15 December 2016

London Olympia: Exell wins Extreme Driving

This afternoon the wonderful arena in London Olympia was the stage for the Extreme Driving competition, in which the four-in-hand drivers could have a taste of the FEI World Cup™ Driving competitions on Friday and Saturday. Boyd Exell won this first class, ahead of József Dobrovitz and Koos de Ronde. Exell once again used the Dutch grey horse Vadirmo in the wheel of his team, with which he competed in the first competition at Geneva last weekend.

Boyd Exell
Photo: Rinaldo de Craen

Dutch level 4 Course Designer Johan Jacobs had drawn a nice course for the seven competitors at Olympia. The top three drivers from the first round qualified for the second round over the same course in which the drivers started from scratch again. Boyd Exell lost precious seconds in the first round when he missed gate A in the second obstacle and knocked down a dislodgeable element, which made him first to go in the second round. The four times World Champion drove with the knife between his teeth and drove a clear round in a very fast time (101,35 sec). Second starter Koos de Ronde put everything at stake and it looked as if he was going to equal Boyd’s time, but he picked up two balls in the last phase of the course. De Ronde’s time however was only 0,23 seconds behind Boyd, which promises even more exciting competitions the next days.

Last starter József Dobrovitz was two seconds slower than Boyd and he also picked up one knock down.

Theo Timmerman set the third best time in the first round, but two balls kept him from a top three placing. Daniel Naprous, who starts with a wild card as well as Exell, was first to go and drover very well. Assisted by his fellow competitor Wilf Bowman Ripley as his back stepper, the stuntman by profession drove his team of grey horses to the fifth place.

Georg von Stein was well underway, but made a mistake and drove over the bridge again instead of the finish line, which dropped him to the sixth place. József Dobrovitz jr. lost track in the second marathon obstacle and finished in seventh place.

Click here for the results.

Click here for the audio interview with Boyd Exell, courtesy of Rupert Bell.

Click here for the photos.

Click here for the video.