28 September 2013

Izsák: Marathon legend Eriksson wins the marathon

The beautiful marathon today at the FEI European Championships in Izsák, Hungary, was won by marathon driving legend Tomas Eriksson from Sweden. German drivers Michael Brauchle and Georg von Stein finished second and third. Dressage winner Theo Timmerman is still on gold in the standings after dressage and marathon, followed by his compatriot Koos de Ronde who had moved up to silver and Tomas Eriksson, who moved up to bronze.

The show grounds in Izsák were covered in sunshine today and offered excellent circumstances for the horses, drivers and the around 6000 spectators who visited the wonderful event.
Tomas Eriksson is known for his marathon wins at big international driving events, including World Championships. Eriksson won the marathons at the World Championships in 2012, 2008, 2002 and 2000 and again today at Izsák. The multiple Swedish Champion had a bit of a messy start in the first obstacle when his carriage went on two wheels at high speed, but he continued as if nothing had happened and put down the best times in three of the eight obstacles: “I really wanted to win,” said Eriksson. “But I took a little bit of a risk to put one of my new horses Pamino in the left lead for the first time. He was a pair horse before and I tested him after the competition in Donaueschingen. He gave me a good feeling and I knew that with my old horse Saco I would loose too much.”

Eriksson is now on bronze, but he is only two penalty points behind Timmerman and De Ronde. He will use the old set up of his team for tomorrow’s cones competition: “I know this team and I have a good feeling about them. I drove clear in Donaueschingen, so I know we can do it!”

German drivers Michael Brauchle and Georg von Stein also confirmed their reputation as strong marathon drivers. The 23-year-old Brauchle won the marathon at the CAIO Aachen and the CAI-A Riesenbeck this year and was the fastest in three obstacles and came second. Von Stein had a very high average speed at all obstacles and finished third, ahead of Koos de Ronde and Zoltán Lázár.

Good marathon results were also put down by Dutch individual competitor Mark Weusthof (6th), Hungarian team member József Dobrovitz (7th), 24-year-old Belgian team member Glenn Geerts (8th), team member József Dobrovitz jr. (9th) and dressage winner Theo Timmerman (10th).
The marathon was not very successful for the reigning European Champion IJsbrand Chardon. The Dutch driver went wrong in obstacle five and he had two knockdowns. In the next obstacle it went completely wrong for the four-times World Champion after he forgot the B-gate. Chardon quickly corrected his mistake but this cost him 20 penalty points and he dropped to the 20th place in the standings.
Hungarian individual driver Vaczi Csaba missed gate D in obstacle 4 and was eliminated. Individual driver for Germany Christian Plücker got stuck in obstacle 2 and was forced to take his horses out of the carriage and withdrew.

The Dutch team is still on gold in the nations competition, followed by Germany and Hungary.

Click here for the results

Click here for the photos