6 december 2009

Boyd at his best in Budapest

Australia’s Boyd Exell was in absolute top form at the fourth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Driving in Budapest, Hungary. Cheered by the enthusiastic driving loving spectators in the Lászlo Pápp Sportarena, Boyd won his third FEI World Cup Driving competition of this season. Exell has now completed his World Cup competitions and with the drop score of Stockholm last weekend he is way in the lead of the standings and certain of a starting place for the Final in Geneva in April. Dutch driver Koos de Ronde was runner up again, ahead of wild card driver Jozsef Dobrovitz.

Results CAI-W Budapest:
1. Boyd Exell (Aus) 208,16
2. Koos de Ronde (Ned) 218,79
3. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 249,98 wild card
4. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 121,04
5. Daniel Würgler (Sui) 123,13
6. Jiri Nesvacil (Cze) 128,30
7. Zoltan Lazar (Hun) 133,48 wild card
8. Miklos Juhasz (Hun) 147,05 wild card


Classification after 4 of 7 events:
1 Boyd EXELL AUS 30
2 Koos DE RONDE NED 21
4 Werner ULRICH SUI 12
5 IJsbrand CHARDON NED 8
5 Daniel WURGLER SUI 8
8 Christoph SANDMANN GER 2
8 Jiri Nesvacil CZE 2

Boyd Exell (Aus): “I tried to stay very tight to the obstacles, at one point my navigator Michelle even warned me I was getting too close! I really had to force myself to concentrate during the World Cup competition. When I know the course, I have no adrenalin and I make mistakes like I did in Stockholm last week. I was very happy to be able to use Junior (Carrington Park Ajax) again in the wheel after I was unable to use him in Stockholm because he was not fit. It was like putting an old pair of gloves on!”

Koos de Ronde (Ned): “It really starts to irritate me that I always end up second behind Exell. But I am pleased with my result; coming second all the time also means that I perform at the same level. The only thing I can do to beat Boyd is to drive as fast as possible and to stay within one ball. I will get two more chances to beat him though; in Mechelen, where he competes with a wild card, and in the Final in Geneva!”

Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun): “I felt a lot of pressure competing in Budapest with a wild card, close to my home town and with a new team. It is always nice to perform in front of Hungarian public; it gives me a fantastic feeling. I drove too fast in the winning round which caused many mistakes, but I am happy with my horses, they performed very well.”

No less than three wild cards were given out at the Budapest Horse Show, which is run by the famous World Champion brothers Vilmos and Zoltán Lázár. Zoltán Lázár switched back to driving a team again after a sidestep to the pairs class last season in which he took the bronze individual medal. Previous World Cup competitor Lázár, who was cheered by his home crowd, took his team of Lipizzaner horses to the seventh place.
World Cup driver Jozsef Dobrovitz, who is currently in 6th place in the standings, used two experienced indoor leader horses and took one of his outdoor leader horses in the wheel in Budapest. The 41-year-old professional carriage driver and trainer will get a last chance in Leipzig to qualify for the Final in Geneva, where the Top Six of the standings after Bordeaux will start.
The third wild card went to home driver Miklos Juhasz, driving a team of mixed KWPN warm blood horses. The 26-year-old upcoming driver ended on the eighth place.

Czech driver Jiri Nesvacil made his World Cup appearance in Budapest. Never before a Czech driver was qualified for the FEI World Cup. The 51-year-old professional driver drove his impressive team of Kladruber geldings and stallions to the sixth place. Nesvacil came well prepared to Budapest after having competed in several indoor competitions in the Czech Republic as training. The debutant was nervous before his first round, but enjoyed his first World Cup experience very much.

Swiss drivers Werner Ulrich and Daniel Würgler and Boyd Exell drove all the way from Stockholm where they competed in last weekend’s World Cup Driving competition to Budapest. The horses were not affected by the long trip and performed even better than in Stockholm. Both Swiss drivers used the same horses as last week and were both pleased with their results. Werner Ulrich, the 1991 World Pair Champion and the 1998 World Four-in-hand Champion, came fourth while Würgler ended on the fifth place this time.

Boyd Exell, Koos de Ronde and Jozsef Dobrovitz, who is from the nearby town of Vecsés, were the favourite drivers in Budapest. This threesome proofed their skills and qualified for the winning round. Dobrovitz started with a newly composed team after he sold three of his indoor horses to IJsbrand Chardon after the World Cup competition in Stuttgart three weeks ago. The 41-year-old driver took the pressure of second starter Koos de Ronde when he drove too fast, knocked several balls down and teared one obstacle down. De Ronde drove a very fast round taking sharp turns, but knocked a ball down as well which gave Boyd Exell some room for error. The 37-year-old Britain based driver drove an extremely tight course and finished eight seconds faster than De Ronde.


Hungarian international course designer and chef d’equipe Gábor Fíntha, who was recently promoted to O-course designer, had designed a fast course with technical elements, which was much appreciated by the competitors. Fire works were lightened both times as the drivers crossed the bridge. Being a true driving nation with many World Champions in several classes, the Hungarians are very proud at the only FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in their country, which was presented by OTP Bank.