The FEI World Pair Driving Championship is approaching quickly and the whole region is getting ready for this important event. With 80 entries from 24 nations, the four days of competition, enriched by animations for the whole family will promise to be an unforgettable experience.
“It’s a true satisfaction to see that Picardy is intriguing, it even holds interest for great American drivers!” Allain Houard, the founder of the Ateliers du Val de Selle and in charge of the driving centre in Conty, is proud to organize and hold a competition of high international level in the small village. It is obvious that with the presence of 24 nations and at least 3 drivers per country, adding the technical staff that accompany the team, it’s a challenge to host about 200 people and 261 horses in such a small place.
It’s a record for this discipline, and there is a very interesting and wide range of participants including current world champions (the Netherlands) as well as more “exotic” candidates such as the Netherlands Antilles! Highly competitive drivers from the U.S.A and Canada will represent the North American continent, and Argentinean as well as Uruguayan drivers will come to the small village in Picardy all the way from South America. Central European countries will be strongly represented, including Hungary that is regarded as one of the favorites. For one week, Conty will be the centre of the driving world! Amongst the French participants, François Dutilloy and Stéphane Chouzenoux have a great chance in so far as they are on firm ground and can evolve at home.
The design of the courses was confided to the British course designer Barry Hunter. This will be his first world championship. The highlights of this course will evidently be the three passages through water that are typical of the Picardy competition and very spectacular, but that will also force the drivers to prove their agility.
This world championship is designed to be more than just an important sportive event: It’s supposed to be a festivity, with a parallel program to be discovered on the side. This festivity includes the whole region from Amiens (where a competition for drivers takes place on Tuesday) to all the villages surrounding Conty, each having adopted a nation it will receive on Wednesday evening.
Sport, solidarity, show and internationality: those are the ingredients for a spectacular week in Picardy, a week of celebration and happiness.