21 April 2024

CAIO Kladruby 2024: Gold for Boyd Exell, gold for Australia

The cones in Kladruby, Czech Republic, meant the end of the competition on Sunday, both for the various categories and for the Nations Cup competition. Although the weather was still cold, it was dry today. The course was easy to drive and among the Four-in-Hand horses there were no fewer than seven drivers who remained double clear.

In the morning program the three-star single drivers and pony classes were held, in which no Dutch people participated. The big Four-in-Hand competition started at 12.30 pm in which Koos de Ronde was the only Dutchman to compete. His country teammate Hans Heus had to withdraw just before his start, meaning that the Netherlands no longer had a chance to win a prize in the Nations Cup competition.

The first driver to drive clear and within time was the Hungarian Zoltán Lázár. The blond driver was visibly happy with his ‘double clear’. The three leaders in the rankings: Boyd Exell, Koos de Ronde and Daniel Schneiders also made no mistakes and finished numbers 1 to 3. Boyd Exell won all the events with this performance and became the undisputed winner of Kladruby 2024.

Gold for Australia

In the Nations Cup competition, Australia lost just over six points to number two, Germany. Boyd’s teammate Tor Van Den Berge rolled two balls, but stayed within time. Australia won team gold! Germany followed in second place, thanks to the good performances of Georg von Stein, Michael Brauchle (one clear result) and Mareike Harm (two clear results). The bronze went to Belgium, with Dries Degrieck, Glenn Geerts (one clear result) and Tom Stokmans (two clear results).

Double gold winner Boyd Exell seemed satisfied in front of the Czech camera: “Compliments to the organization! Despite the bad weather we had a great time in the marathon and cones. Although wet and slippery, the drive was smooth and forward in both parts of the competition. And we were able to leave the German team behind us!”

Time is the biggest obstacle

In the three-star horse pair class, Leo van der Burgt took strong revenge after his bad luck in the marathon, where he drove incorrectly in H6, was unable to recover backwards and, in addition to a lot of time, also took 20 penalty points. Because of this result he had to start first in the cones, but set a score of 7.38 (one ball + time), which, as it turned out, was not achieved by many drivers.

No one achieved ‘double clear’; only two drivers left all the balls up, of which the Polish driver Rafal Wojtacha had the least time penalty. He won the cones with 1.48 penalties, ahead of Lars Schwite and Hubert Cytowski.

The overall victory went to Lars Schwitte, the silver went to Rafal Wojtacha and the Austrian Gerald Rössler won the bronze.

Click here for the results

Gold for Australia, with Boyd Exell and Tor Van Den Berge
Photo: Hans Verhoeven