6 september 2009

Breda: Orange skies in Breda

Dutch driver IJsbrand Chardon has won the second to last FEI World Cup™ Qualifier at his home soil in Breda. His teammate Koos de Ronde came second, and together with third Dutch driver Theo Timmerman, the Dutch team won the nations competition with a huge advantage to Germany and France. Sweden’s Tomas Eriksson moved up to the third position as Boyd Exell from Australia did not have his best weekend in Breda and finished fourth.

1. IJsbrand Chardon (Ned) 135,64
2. Koos de Ronde (Ned) 143,60
3. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 149,59
4. Boyd Exell (Aus) 150,74
5. Theo Timmerman (Ned) 157,84
6. Christoph Sandmann (Ger) 158,88
7. Daniel Wurgler (Sui) 159,92
8. Mark Weusthof (Rossum, Ov.) 168,55
9. Harry de Ruyter (Kessel, Lb.) 171,73
10. Thibault Coudry (Fra) 173,26

Nations competition:
1. The Netherlands 275,27
2. Germany 331,82
3. France 368,95
4. Switzerland 374,02
5. Sweden 375,04
6. Belgium 394,63


Provisional standings (NON-OFFICIAL) after 9 competitions:
Place Driver NF Total
1 Ysbrand CHARDON NED 87
2 Boyd EXELL AUS 85
3 Koos DE RONDE NED 76
6 Christoph SANDMANN GER 63
8 Daniel WÜRGLER SUI 52
10 Fredrik PERSSON SWE 45

The last World Cup Qualifying event takes place at the CAI-A in Donaueschingen, Germany, from 17-20 September. The four best results are counted and the Top Ten after Donaueschingen qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Driving season 2009-2010.

IJsbrand Chardon (NED): “In the marathon I wanted to put Boyd under pressure, so I really went for it. I tried not to make any mistakes and it worked out well. I changed a leader horse to see how the horse would react because I would like to have as many options as possible for next year’s team for Kentucky.”

Tomas Eriksson (SWE):
“My horses fortunately did not have any disadvantage from the win in the dressage. I am still looking for a good dressage horse in the lead of my team, but I am pleased with my dressage test in Breda. The marathon went very well for me although I prefer more technical obstacles. I had a small problem in the fourth obstacle when my leaders went into the wrong gate, which cost me the first place in the marathon.”

Boyd Exell (AUS):
Exell had initially not planned to compete in Breda but decided last minute to come over to The Netherlands: “I was very pleased with my dressage test and the points the judges gave me. In the marathon it just didn’t work. I wasn’t concentrated enough, my horses weren’t working together well, and it was a combination of many factors. It was a heavy marathon for young horses, especially with the sharp turns. “

The Dutch team took the lead in the dressage and did not give this away during the competition. After winning the team gold at the World Championships in Beesd in 2008 and the nations competition in Aachen 2009, the Dutch team looks unbeatable at the moment. The drivers and the chefs d’equipe are all looking forward to next season to battle again in the various nations competitions with the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky as the big Final.

The final obstacle driving competition turned out to be decisive again. Dutch driver Koos de Ronde was third last to start and he drove the only double clear round of the day, precisely steering his team of Dutch harness horse geldings through the gates in a magnificent way. This put the pressure on Exell, who was unable to deal with this and knocked three balls down with which he lost his chances to a podium place. Last starter IJsbrand Chardon had a big advantage to De Ronde and Exell and the small silly mistake at the eleventh gate could not prevent him to take his 16th victory at the CAIO Breda.

IJsbrand Chardon took revenge for his second place in dressage by winning the heavy marathon in Breda. Dutch international course designer Johan Jacobs, who was recently promoted to FEI O-status, was responsible for the course. The long and technical obstacles with many sharp turns demanded a lot of the horses and the drivers. The competitors had to pay attention from the first to the last gate. French marathon talent Thibault Coudry, who had won the marathon in Saumur and in Conty this season, put down fastest times in the obstacles. Penalty points in the walk section however prevented Coudry from a Top Five placing in the marathon. Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary set the fastest time in the first obstacle and was determined to set some more fast times, but his left wheeler unfortunately fell on its way to the finish in the third obstacle and Dobrovitz had to retire. The horse only suffered minor injuries. Boyd Exell and his team did not have their day and came 12th, which dropped them to the second place in the standings after dressage and marathon. Koos de Ronde and Tomas Eriksson had their teams working together well in Breda and took the second and third place in this phase of the only nations competition in The Netherlands.

For the first time in The Netherlands, the spectators could follow the dressage scoring of the judges live on a scoreboard. The board was placed behind one of the judges’ cabins to make sure the judges could not be influenced. The spectators could comfortably watch the dressage and see the live scoring from the stands, which made the dressage even more interesting for the driving fans in Breda.

The very windy conditions in Breda on dressage day caused the horses to be very fit and attentive. The organization had put stones on the dressage arena to prevent it from being blown away. Boyd Exell won the dressage, driving a very accurate test with his team of black geldings owned by his Hungarian sponsor Vincze Tamas and was placed on the first position by four of the five international judges. IJsbrand Chardon kept the gap between Boyd and himself limited to two penalty points in the dressage, in which he came second. Riesenbeck winner Theo Timmerman took the third place.

– 33 four-in-hand drivers from 11 nations competed
– the field included 3 (former) World Champions: IJsbrand Chardon (NED), Tomas Eriksson (SWE) and Werner Ulrich (SUI)
– eldest competitor Eddy van Dyck (BEL), age 57
– youngest competitor Axel Olin (SWE), age 23