Eleventh Season of the FEI World Cup™ Driving Attracts World Class Field

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After an exciting outdoor season with the FEI Open European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand in Breda (NED) as its highlight, the sport of four-in-hand Driving moves indoors for the 11th season of the FEI World Cup™ Driving.  Ten top class drivers will battle it out for the ultimate title of FEI World Cup™ Driving champion. Germany, who was absent from the series for the past two seasons, is making a significant comeback and will now be represented by two drivers, Rainer Duen and Georg von Stein.

New Comer
The qualification season consisted of 14 competitions held throughout Europe with the top 10 drivers qualifying for the 2011-2012 season. Amongst these, there is one new comer: Georg von Stein from Germany. Von Stein competed as a wild card in the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final 2011 in Leipzig where he finished sixth.

Von Stein’s compatriot Rainer Duen joined the FEI World Cup™ Driving at the last minute after Chester Weber (USA) who was in second place on the outdoor season standings, decided not to compete. Duen competed in the 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 seasons and is looking forward the new challenge.

Three-time FEI World Cup™ Driving champion Boyd Exell of Australia will aim for his fourth title this season but can expect strong competition from the runners up in the 2010/2011 Final Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN) and IJsbrand Chardon (NED) as well as from Koos de Ronde (NED), Zoltan Lazar (HUN), Werner Ulrich (SUI), Theo Timmerman (NED), and Tomas Eriksson (SWE) all of whom have competed series before.

FEI World Cup™ Driving 2011-2012
The 11th season of the FEI World Cup™ Driving series is made up of seven competitions in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary and Belgium. Five drivers from the 10 qualified for the season will compete at each event; organisers may give wild cards. Wild card drivers cannot earn World Cup points.

The Rules
The season consist of seven qualifiers (CAI-Ws) and a Final.
Ten four-in-hand drivers have qualified for the 11th season of the FEI World Cup™ Driving 2011-2012.
The top five drivers will compete in four events of which the best three results count.
The top six to ten drivers will compete in three events of which all results count.
Drivers earn points for their placing at each event.
The Final is open to the top six drivers of the standings after the seventh event (CAI-W Leipzig).
At each event, the Organiser may award one or two wild cards. However, the wild card(s) driver(s) cannot earn points counting towards the standings of the series.
Each FEI World Cup™ Driving qualifier consists of two competitions. The starting order in the first competition is decided by a draw. The starting order in the second competition – the FEI World Cup™ Driving - is in reverse order of merit from the first competition.
The FEI World Cup™ Driving courses consist of marathon type obstacles, a bridge, and eight to 12 cone-type obstacles. The course must be driven in the correct order and as fast as possible. Every knock down (ball or element) will cause five penalty seconds to be added to the time of the competitor.

New Format for the Final
In the Final, the starting order for Competition 1 is in reverse order of the standings after Phase 1. Fifty percent (50%) of the score from Competition 1 (converted into seconds) will be carried forward by the driver into Competition 2. Scores from Competition 2 will be carried forward by the qualified drivers into the drive off.

The complete rules for the FEI World Cup™ Driving 2011/2012 are available at this LINK.

FEI World Cup™ Driving 2011-2012: final qualification standings
1       Boyd Exell                           AUS     90
2       Chester Weber                     USA     80
3       Ijsbrand Chardon                 NED     78
4       Koos de Ronde                     NED     68
5       Jozsef Dobrovitz                  HUN     66
5       Zoltan Lazar                        HUN     66
7       Werner Ulrich                      SUI      58
8       Theo Timmerman                 NED     55
9       Tomas Eriksson                    SWE    53
10     Georg von Stein                   GER     50
11     Rainer Duen                        GER     49

Calendar and participation:
Hannover (GER) 20-23 October 2011:
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
Rainer Duen (GER)
Koos de Ronde (NED)

Stuttgart (GER) 16-21 November 2011:
Koos de Ronde (NED)
Zoltan Lazar (HUN)
Theo Timmerman (NED)
Georg von Stein (GER)
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)

Stockholm (SWE) 25-27 November 2011:
Boyd Exell (AUS)
Werner Ulrich (SUI)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Rainer Duen (GER)

Budapest (HUN) 2-4 December 2011:
Boyd Exell (AUS)
Werner Ulrich (SUI)
Koos de Ronde (NED)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
Zoltan Lazar (HUN)

Geneva (SUI) 8-11 December 2011:
Koos de Ronde (NED)
Zoltan Lazar (HUN)
Werner Ulrich (SUI)
Theo Timmerman (NED)
Boyd Exell (AUS)

Mechelen (BEL) 26-30 December 2011:
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
Georg von Stein (GER)
Boyd Exell (AUS)

Leipizg (GER) 19-22 January 2012:
Zoltan Lazar (HUN)
Theo Timmerman (NED)
Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
Georg von Stein (GER)
Rainer Duen (GER)

Photo caption: FEI World Cup™ Driving title holder Boyd Exell of Australia © Kit Houghton




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