The stands in the Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart were filled with enthusiastic spectators as the 16th FEI World Cup™ Driving season got underway this evening. The organization and the drivers could not have wished for a better start as they witnessed a closing battle between reigning World Cup Champion IJsbrand Chardon and Boyd Exell, which Exell ultimately won. Theo Timmerman finished in third place.
Chardon had a new piebald horse in the lead of his team, who helped contribute two fast and clear rounds. Germany’s Dr. Wolfgang Asendorf had laid out a very challenging course, which was no problem for Exell who set the fastest times.
Exell had a knock down in the first round which unfortunately put him in second place going into the final round. All six drivers entered the arena again for the final round to drive a shortened course and they didn’t disappoint. The drivers once again treated the enthusiastic crowd to another round of exciting drives.
This time Boyd didn’t leave anything to chance and drove a clear and very fast time. Chardon was just not quite able to beat his time which meant that Boyd had clinched the victory with a little over a second advantage.
Theo Timmerman also had new leaders in his team in Stuttgart and he was happy with their performance. Finishing with the third best time in the final round, he moved up in the final results to claim third place overall.
Although Jérôme Voutaz had to walk the course on crutches, he showed great form from the driver’s seat. Voutaz finished in fourth place with his fast Freiberger horses. Wild card driver Georg von Stein finished in fifth place, ahead of his compatriot Rainer Duen.
The FEI World Cup™ Driving competition is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 13.50 hrs. in which the first World Cup points will be distributed.
1. Boyd Exell (AUS) 217,20
2. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 218,85
3. Theo Timmerman (NED) 248,31
4. Jérôme Voutaz (SUI) 253,43
5. Georg von Stein (GER) 265,70
6. Rainer Duen (GER) 279,33