After a competition full of surprises and unexpected incidents, it was home driver Thibault Coudry who claimed first prize in the last FEI World Cup™ Competition in Bordeaux, France. Sweden’s Tomas Eriksson and Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich miraculously finished second with the exact same score. Favourite drivers IJsbrand Chardon and second wild card driver Daniel Würgler had to deal with the combination of bad luck and too much pressure, and ended at the bottom of the results list.
The World Cup™ Competition in Bordeaux was full of surprises. Leipzig winner Daniel Würgler had received the second wild card at the very last moment after Czech driver Jiri Nesvacil had pulled back because of health problems.
Würgler was second to last to go in the first round, which was led by Thibault Coudry until that moment. Würgler however had made some changes to the bridles of his horses in the warm up arena and he afterwards admitted he should not have done so. His horses that went so well in Leipzig now went everywhere except the right way, which caused three balls to fall, and which took the sympathetic professional carriage driver to the fifth place. Last starter IJsbrand Chardon had every chance to win, but this was soon disturbed when his left wheeler horses jumped over the lead bars. Both grooms had to dismount to assist resulting in 20 penalty seconds. Even though Chardon was quickly back into his speed and rhythm in the fast course, designed by French course designer Alain Houard, he was not able to make up for his bad luck and came last.
After a somewhat disappointing first round in which both Ulrich and Eriksson, who had to compete with a spare horse after his experienced horse Dennis had not passed the vet check, knocked two balls down, both drivers were unexpectedly qualified for the winning round. Ulrich’s team of Swiss warm blood horses knocked one ball down, which allowed Eriksson and advantage of 16 seconds. The double World Champion however got precious penalty seconds after he knocked an obstacle over that he had not passed yet. Both drivers finished with a score of 269,20 penalty seconds and shared the second place. Last starter Thibault Coudry drove a fast round with his outdoor team of horses, cheered by the enthusiastic public and motivated by the music. Coudry kept the tension until the very last moment as he knocked an obstacle over on his way to the finish. Luckily this did not endanger his victory, as he remained 7 seconds ahead of Ulrich and Eriksson.
Bordeaux Back On The Calendar
It was the first time since 2003 that the Jumping International de Bordeaux was back on the FEI World Cup™ Driving calendar. Bordeaux was part of the first series in 2001/2002 and the second season 2002/2003. Michael Freund then won both competitions. The organiser of the wonderful event in the Parc des Expositions in Bordeaux Lac was very pleased with the enthusiastic and positive reactions of the spectators, who very much enjoyed the driving sport in Bordeaux and who ensured Bordeaux’s return on the calendar of the 2010/2011 series.
The finalists for the Final in Geneva on 16 and 17 April, which takes place at the same time as the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, are Boyd Exell from Australia, Koos de Ronde and IJsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands, Tomas Eriksson from Sweden and Daniel Würgler and Werner Ulrich from Switzerland. In the Final, the drivers start from scratch.
Thibault Coudry (Fra): “I normally do not compete in indoor competitions, so I used the horses I normally drive outdoor shows with. I just missed the qualification for the Indoor World Cup this season and I will for sure try to be part of it next season!”
“My horses went better than on the first night, they progressed more and more during the World Cup round. My goal was to finish in the top three and to put pressure on IIsbrand Chardon.”
Werner Ulrich (Sui): “My first round did not go so well, I took too much risk and made two mistakes. I am very pleased with my result in the winning round and I very happy that Bordeaux is back in the FEI World Cup.
Tomas Eriksson (Swe): “We have not seen the best sport here in Bordeaux, the level was not as high as usual. The course was quite fast so I had to take more risks. We all had a disadvantage because the course was not the same both nights; the gates were not put on exactly the same spot. I also had a small disadvantage because I had to use my spare horse. He is good, but not as good as Dennis. I hope to be able to use him again in the Final in Geneva.”
Results CAI-W Bordeaux:
- 1. Thibault Coudry (Fra) 262,65 wild card
- 2. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 269,20
- 2. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 269,20
- 4. Theo Timmerman (Ned) 147,48
- 5. Daniel Würgler (Sui) 153,58 wild card
- 6. IJsbrand Chardon (Ned) 157,43
Classification after 7 of 7 events – *=Qualified for the Final:
- 1 Boyd EXELL* AUS 30
- 2 Koos DE RONDE* NED 24
- 3 Tomas ERIKSSON* SWE 23,5
- 4 Werner ULRICH* SUI 20,5
- 5 Daniel WURGLER* SUI 18
- 6 IJsbrand CHARDON* NED 15
- 7 Jozsef DOBROVITZ HUN 12
- 8 Christoph SANDMANN GER 10
- 9 Theo TIMMERMAN NED 9
- 10 Jiri Nesvacil CZE 5
The FEI World Cup™Driving Final takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, together with the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final from 16 to 18 April 2010. Press Officer is Corinne Druey, phone 41 21 312 82 22, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.concours-hippique.ch
More information: www.feiworldcup.org
Photo caption: Thibault Coudry (FRA) winner of the FEI World Cup Driving competition in Bordeaux (FRA). Additional photographs in high resolution are available from the FEI online Photo Catalogue. Please note that these pictures are strictly for editorial use. (c) Rinaldo de Craen.