2 July 2023
Aachen 2023: Boyd Exell individual winnerThe Dutch four-in-hand drivers have won the prestigious Nations Cup in Aachen. The team was led by national coach Ad Aarts. Victory was not a gift, because the German drivers in particular were keen on a victory for their own audience and remained dangerously close behind in all areas.
Bram Chardon, Koos de Ronde and IJsbrand Chardon finished the competition in style by all three completing a double clear round. They were the only ones who succeeded. Boyd Exell won the competition despite some skill issues. IJsbrand Chardon finished second in the individual ranking as the best Dutchman and Mareike Harm finished third.
The Netherlands could only afford one ball on the grass in the final cones competition to keep Germany behind in the standings, but TeamNL did not let it get that far. Bram Chardon, Koos de Ronde and IJsbrand Chardon were the only drivers who remained clear and within the time limit, securing first place in the country classification. IJsbrand Chardon finally managed to win the cones test after a winning round. He was second in the individual ranking. Koos de Ronde was in fourth place just off the podium, Bram Chardon completed the top five.
After cones, it seemed that Australia would finish third in the Nations Cup. A little later that turned out not to be the case. Boyd came to a halt after gate six when his left front horse knocked over a cone in gate twelve. He received a total of 6.97 penalty points and as a result Australia had to give up its third place in the Nations Cup to Belgium afterwards.
"Strengthen each other's results"
National coach Ad Aarts was satisfied after the competition. “It went well, all team members have driven strongly and are in good shape. It was an exciting competition, because Germany also performed well, especially with Michael Brauchle in the marathon. We finished it off very strongly today with three clear rounds in the cones. We actually have drivers in all parts who can compete at the top. They can also absorb each other’s results if necessary, that is the strength of this team. I even think that we can do just that little bit better, but the prospects for the European Championships in Exloo are very good.”
Photo: Sonja Scharf