IJsbrand Chardon (NED) won the first FEI World Cup™ Driving competition of the season held in Hannover, Germany, this weekend. His compatriot Koos de Ronde finished second, ahead of Tomas Eriksson (SWE) who was struck by fate in the winning round.
Second starter in the winning round Tomas Eriksson was well on his way to putting Chardon under serious pressure, driving his team of Swedish warm blood horses very fast, when fate struck. In the corner just before the last gate, Tomas’s left leader horse slipped and fell down. His right leader horse and his left wheeler horse also fell down which forced Tomas to stop. With the very fast help from his fellow competitors and his grooms, Tomas’s horses got back up and were lead out of the arena without major injuries.
Chardon knew he had an advantage of nearly 10 seconds over Koos de Ronde when he entered the arena. The four-time world champion drove a fast but safe round and secured his first victory of the season despite one knock down. Chardon is competing with his team of Lipizzaner horses for the third season and feels they are getting better at every competition.
Change of Horse
Koos de Ronde used one of his outdoor horses on his indoor team today. Koos normally competes with three coloured geldings from his father’s four-in-hand team, but due to an injury, he had to make a change. After an average performance in the warm-up competition on Saturday night, Koos knew what improvements were needed and drove his four-in-hands at his usual high speed through the course, designed by Germany’s Dr. Wolfgang Asendorf.
Triple FEI World Cup™ Driving champion Boyd Exell (AUS) finished in an unusual fourth place. Exell tested a new leader horse in the warm-up competition but drove his experienced team in today’s World Cup. He made a mistake in the second marathon obstacle and lost contact with his leader horses. This caused a domino effect which lead to additional mistakes. Exell still set a very fast time but since he was competing as a wild card in Hannover, he could not win FEI World Cup™ Driving points.
Lack of Routine
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN) also had a contact problem with his leader horses, which resulted in three knockdowns. Dobrovitz finished fifth ahead of Rainer Duen (GER). Duen, who had competed in the 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 World Cup seasons, admitted his outdoor team of horses lacked indoor routine. His horses have to get accustomed to the indoor rhythm and Duen hopes they will be getting better throughout the season.
In comparison to previous FEI World Cup™ Driving competitions in Hannover, Asendorf had designed a less speedy and more technical course for the warn-up competition which, in the end, was less spectacular to watch. Asendorf decided to make some changes for the World Cup competition, which was much appreciated by both the competitors and the audience. The course was faster but still remained very technical.
IJsbrand Chardon (NED): “My son Bram was watching Tomas’s round and told me he went very fast. I was preparing myself for a very fast round because I really wanted to win. When I heard of the incident with Tomas, I changed my mind and decided to go fast, but safe. I enjoy winning, but I would have enjoyed it more if Tomas could have completed his round without the incident.”
Koos de Ronde (NED): “I learnt a lot from the warm-up competition on the first day. I knew what I had to work on and it went well in the World Cup competition. I hope to have the coloured gelding back on my team in Stuttgart because I prefer to spare my outdoor horse for the outdoor season.”
Tomas Eriksson (SWE): “I had a very good feeling about my team, I did a very fast first round. In the winning round, I tried to put the pressure on IJsbrand and I think I would have succeeded if the incident had not happened. My horses all look well at the moment and I hope they will be ok in the next days.”
Results CAI-W Hannover 2011:
1. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 237,73 (5)
2. Koos de Ronde (NED) 246,45 (10)
3. Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
4. Boyd Exell (AUS) 120,63 (5)
5. Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN) 137,16 (15)
6. Rainer Duen (GER) 137,16 (15)
Official results: warm-up competition / World Cup competition
Standings after 1 of 7 events:
1. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 10
2. Koos de Ronde (NED) 7
3. Tomas Eriksson (SWE) 5
4. Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN) 3
5. Rainer Duen (GER) 2
The 2011/2012 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday, 19 November. For information on the next leg go to www.stuttgart-german-masters.de or contact Press Officer Hartmut Binder, Email email@example.com, mobile +49 172 972 2848.
Photo Caption: IJsbrand Chardon (NED), winner of the first FEI Word Cup™ Driving 2011/2012 qualifier held in Hannover (GER) this weekend. © Rinaldo de Craen/FEI