3 September 2016
Breda: Exell accelerates in World Championship marathonBoyd Exell proofed to be a class of his own again in the World Championship marathon in Breda today. Boyd set the fastest times in three of the eight challenging obstacles and won this phase of the marathon as well. Koos de Ronde finished second, ahead of Christoph Sandmann.
Dutch Level 4 Course Designer Jeroen Houterman had designed eight demanding obstacles on the Prinsenhoeve Estate. The first obstacle was situated in the main arena which attracted many spectators as well as the other obstacles. Somewhat 10.000 spectators visited the event where the sun came out again today.
As the day passed by, the marathon competition became very exciting and many incidents happened: “We had lots of work today, “ commented Houterman. “It was a fair course but there were lots of drivers with problems. They took the very short routes, while the longer routes were much better, I hope this will be a lesson for those drivers for next time.”
The most unfortunate driver today was probably young talented driver Edouard Simonet from Belgium who was very well underway and drove very nice and fast. On his way to the last gate in obstacle six however, his carriage tipped over. Edouard was launched but held on to the reins and injured his ankle. Thibault Coudry tipped over in the third obstacle. Dutch drivers Mark Weusthof and Bram Chardon had to retire after one of their wheeler horses fell. Luckily, the horses came out without any severe injuries.
German drivers Christoph Sandmann and Michael Brauchle beat nearly all fastest times until that moment but the best was saved for last. The tension grew when the top five drivers entered the main show grounds. Theo Timmerman drove fast and steady without any mistakes. His compatriot Koos de Ronde really went for it: “My goal was not to make any mistakes. I went all right in the first few obstacles, and I was able to speed up. He had one knockdown in the last obstacle but this did not prevent him from finishing on the second place: “It was a very nice course,” said Koos. “My team is in super form, they were a little tired in the end, but I am very pleased.” De Ronde has moved up to the second place in the standings behind Exell, who has an advantage of 19,07 points.
Chester Weber missed the necessary speed in his team and finished on the 21st place, dropping him to the fifth place in the standings. IJsbrand Chardon had to replace his experienced leader horse Darco by a less experienced horse in the lead of his team and was unable to perform at his normal high level. Chardon also nearly drove a wrong gate in obstacle 7 and dropped to bronze in the individual standings after dressage and marathon.
All eyes were set on last starter Boyd Exell, who put down an excellent performance: “The course was very technical and heavier than the previous World Championships. It was a course to treat with respect. My horses went very well, I did some training after Aachen and I was happy with my leader horses now.”
Boyd is on his way to secure his fourth consecutive individual gold medal while the Dutch team are ready to go home with another gold team medal. The Orange drivers are no less than 22,90 points ahead of Hungary in the nations competition. Germany has moved up to the third place thanks to the strong marathons of Sandmann and Brauchle.