FEI World Cup TM Driving Qualifier in Vecsés (HUN)

Thursday, June 21, 2007
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Overall Winner Zoltán Lázár
 Béla Cziglányi Five Driving World Champions competed against each other in the FEI World CupTM Driving qualifier held at Vecsés (HUN) from 15 to 17 June.
The first day of the competition was a brilliant day for the Hungarian Dobrovitz not only thanks to the shining sun but also given the excellent performance of his team. He was in the lead after Dressage (41,09) followed by fellow Hungarian and 2004 World Champion Zoltán Lázár (44,42).
Eight-time Belgian champion and team bronze medallist at the 2004 World Championship Gert Schrivers participated for the first time in Vecsés and finished third slightly behind the two hungarian drivers (45,06). „Earlier I could beat Dobrovitz, I guess he trained well his horses in the winter. However, the third place is always good in Dressage and I’m satisfied with it,” he commented.
Fantastic fight for the victory could be seen ont he marathon day, too. Some teams failed the horse inspection or were eliminated at the course Swiss Ulrich Werner had to give up the battle very early on phase E. „One of the wheels in my marathon carriage was blocked after the third obstacle,” explained the overall winner of last year’s qualifier who was fourth after Dressage.
The remaining 17 teams demonstrated outstanding Driving. With 76,65, Thomas Erikkson won the phase. “The marathon is for sure my favorite part and my best discipline so I made a good marathon here, and I’ m happy for my first place. This is my first time in Vecsés, where you can find very nice obstacles in the marathon, they are quite technical, and are very fair to the horses,” declared the Swedish World Champion who had palced after Dressage.
Dobrovitz and his grey horses finished less than one point behind Erikkson (77,48). Though Lázár was the quickest in four out of the seven obstacles, he finished in third place (78,16) while Shrijvers ended sixth with his powerfull arab-friesian chestnut horses.
On Sunday, Ulrich Werner was the first to score a clear round among the cones and he was also the fastest. He was followed by two Hungarian drivers - Attila Bárdos who took part in the in the FEI World CupTM Driving series last season and Zoltán Lázár – who were also clear but went two seconds slower than the winning Swiss driver.
Another former hungarian participant in the winter FEI World CupTM Driving László Juhász became fourth while Shrijvers, who made a mistake in one obstacle and was six seconds slower, took the fifth place.
Erikkson was faultless but run out of the time. „My horses got a bit too strong today in the lines so when I let them go fast I had problems stopping them. So, I couldn’t really go fast and I made a mistake and lost some time especially at the beginnigng of the course. Therefore, I’m happy to finish with only three penalty points. Despite all my faults I’m very happy,” the Swedish champion said who also celebrated his 45th birthday with his overall third place.
Dobrovitz was not lucky on Sunday having three balls down in the course of 20 obstacles. It seemed as if he could make the whole course in galop withouth any fault but it was so only till obstacle 13. “I had collection problems with my front horses. They simply cannot communicate with each other. Nevertheless, one of my horses in the back raw didn’t want to go. So, when I tried to drive the front horses between the balls I couldn’t manage the back ones and vica versa. This resulted in my faults in the two following obstacles, too. I won the cones driving in the Netherlands three weeks ago with another horse in the front so I think I have to take it back in to the team for cones driving while leave this one only for the marathon where he is excellent…” – concluded Dobrovitz finishing second overall.
The overall winner of the FEI World CupTM Driving qualifier was Zoltán Lázár coming back to the competitions after a six-month absence due to the insults he suffered during the FEI Wolrd Equestrian Games in Aachen last year