8 July 2024

Aachen 2024: Boyd Exell wins, sixteenth victory for Netherlands in Nations Cup

Boyd Exell closed Sunday's international competition in Aachen victorious. With his second place in the dressage and victory in the marathon (with six points difference on the number two), he could afford his fallen ball on Sunday. Led by national coach Ad Aarts, the Dutch drivers won the prestigious Nations Cup in Aachen. For a while it looked like the German team would break the long winning streak of the Dutch drivers in Aachen but a crucial mistake by the last German rider helped the Netherlands to win.

“The competition is about three phases, that was proved once again. I am happy that this is the 16th victory here in Aachen,” the Dutch national coach said. In the individual standings, there were no podium places for the Dutch drivers. IJsbrand Chardon finished fifth, just ahead of Bram Chardon and Koos de Ronde. In the dressage, Bram Chardon achieved the best Dutch result with a fourth place, Koos de Ronde was the best Dutch in the marathon with another fourth place. Bram Chardon managed to take the winning round of the cones on Sunday.

National coach Ad Aarts, himself winner of Aachen in 1990, was realistic afterwards: “We made too many mistakes, but yes, it is still a competition with horses. We fought for it and the team worked very well together. The next competition is the Dutch Championships in Exloo the first weekend of August, which also fits nicely into our planning towards this year’s World Championship in Szilvasvarad (HUN) in September.

Boyd Exell won the marathon in Aachen
Photo: Sonja Scharf

Bad luck for the German team

In the individual standings, Marijke Harm (GER) and Georg von Stein (GER) managed to secure very nice second and third places. Nevertheless, German national coach Karl-Heinz Geiger was disappointed afterwards. “I am frustrated. Not because we finished second in the Nations Cup and therefore the Netherlands wins it again. That was not the problem, but never before had victory been as close for us as this year.” The German team, consisting of Mareike Harm, Michael Brauchle and Georg von Stein, was already in the lead in the Nations Cup after the dressage. After the marathon, they were also in the lead by a large margin. It therefore seemed obvious that Germany would run away with victory, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The biggest disappointment was Michael Brauchle’s round in the cones, who sent his team through the wrong gate. He was disqualified as a result. The 2015 European champion was in tears as he left the ring. Georg von Stein and Mareike Harm still had a chance to secure victory, but at the end one ball fell too many. The dream of victory was over. “But I am happy with second and third place in the individual standings, also with a view to the World Champioships in Hungary,” said national coach Karl-Heinz Geiger.

The Netherlands finished the Nations Cup with 334.520 penalty points, while Germany scored 335.610 penalty points. Third place went to the Belgians with 352.560 penalty points.

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Marijke Harm is the best placed German driver in Aachen this year
Photo: Sonja Scharf