Doha Finals this weekend for Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League
World-class CSI 5* Show Jumping action is underway in Doha, Qatar this weekend as the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour and Global Champions League Finals take place at the 980,000 m² horseshoe-shaped Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre.
While the Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders will be crowned 2017 LGCT Champion Saturday after capturing the title at the previous stage in Rome, there will be a showdown among his fellow elite riders (17 of the top 20-ranked riders in the global Longines Rankings are in town for the event) for second and third place in the overall series.
At this fifteenth and final stage of the Tour and parallel team-based Global Champions League, Smolders will thus be the first rider in the Tour’s history to wrap up the victory before the final stage had taken place. But the 37-year-old rider has not let up in the Middle East, taking second place in a 1.45 m class Friday.
With that lead, the Hamburg Diamonds just needed to finish in the top eight to claim the GCL title, according to organizers. But a difficult opening performance for Canada’s Lamaze on Uliano Vezzani’s course at Al Shaqab pushed them down the leaderboard heading into Saturday, with Smolders riding well yet again to salvage their chances. Everything remains up in the air for the podium as the 18 teams do battle down to the wire.