Smolders had already won the over al title but he carried on his winning ways by leading his team, the Hamburg Diamonds to the Global Champions League title.

 - A Win For Qatar At LGCT Doha

Credit : Longines

Bassem Hassan Mohammed, riding Gunder, demonstrated nerves of steel in the nine-strong jump off and swept home clear to win the final LGCT Grand Prix of the season - a full two seconds ahead of Janika Sprunger (SUI) on Bacardi VDL and Peder Fredricson (SWE) on H&M Christian K. He was best of an eight horse jump off that also featured Edwina Tops Alexander and Kevin Staut.
 
Today we made it,” said Bassem. “It’s been really hard work, I’d like to thank my whole team and my horse, I’m so happy, so proud. It feels very special to make this crowd happy. “It’s an amazing feeling, it’s come at the right moment. I’m so happy and so proud of this result today. Jan [Tops] is our trainer, we made the plan and it has really worked so thank you to Jan and the Qatar Foundation, I’m so happy and so proud. I did my round as Jan and Willem said to me I stuck to my plan and did exactly what we spoke about before I came in the ring and I waited for the best riders after me, but I was lucky that today was my day. The plan was just to jump clear and be as fast as I can. My horse is a big horse, maybe not the fastest, but I can turn and he was in good form today. To the double I did eight strides, quicker than the rest, and my big canter has helped me out today.”​
 
On the night Dutchman Harrie Smolders and his superstar ride Don VHP clocked up four faults in the LGCT Grand Prix. But his supreme performance all season, against the best of the best in show jumping, had already ensured he was 2017 Champion.

Before the LGCT Grand Prix began there was intense speculation about which of the top riders would win the remaining podium place in the LGCT overall Championship.
 
Lorenzo De Luca (ITA) arrived in Doha in second position, just ahead of Christian Ahlmann (GER), Alberto Zorzi (ITA), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and 2013-2014 title holder Scott Brash (GBR), the top six on the leader board separated by a mere 15 points.
 
Brash (Ursula XII), Ahlmann (Taloubet Z) and De Luca (Ensor De Litrange LXII) were all surprise casualties in the qualifying round as their four-fault rounds left them outside the vital top 24.



 

Smolders Does the Double

Smolders Does the Double - A Win For Qatar At LGCT Doha

Harrie Smolders became the first rider to do the double of the overall LGCT title and that of the Global Champions League when he and partner Eric Lamaze snatched victory from the defending title holders, Valkenswaard United.

Eric Lamaze, riding with a rib injury, added: “I was honoured in Florida when Axel Verlooy asked me to join the Hamburg Diamonds.” Reflecting on the season he said: “It was magical. I knew I wanted to take this seriously and try to bring my best horses to every event."
 
Hamburg Diamonds’ other key players this season have been John Whitaker, Audrey Coulter, Jos Verlooy and Piergiorgio Bucci who joined the team during the transfer period before Rome.
 
Valkenswaard United, who took the title in the inaugural GCL last year, were represented by Bertram Allen with Molly Malone and Alberto Zorzi with 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.”
  

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