Aachen (GER)- The Dutch drivers put down very strong performances in the first phase of the European Driving Championships for four-in-hand, the dressage. Four times World Champion IJsbrand Chardon put down the winning score of 37.81 this morning. He is followed by the reigning European Champion Theo Timmerman, who left the arena with a respectable score of 39.88.
Spanish driver Juan Antonio Real Garcia drove a very nice test this morning and was awarded with 44.07, which put him in third place. Real Garcia is trained by triple World Champion Boyd Exell from Australia and he used two horses of Boyd’s winning team at the 2014 WEG in Normandy in his team today. The horses are owned by Real Garcia’s employer Ernesto Colman Mena (URU). Third Dutch driver in Aachen Koos de Ronde finished fourth with 45.13. The Orange drivers have taken the lead in the nations standings with 77.69, followed by Hungary (95.80) and Belgium (97.69).
IJsbrand Chardon was second to go this morning and the 26 times Dutch Champion put down the winning test, despite a small mistake in the second walk when his right leader horse trotted: “I am very pleased with my performance, apart from the walk. The horses formed a nice team together and my wheeler horses were very good today. If the walk had gone well as well, this would have been my best test of the season,” explains Chardon.
The European Championships will continue with the second phase on Friday when the drivers will enter the Driving Stadium again, this time for the cones competition. The drivers will start in reverse order of the dressage results, with Chardon going in last. The marathon on Saturday with eight challenging obstacles will be the final and decisive competition. The last obstacle is situated in the impressive main stadium in Aachen.
The starting order for the marathon is the reverse order of the standings after dressage and cones.
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