The world number one armband is now affixed to Harris Smolders’ huntcoat.
The Dutch Olympian has climbed to the top of the Longines World Ranking for the first time in his career, bumping Olympic silver medallist Kent Farrington (USA) to second after a year long reign atop the rankings.
Smolders, who turns 38 next week, has been closing in on the number one spot these past four months from second position.
Now with 3158 points, he’s shot well into the lead, sitting 245 points ahead of Farrington, who is recovering from a broken leg.
“This is a great moment, not only for me but for all the staff who have helped me achieve this,” said Smolders. “I am grateful to Eurohorse, Axel Verlooy and Copernicus LLC who have allowed me to focus purely on the sport for the last 10 months, and the results are there and the success is there.
“Who knows, this may also be really helpful if I ever need to apply for another job one day, but it does make for a really nice early birthday present.”
The achievement is the icing on the cake of an incredible year in 2017 that saw the Dutch rider take individual silver with Don VHP Z at the 2017 Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg, claim victory for his country at the 2017 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final in Barcelona (ESP), and make history with a double victory in the 2017 Longines Global Champions Tour and the 2017 Longines Global Champions League.
Smolders was also awarded the Rider of the Year in the Netherlands in 2017, another first in his career, for his accomplishments in a single season.
Kent Farrington (USA) now sits in second on 2913 points, followed by Peder Fredricson (SWE) who remains at number three on 2821 points.