Bram Chardon and the Winning World Cup Team Put on a Show In Samorin
Sunday, July 28, 2019
The overwhelming success of the FEI World Cup Driving series reaching a high point in 2019, keeping spectators in the stands late into the night throughout the Equestrian Indoor circuit. Successful businessman and endurance enthusiast Mario Hoffmann took notice and created the first X-Bionic® Sphere Driving Summer Tour, a part of the first Driving competition in Samorin, Slovakia. The Olympic Sports Centre in Samorin has been built the highest of standards, in full compliance with FEI rules and regulations. It was Hoffmann’s personal passion to introduce driving to the venue known for world class show jumping. Creating the X-Bionic Driving Tour was a way to test the waters for future combined driving sport in Samorin, and was a huge success.
The complex includes 680 permanent stables, with multiple arenas and a 1.6-km galloping track. Eight oversized indoor and outdoor arenas equipped with both sand and grass footing complete the “Eldorado” of equestrian sports. Located on the scenic Vodne dielo Gabcikovo, the facility also features a spa, water park, and large hotel. Already established as one of the "go to" events for world class show jumpers, it was Hoffmann's vision to add the spectator friendly indoor format for World Cup Driving.
The world’s top four in hand drivers were invited to Samorin, for the inaugural event which featured a total of 15,000 EU in prize money. The current indoor FEI World Cup Champion Bram Chardon, made the 800 mile trip from the Netherlands with 6 horses. It was not the showdown with Boyd Exell and World Cup Sliver Medalist Koos De Ronde, and his father Ijsbrand, who opted not to make the trip. But Chardon did have World Cup Bronze Medal winner Glen Geerts, USA’s Chester Weber , Josef Jr Dobrovitz , George Von Stein, and Josef Dobrovitz Sr to contend with.
Chardon was looking for a good week after a disappointing marathon result at Aachen with his outdoor team. Chardon selected to withdraw at Aachen at obstacle two in the marathon after a slip by one of the leaders caused a pile up with the wheelers. The young Chardon was aiming for redemption at Samorin, and looked forward to putting on a show. His team of Lipizzaners along with his father’s KWPN paint gelding were flawless as they negotiated the Farrier’s Arena in all four rounds of the competition leading by 13.95 seconds in the first day of competition, and 17.34 seconds on the final day.