Ijsbrand Chardon Back in the Driving Seat at Olympia

Ijsbrand Chardon

Ijsbrand Chardon (NED) (Photo: Kit Houghton/Hpower)

Dutch carriage-driver Ijsbrand Chardon stood up in his carriage and waved to a madly cheering audience at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, after winning the FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell.

Ijsbrand had achieved the seemingly impossible in overhauling the hitherto unbeatable world number one Boyd Exell, who was competing on a wild card at Olympia, and is now guaranteed a place in the final in Bordeaux, France, in February.

Koos de Ronde, also from the Netherlands, finished third, despite a tip-up after crossing the finish line in the final round. His horses, however, were none the worse for the spill and were able to perform in the traditionally rousing prize-giving ceremony.

Showing the camaraderie for which the sport is renowned, all the other drivers rushed to help. Boyd commented: ‘No one likes accidents to happen but it is good for spectators to see how difficult our sport is.’

He added sportingly: ‘It is good for the sport for someone else to win – this certainly won’t ruin my Christmas!’

Ijsbrand’s victory was all the more remarkable because he had to switch his usual lead horse, Aladin, due to the horse having a cough. Instead, he drove the more experienced but harder to manage Lipizzaner Inci.

‘The feeling was just great,’ said a visibly elated Ijsbrand, a man who has dominated the sport of carriage-driving for three decades. ‘I know that Inci has to grow in competition, he just needs a bit of time. My horses felt super and I haven’t knocked any balls down for three days, which is brilliant.’

The British representative Daniel Naprous, whose ‘day job’ is as a stuntman on the film Wonder Woman, put up a good performance with his team of Lipizzaner horses. He was disappointed to finish last, but acknowledged that the overseas drivers are very hard to beat.

Results

For more information visit www.olympiahorseshow.com




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