Harrie Smolders’ Don VHP Z (by Diamant de Semilly) said goodbye to the sport at CSI Valkenswaard (NED). The stallion who brought Smolders a silver medal at the European Championships in Gothenburg and a Dutch team gold medal at the Nations Cup final in 2017 received a special farewell ceremony on Saturday 12 September, giving Don the farewell on the stage of a 5* competition that he deserves. 2017 was an especially successful year for the stallion and Smolders: in that year he jumped 85% (!!) of his 1.60m classes clear, became second at the European championships, contributed greatly to the victory in the Nations Cup final in Barcelona with two clear rounds, recorded two second places in the Longines Global Champions Tour (Hamburg and Rome) and a third place in Paris. In 2018 he won in the LGCT (Hamburg) and in 2019 in the Grand Prix of Knokke. Smolders took over the reins of Don in 2015. The stallion excelled in his consistency, resulting in an unlikely number of clear rounds. “It really is a horse you can rely on,” Harrie Smolders once described in an interview.
Photo by Hippo Foto