Dutch driver IJsbrand Chardon won last night's FEI World Cup qualifier in Bordeaux in breath taking style. Wild card driver Chardon stayed ahead of Tomas Eriksson in second guaranteeing the Swede the sixth and last starting place for the Final in Leipzig. Werner Ulrich knocked two balls down in the winning round to finish third.
The atmosphere was superb on Saturday evening in the Palais des Expositions in Bordeaux. The drivers put on a perfect show, cheered on by the many enthusiastic spectators and the great music.
Second Wild Card for Coudry
As in Geneva, French four-in-hand driver Thibault Coudry had been given a wild card to compete in front of his home crowd in Bordeaux. The 30-year old farmer and truck driver drove a good round with his team of Polish warmblood horses and a French trotter. But the competition in Bordeaux was too strong this year for the 2010 winner of the French World Cup leg who ended in fourth.
Battle for Leipzig
Dutch driver Theo Timmerman, Sweden’s Fredrik Persson and Tomas Eriksson and Switzerland’s Daniel Würgler all had a last chance in Bordeaux to claim the sixth and last starting place for the Final in Leipzig. Würgler knocked three cones down in the course, designed by German course designer Falk Böhnisch, to lose his chance for Leipzig. Despite the use of one of Boyd Exell’s top horses Pascal in he lead of his team, Fredrik Persson could not manage to qualify for the Winning Round. By coming sixth, Persson also knew his chances for a starting place in the Leipzig line-up were gone. Timmerman had improved his team compared to the warm-up round, but he finished fifth despite his efforts.
Handball and Horses
Winner of the Warm-Up round Werner Ulrich qualified his team of Swiss warmblood horses and a Lipizzaner for the Winning Round, together with Chardon and Eriksson, who then was already certain of his ticket for the Final. After Ulrich had left the arena with two knockdowns and an easy-to- beat time, he left the door open for his opponents. Tomas Eriksson and his team stole the show by wearing blue hats with yellow wigs, which were very popular last week at the World Handball Championships in Sweden. Eriksson flew through the course and set a very fast time despite knocking down a ball. So it was all in the hands of IJsbrand Chardon with his Lipizzaner team, which he has been competing with since November 2009. Chardon knew he had to start off even faster but he knocked a cone down by taking a turn too sharply. That meant the four times World Champion had to go for it even more and he crossed the finish line after a breath taking round two seconds faster than Eriksson. That time allowed Chardon to claim the first FEI World Cup win of his career with his Lipizzaner team.
IJsbrand Chardon (NED): “I went for it all the way and it became one of my best rounds ever. My team went very well, I was able to do everything with them. They are completely fine-tuned with me now. By winning the first round I put the pressure on Eriksson, who is a dangerous opponent for me. I am extremely happy that I have shown that this team of horses is a true ‘winning team’!”
Tomas Eriksson (SWE): “I wanted to go fast but not go too crazy because I wanted to go to the Final. I really enjoyed driving this course; it was technical and speedy, which suited me. I am very happy to be able to start in Leipzig. I have won in Stockholm and I came third in Geneva so I think I have proved that I belong to the top.”
Werner Ulrich (SUI): “I am very pleased with my horses. On the first night I have taken the longer route in the course, on the World Cup night I drove a shorter way and I had the same time. I know I must try to go faster, so I know what I have to work on at home!”
Results CAI-W Bordeaux 2011:
1. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 199,61 wild card
2. Tomas Eriksson (SWE) 201,17
3. Werner Ulrich (SUI) 225,16
4. Thibault Coudry (FRA) 110,11 wild card
5. Theo Timmerman (NED) 116,73
6. Fredrik Persson (SWE) 117,45
7. Daniel Würgler (SUI) 126,22
Standings after 7 of 7 events & qualified for the Final in Leipzig from 29 April – 1 May 2011:
1 Boyd EXELL AUS 27
2 Koos DE RONDE NED 25
3 Jozsef DOBROVITZ HUN 24
4 Werner ULRICH SUI 22
5 IJsbrand CHARDON NED 21
6 Tomas ERIKSSON SWE 17
Not qualified for the Final:
7 Zoltan LAZAR HUN 9
Daniel WÜRGLER SUI 9
Fredrik PERSSON SWE 9
Theo TIMMERMAN NED 9
The 2010/2011 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to the Final in Leipzig from 29 April – 1 May 2011. For information on the Final go to www.partner-pferd.de or contact Press Officer Andreas Kerstan, phone +49 4307 827970, e-mail: email@example.com More information: www.feiworldcup.org
FEI World Cup™ DRIVING 2010/2011 CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
1. Hannover (Ger) 28-31 October 2010
2. Stuttgart (Ger) 17-21 November 2010
3. Stockholm (Swe) 26-28 November 2010
4. Budapest (Hun) 3-5 December 2010
5. Geneva (Sui) 9-12 December 2010
6. Mechelen (Bel) 26-30 December 2010
7. Bordeaux (Fra) 4-6 February 2011
8. FINAL Leipzig (Ger) 27 April – 1 May 2011
FEI World Cup™ Driving has entered its 10th season. The series, created in 2001, today comprises seven leagues. The best six drivers from seven preliminary competitions will qualify for the final in Leipzig, Germany which takes place from 27 April-1 May 2011.
Photo Caption: Chardon went for it all the way in Bordeaux. Photo: FEI/Rinaldo de Craen