Fabian Gänshirt (GER), Anna Grayston (GBR) and Bram Chardon (NED) all took world championship crowns home from Breda (NED), which was host to the seventh edition of the FEI World Driving Championships for pony singles, pairs and four-in-hands this weekend. The Dutch team claimed the gold medal for the second consecutive time.
Bram Chardon (NED) left no room for his opponents in Breda, with the 22-year-old winning all three phases of the competition to claim his third consecutive individual gold medal. Chardon junior started well in the dressage despite the heavy footing. In the marathon he felt the breath of second placed Steffen Brauchle (GER) on his neck and decided to go for it: “I saw Brauchle in obstacle one, he took the short route and went so fast that I decided to go for it from the beginning”, Chardon said. “I had Aachen still fresh in my memory where my father IJsbrand lost it in the marathon to Steffen’s brother Michael and I didn’t want that to happen to me!”
After dressage and marathon, Chardon junior had an advantage of over 23 penalty points to Brauchle, so he could take it easy, but he proved his professionalism and finished the job by putting down the only double clear round of his class, driving the same grey Welsh ponies as when he won the title in Pau (FRA) in 2013.
Steffen Brauchle was the deserved silver medalist, finishing second in dressage and third in the marathon with his German riding ponies. The Belgian 21-year-old Nathan Nijs took the bronze medal after finishing second in the marathon, which he could have won but for a hiccup in the last obstacle. After dressage, in which he drove his home-produced carriage, and marathon, Nijs was in third place and held on despite two knockdowns and some time penalties.
Individual results Pony Four-in-hands
1. Bram Chardon (NED) 166.33
2. Steffen Brauchle (GER) 189.51
3. Nathan Nijs (BEL) 197.08
1. Netherlands 832.55
2. Germany 841.01
3. Great Britain 885.04