Articles: Press Release
Netherlands’ Smolders Scores a Double Dutch Treat at the Washington
International Horse Show
PHOTO CREDIT: Harrie
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561)
753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. – October 28, 2005 – Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands hit
the big time twice on his first trip to the Washington International Horse
Show, taking both the $25,000 Accumulator class on Friday afternoon and then
topping the huge wall at 7’4” to win the $25,000 AOL.com Puissance on Friday
A crowd of over 9,500 excited fans watched as nine challengers negotiated
the first round of competition in the Puissance. The class is scored under
FEI Art. 262.2.
The field was reduced by one when Kim Farlinger of Canada and Laforza bowed
out in the first round, failing to clear the wall at 5’11”.
In the first jump-off, with the big wall now set at 6’5 ˝” (1.96m), the
field was further reduced by three as Kelly Small and Black Ice, McLain Ward
with Santa Monica Millenium and defending champion Mark Leone and Diamond
Safari all failed to clear the top of wall.
Five competitors then advanced to the second jump-off, and all five failed
when the wall was raised to 6’11 ˝” (2.11m). Jimmy Torano and Ruco-Line
Van’t Paradys elected to withdraw after a refusal.
When the decision was made to try again, all but Todd Minikus and Game Boy
elected to give it a second try at the same height. Harrie Smolders on
Verelst Quebec, Secret Love and Aaron Vale and Nick Skelton on Russel all
returned, and this time all of them cleared the wall at 6’11 ˝” with ease,
setting up a fourth and final jump-off.
With the wall now set at a staggering 7’4” (2.22m) and the crowd in a
frenzy, Harrie Smolders and Verelst Quebec returned to the ring first. With
ease the duo sailed over the giant wall, and the crowd erupted in a
cacophony of noise, the likes of which the MCI Center had not seen in years.
Following Smolders, Vale and Skelton both just rubbed the blocks off at the
maximum height, sealing the win for the young Dutchman.
“It was amazing,” said Smolders jubilantly. “I went in the class with the
idea of only going two rounds. I’ve only had the horse two weeks, but he
kept going better and better. And then, what a great finish. He jumped the
wall really well,” he said. “He was confident and he gave me a good feeling.
Then the crowd got into it and they were super. It was great sport for
everybody, especially the big crowd and for the sponsor,” he said.
“I didn’t know what to expect, so I expected nothing, and I got everything,”
said a beaming Smolders. “That’s how it goes in this sport sometime.”
Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders and Verelst Quebec Accumulates Washington
Washington, D.C. – October 28, 2005 – On his first trip to the Washington
International Horse Show, Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands also paid a
visit to the winners circle as he scored the top prize in the $20,000
International-Open Accumulator class on Friday evening. The Washington
International Horse Show runs through Sunday at the MCI Center in
The Accumulator class, a competition that takes place against the clock over
ten obstacles of increasing difficulty is scored under FEI Article 269. The
course was designed by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Florida.
Michael Walton and La Rocca took the early lead, riding out of the third
spot in the jumping order. Walton tallied the maximum of 65 points and
crossed the finish line in 52.42 seconds. Walton’s lead lasted through the
next five competitors. Kim Farlinger from Canada and her mount Laforza
grabbed the top spot by scoring the same 65 points but sped through the
timers in 47.05 seconds, with a margin of 5.37 seconds. Farlinger hadn’t
caught her breath before she had lost the lead.
Harrie Smolders of the Netherlands aboard Verelst Quebec scored 65 points
and put up 46.10 seconds, the top time of the night.
“I had a chance to watch a couple go. I was sixteenth in the order,” said
Smolders. “I felt that none of them went really, really fast, so I didn’t
have to take any risks for the victory.”
Smolders and his mount have only been together for weeks. “He’s a twelve
year old that I’ve had for just twelve days now. I rode him in England last
weekend, and we shipped him to the United States,” he said.
Does he like Washington, D.C.? “It’s a beautiful city and I’m thrilled to be
here. I’ve had a chance to compete in Florida in the winter time, but never
on the American indoor circuit. This arena is beautiful and the crowds at
night are so energetic. It’s a lot of fun. Especially when you win,” he
added with a laugh.
Results of Class 214 -$20000 International-Open Accumulator -Art 269-2005
Washington International Horse Show-October 25-30 2005
1-710-Harrie Smolders –NED-VERELST QUEBEC 65 /46.10
2-393-Kim Farlinger –CAN-LAFORZA 65 /47.05
3-137-Michael Walton –USA-LA ROCCO 65 /52.42
4-708-Gerco Schroder –NED-EUROCOMMERCE MILANO 64 /67.30
5-481-Kent Farrington –USA-NEO 61 /60.80
6-698-Candice S. King –USA-PERFEKT 59 /51.13
7-701-Philippe Rozier –FRA-IDEAL DE PRISSEY 58 /61.11
8-620-Eliza Shuford –USA-GUSTEL II 57 /49.65
9-635-Lauren Hough –USA-OTTALINE 56 /47.99
10-384-Molly Ashe –USA-CONCERTO 56 /48.62
11-396-Kelley Small –CAN-BLACK ICE 56 /50.19
12-317-Mary Lisa Leffler –USA-KARTOUSCH 48 /48.98