10 December 2023

Geneva 2023: Bram Chardon exceeds his own expectations

Bram Chardon earned the maximum number of World Cup points today in Geneva! He won, followed by Dries Degrieck and Koos de Ronde. It was an eventful competition, in which obstacle five had a major influence.

Obstacle 5

Georg von Stein was the first to start today and had a good pace at the start. Unfortunately, in obstacle five, on the way from A to B, his horses almost shot through the D gate. He therefore stood still for a moment, one of the leading horses tapped a ball and then he had to take a detour to the B. The team was therefore out of rhythm, so three more balls were dropped later. Georg von Stein crossed the finish line with 216 penalties in total.

Then it was the turn of Wild Card participant Anthony Horde. He managed a smooth drive and with the dropped ball in obstacle 5 he finished with 170.68 penalties. Jérôme Voutaz also had a hard time in obstacle five. When entering the obstacle he drove the A, after which his team shot through the E on the right. He corrected this by then driving the B gate, but this, in combination with several dropped balls later in the course, resulted in many penalties. With his time of 174.91 and 40 additional penalty points, he ended up with a total of 214.91 penalty points.

Today Dries Degrieck, Koos de Ronde and Bram Chardon were selected for the Drive-off just like yesterday. Koos de Ronde had made some changes to his team compared to yesterday and that seemed an excellent choice. With his flawless drive and time of 155.08, he was the first to be certain of the Drive-off. Dries Degrieck today, just like Bram Chardon, chose different lines in obstacle five from the E to the F and in obstacle ten from the D, to the E and the F. He recorded a very good time with 158.45, but due to a dropped ball in obstacle ten, the total was 162.45.

Competing against himself

Bram Chardon was a competition against himself today. Although the times were close together yesterday, that was not the case today. In the first round today, Bram Chardon remained clear and ten seconds faster than the fastest time, that of Koos de Ronde.

In the Drive-off, Dries Degrieck, Koos de Ronde and Bram Chardon clearly went the extra mile. Dries Degrieck drove fast and flawlessly and seemed to drive a round straight from the book. Unfortunately, a ball fell at the very last gate. As a result, he ended up with 153.13 penalty points in total.

In the Drive-off, Koos de Ronde encountered the same problem in obstacle five as Georg von Stein. His horses also shot through the D gate when they were on their way from A to B. Unfortunately, his speed was too high, so he could not stop the team. He then corrected his mistake, but due to a dropped ball in hurdle 10 he had to settle for 189.33 penalties. He let Dries Degrieck pass him by.

Exceeded expectations

Bram Chardon exceeded all expectations, including his own. In the Drive-off he steered his team through the course extremely quickly and smoothly. He remained clear and set a time of 141.97 seconds! This made him three seconds faster than in his first round. He won the World Cup competition in Geneva for the third year in a row.

“Unbelievable,” Bram says afterwards. “I was already very happy after my victory in Stockholm last weekend. This week the horses have recovered well, they wanted to give everything again. So, just like in Stockholm, I didn’t hold them back.” Bram Chardon is very happy with his great times today. “Yesterday I achieved times of 159 seconds. Of course we did some calculations and I was therefore very happy with my time of 144 seconds. I never expected that I would be able to shave another three seconds off that in the Drive-off!”

Click here for the results

Bram Chardon
Photo: Melanie Guillamot

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