Stockholm (SWE) - Triple FEI World Cup™ Driving Champion Boyd Exell (AUS) is the uncontested winner of the third FEI World Cup™ Driving competition of the season in Sweden’s capital Stockholm. Exell drove two fluent clear rounds and finished well ahead of wild card driver Tomas Eriksson (SWE) and IJsbrand Chardon (NED).
After two ‘practice competitions’ in Hannover and Stuttgart where he competed with a wild card, Boyd collected his first World Cup points of the season. He began using a new horse this season to replace some of the older horses on his four-in-hand team. After two competitions and some good advice from the previous owner Jozsef Dobrovitz, the eight-year-old trotter Bajnok is now a reliable member of Boyd’s team.
Boyd drove two impeccable rounds in the Globen Arena in Stockholm where the enthusiastic spectators contributed to a fantastic atmosphere. Sweden’s Dan Henriksson had challenged the drivers by designing a technical course with many different options. This resulted in a very exciting competition the highlight of which were the fireworks going off when the competitors crossed the finishing line on the bridge.
Boyd Exell was able to relax during the first round, knowing that Eriksson and Chardon had both knocked balls down. In the winning round, Boyd did not have to take any risks since both Eriksson and Chardon had again hit balls, which gave the Australian an advantage of nine seconds. The reigning World Champion knew what he had to do and drove another fast and clear round securing his first victory and full World Cup points of the season.
Going For a Hat-Trick
After his 2009 and 2010 FEI World Cup™ Driving victories on home ground in Stockholm, Tomas Eriksson was eager for a hat-trick in Stockholm. Tomas competed with the same team of horses as he did in Hannover where his horses fell down. All four have recovered from the accident without any problems. Despite the heavy footing, Tomas set a fast time in the winning round, but knocked two balls down and had to settle for second place.
Ijsbrand Chardon experiences a brief moment of miscommunication in the second marathon obstacle, which cost him precious seconds. Chardon pushed his team of Lipizzaner horses to the limit but could not prevent two balls from falling and came in third.
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN) put himself under pressure by knocking a ball down, but was well on his way to qualify for the winning round when he missed a short turn. The organiser of CAIO Vecsés (HUN) had to drive another route, which cost him time and a place in the winning round. Dobrovitz finished just beside outside of the podium in fourth place.
Rainer Duen (GER) changed a horse in his team after Hannover and drove a steady round in Stockholm. Unfortunately this was not sufficient to make it to the top three. Werner Ulrich (SUI) drove his first FEI World Cup™ Driving competition of the season, using three of his outdoor horses and his small and fast Lipizzaner indoor horse. Ulrich lost control in the last part of the course and went the wrong way. This correction cost him precious seconds and Ulrich finished in sixth place.
Boyd Exell (AUS): “The biggest hurdle of the season so far has been not to drive my most experienced horse Bill. I have tried different compositions of my team and I feel that I am on the right way now. This team goes just as fast as with Bill, so I am very happy. I don’t try to win, I try to drive my lines correct and when I am happy with the horses and the lines, I start looking at the results. That was the case in Stockholm. I had control and all I was doing was making sure that I had no balls down.”
Tomas Eriksson (SWE): “I tried too hard to win this time and I just had too many balls down. I tried to push my horses even harder in the winning round to put some pressure on Boyd but I did not succeed. I made it even easier for Boyd to win!”
IJsbrand Chardon (NED): “In the winning round my horses went much better than in the first round. I am pleased with how the horses went. It was amazing to see how fast everybody drives and it can no longer be taken for granted that you make it to the winning round. We have seen very good and exciting sport in Stockholm and I know what I have to work with my horses before my next competition.”
Results CAI-W Stockholm 2011:
Boyd Exell (AUS) 236,59 (0)
Tomas Eriksson (SWE) 251,35 (20)
IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 253,26 (15)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN) 127,49 (5)
Rainer Duen (GER) 138,84 (5)
Werner Ulrich (SUI) 139,37 (5)
Standings after 3 of 7 events:
1 IJsbrand CHARDON NED 24
2 Koos DE RONDE NED 17
3 Boyd EXELL AUS 10
4 Jozsef DOBROVITZ HUN 8
5 Tomas ERIKSSON SWE 5
5 Zoltan Lázár HUN 5
5 Rainer DUEN GER 5
8 Georg VON STEIN GER 3
9 Theo TIMMERMAN NED 2
9 Werner ULRICH SUI 2
The 2011/2012 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Budapest, Hungary on Sunday, 4 December. For information on the next leg go to http://www.lovasvilagkupa.hu/index.php?lang=en or contact Press Officer Csaba Peterfi, email@example.com, +36 203479443.
Photo Caption: Boyd Exell (AUS), winner of the third FEI World Cup™ Driving 2011/2012 qualifier held in Stockholm (SWE) this weekend. ©Anna Vähäkuopus/FEI