Four-in-hand Drivers in Fabulous Form for New FEI World Cup™ Driving Season

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Dutch driver Koos de Ronde was crowned FEI World Cup™ Driving champion 2013 for the first time in his career. © Rinaldo de Craen/FEI.
Dutch driver Koos de Ronde was crowned FEI World Cup™ Driving champion 2013 for the first time in his career. © Rinaldo de Craen/FEI.

The world’s best four-in-hand drivers are in the starting blocks for what should be a sensational 13th FEI World Cup™ Driving season beginning on 19 October in Hannover (GER).

Qualification
Following the exciting 2012-2013 indoor season which culminated in Koos de Ronde’s (NED) final victory, the drivers moved outdoors to qualify for the prestigious indoor series. The qualification period comprised 13 competitions organised throughout Europe and the 10 top drivers managed to secure a slot for the 2013-2014 indoor series. The 2013 German champion Christoph Sandmann decided not to take part this season as did the 10-time US national champion Chester Weber who was in 11th place on the qualification standings. These withdrawals have allowed Sandmann’s fellow countryman Daniel Schneiders to move up two places and qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Driving season.
 
Schneiders made his first World Cup appearance in 2012 in Hannover where he had been granted a wild card and felt hugely excited by the series unique atmosphere. He set himself the goal to qualify during the outdoor season and has managed to secure the much coveted starting ticket.
 
Top Drivers
This season’s field further includes double world and four-time FEI World Cup™ Driving champion Boyd Exell (AUS), individual and team gold medallist Theo Timmerman (NED) and his successful teammates Koos de Ronde and IJsbrand Chardon as well as the runner-up of the German Championships and European silver team medallist Michael Brauchle. Brauchle had previously competed on several occasions using wild cards, but this is his first season as a qualified driver. His teammate Georg von Stein, who was the best German driver at this year’s FEI European Driving Championships in Izsák (HUN) where he finished in fifth place, has qualified for the World Cup season for the third time.
 
Father and Son
For the first time this season a family will be part of the indoor series with father and son József Dobrovitz and József Dobrovitz jr. of Hungary battling it out for the champion’s title. Double world champion Tomas Eriksson (SWE) found a new sponsor after CAIO Aachen 2013, which resulted in an enormous improvement in his results. Eriksson won the last qualification competition in Donaueschingen (GER) thanks to which he earned just enough points to enter the Top Ten. Eriksson concluded his successful second half of the outdoor season by winning individual silver at the FEI European Championships at the end of September.
 
The Rules
The FEI World Cup™ Driving 2013/14 season is made up of nine competitions organised in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Great Britain, Belgium and France. Verona (ITA) will be part of the series for the first time.
 
Five drivers from the Top Ten will compete at each event and organisers may also give wild cards. The scores from the best four events count. The top six drivers will qualify for the Final, which will take place in Bordeaux (FRA) in February 2014 for the third consecutive time.
 
Competitors and calendar
 
Final World Cup qualification Standings:
Final World Cup qualification Standings:
1 Boyd Exell AUS 85
2 Theo Timmerman NED 74
3 Koos de Ronde NED 72
4 IJsbrand Chardon  NED 71
5 Michael Brauchle  GER 69
6 József Dobrovitz Jr. HUN 64
7 Christoph Sandmann  GER 61
8 Georg von Stein GER 60
9 Tomas Eriksson SWE 58
   József Dobrovitz HUN 58
11 Chester Weber  USA 55
12 Daniel Schneiders GER  50

Hannover (GER), 17-20 October 2013
Boyd Exell (AUS)
Theo Timmerman (NED)
Koos de Ronde (NED)
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Michael Brauchle (GER)
 
Verona (ITA), 07-10 November 2013
Boyd Exell (AUS)
Michael Brauchle (GER)
Jozsef Dobrovitz jr., (HUN)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
Georg von Stein (GER)
Theo Timmerman (NED) (with wild card)
Carlo Mascheroni (ITA) (with wild card)
 
Stuttgart (GER), 13-17 November 2013
Jozsef Dobrovitz jr., (HUN)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
Georg von Stein (GER)
Daniel Schneiders (GER)
Boyd Exell (AUS)
Michael Brauchle (with wild card)
 
Stockholm (SWE), 29 Nov. -1 Dec. 2013
Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
Boyd Exell (AUS)
Koos de Ronde (NED)
Michael Brauchle (GER)
Georg von Stein (GER)
 
Budapest (HUN), 29 Nov. -1 Dec. 2013
Jozsef Dobrovitz jr. (HUN)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
Theo Timmerman (NED)
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Daniel Schneiders (GER)
 
Geneva (SUI), 12-15 December 2013
Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Boyd Exell (AUS)
Theo Timmerman (NED)
Koos de Ronde (NED)
 
London Olympia (GBR), 17-23 December 2013
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Theo Timmerman (NED)
Koos de Ronde (NED)
Daniel Schneiders (GER)
Michael Brauchle (GER)
 
Mechelen (BEL), 26-30 December 2013
Theo Timmerman (NED)
Jozsef Dobrovitz jr., (HUN)
Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN)
Georg von Stein (GER)
Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
 
Leipzig (GER), 16-19 January 2014
Tomas Eriksson (SWE)
Koos de Ronde (NED)
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
Michael Brauchle (GER)
Daniel Schneiders (GER)
 
Bordeaux (FRA) FINAL 8-10 February 2013




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