Double Gold for German Single Drivers
Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy - After a nerve-wracking obstacle driving competition at the FEI World Single Driving Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, Germany took home both individual and team gold. Thorsten Zarembowicz is the new World Champion. Poland’s Bartolomiej Kwiatek took the silver and Italy's Cristiano Cividini won the bronze medal.
Double Gold for German Single Drivers
World Championship course designer Christian Iseli is known for his challenging obstacle driving courses, and at Pratoni he built another selective course, sticking to his motto ‘Not easy, but Iseli!’ The course, which was underestimated by most of the drivers, consisted of many sharp turns and the tight time frame made it difficult, but neverthless do-able.
Nearly all 70 world-class drivers had knockdowns or time penalties until the number seven in the standings, the reigning Polish Champion Bartolomiej Kwiatek, entered the arena. He made the course look easy and set the only double clear round, driving his 9-year-old Silesian stallion Lokan. The competitors who started after him all had faults, so Kwiatek moved up to silver. The 37-year-old Cristiano Cividini was on silver before the start of the cones, but the horse trainer had two knockdowns and time penalties and took home the bronze medal instead.
Leader of the individual standings Thorsten Zarembowicz was last to go, and the excitement grew during his course drive as he knocked three balls down and exceeded the time allowed. Luckily, Zarembowicz’ advantage over Kwiatek was big enough to secure his individual and golden team medal. Switzerland won the silver team medal, the Austrian team won the bronze.
Thorsten Zarembowcz (GER): “I came to this World Championship without any expectations. My team member Mareike Harm owns the horse I am competing with and the mare is only 8 years old. I have been working at the Driving Stable of World four-in-hand Champion Michael Freund and his brother Fred for the past ten years. From November 1st, Freund will reduce his stable and I will be self-employed. To win the gold medal is a fantastic boost at the right time for me. The secret of the successes of our stable is that we train every horse each day, no matter what the weather conditions are.”
Bartolomiej Kwiatek (POL): “My victory in the obstacle driving competition was quite easy actually. I just sat on my carriage and took the reins in my hand, Lokan did the rest. I had showed him the course plan in the stable and I think this has worked!”
Cristiano Cividini (ITA): “I am the happiest Italian driver on these show grounds! I was under a lot of pressure and I see my bronze medal as a victory for the complete Italian driving sport. I hope my performance will give the driving sport in Italy the impulse it deserves. My horse Tango is only eight years old so I hope to be successful with him again in the future.”
Final individual standings:
Thorsten Zarembowicz (GER) 119,05
Bartolomiej Kwiatek (POL) 122,68
Cristiano Cividini (ITA) 126,16
Michael Barbey (SUI) 128,06
Henrik Hoper Nielsen (DEN) 128,53
Christoph Dieker (GER) 131,42
Isidor Weber (AUT) 131,49
Rudolf Pirhofer (AUT) 132,66
Eric Renaud (SUI) 133,49
Anne-Violaine Brisou (FRA) 135,44
Final Nations Cup standings:
Results obstacle driving competition:
Bartolomiej Kwiatek (POL) 0
Eric Renaud (SUI) 2,68
Detlef Bohlmann (GER) 3,00
Kimberley Stover (USA) 3,00
Thomas Sjoberg (SWE) 3,00
Ian Bertram (GBR) 3,00
Franz Schiltz (LUX) 3,00
Weronika Kwiatek (POL) 3,00
Isidor Weber (AUT) 3,39
Leonhard Risch (SUI) 3,56
Photo caption: From left to right: Bartolomiej Kwiatek (POL)-Silver, Thorsten Zarembowicz (GER)- Gold and Cristiano Cividini (ITA) – Bronze. (c) Hippoevent