16 December 2023

London 2023: Win for Boyd Exell, World Cup points to Chardon and De Ronde

Tonight, in the halls of the ExCel stadium on the east side of London, the battle for World Cup points, honors and prizes took place in front of an enthusiastic English crowd. Boyd Exell once again showed his enormous class and although he felt great pressure from his competitors, he managed to keep a cool head and won the competition in a decisive way.

Last night’s warm-up round had determined that home driver Daniel Naprous, with a wild card, would be the first to go in the World Cup competition tonight. The Briton, supported by his audience, drove an excellent and flawless drive in a time of 164.53 seconds, immediately setting the bar high for the competition. Visibly relieved, but above all enjoying himself, he drove out of the arena to wait to see whether he would get into the drive-off with this performance.

The German Mareike Harm had a good drive with her beautiful horses. On the bridge, one of her leaders had a small moment of doubt, which may have caused her to lose some speed and not meet Daniel Naprous’ time. A ball fell as well in the first obstacle. Her compatriot Georg von Stein drove fast, but that was at the expense of precision. Four dropped balls cost him an extra 16 penalty seconds. Belgian Glenn Geerts was also impressed by Naprous’ performance. Although he was even faster than Georg van Stein, he let a ball roll on the last fast part on the way to the finish, leaving him behind the Brit with 167.68 penalty points.

The trio Boyd Exell, IJsbrand Chardon and Koos de Ronde had already showed in the warm-up round Friday, who the best drivers of this show were, but they also made few or no mistakes today. They qualified for the Drive-off, which meant that Daniel Naprous achieved a fantastic fourth place in front of his home crowd. Koos de Ronde showed a smooth and fast drive, with the dropped ball at the end of the course not jeopardizing his place in the Drive-off. IJsbrand also did what he had to do and although he even let a ball roll twice, his drive was so tight that he qualified second for the Drive-off. Boyd Exell drove for this occasion with Hugh Scott – Barret, who had retired from active competition last year, as a backstepper on the carriage. His experienced horses showed how smooth and fast they are in a beautiful flawless drive, with which Boyd placed at the top round for the Drive-off.

Photo: Swingletree Photography

Marathon Carriage with a 'tail'

IJsbrand Chardon was the first starter in the Drive-off and drove a very fast ride. An early ball that brought four penalty seconds made the time feasible for Koos de Ronde. However, Koos also had a ball, and his time was a fraction slower. In the heat of the battle, Team de Ronde had not noticed that the spare whip had fallen out of the holder, had become stuck under the carriage and was being dragged along like a tail. Luckily it didn’t result in any extra balls!

Boyd Exell, who calls London ‘home-coming’ because of the years he lived in England, didn’t miss a beat. With great concentration, he drove the fastest and also faultless round to victory. Because he drove with a wild card in London, the most World Cup points go to IJsbrand Chardon and Koos de Ronde.

In the World Cup intermediate rankings, Boyd is in the lead with 25 points, followed by the three Dutchmen IJsbrand Chardon (24), Bram Chardon (20) and Koos de Ronde (19). The next World Cup competition will take place in Mechelen, Belgium on December 29 and 30.

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Photo: Swingletree Photography

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