18 December 2015

London Olympia: World Class public cheer Exell to victory

The world-class spectators at Olympia, the London International Horse Show, cheered Boyd Exell to victory in the First Competition of the FEI World Cup™ Driving. Ijsbrand Chardon was again the runner-up, while young and dynamic driver Glenn Geerts took pride in taking the third place.

Photo: Marie de Ronde-Oudemans

“The public in London Olympia now equal the knowledgeable public in Stuttgart,” said Boyd Exell. “They love the driving and they show it.” The tribunes in London Olympia were full; no more tickets were available for the spectacular Driving class presented by Dodson & Horrell early this afternoon. Level 4 Course Designer Johan Jacobs had laid out a nice and fast course, which was appreciated by both the spectators and the drivers.

Boyd was last to go in the Winning Round where he unfortunately had one knock down, but this did not endanger his win of the class: “Our tactics were to go smooth and fast. Chardon did two good, clear rounds and I had 2,5 seconds advantage to him going into the Winning Round.” Boyd went even faster in the altered course, in which one gate was taken out, and even finished 3 seconds ahead of Chardon, despite the ball. Boyd thanked his loyal sponsors Dodson & Horrell, who have been his sponsor as well for 25 years now.

IJsbrand Chardon used the same team of horses as with which he competed in yesterday’s Extreme Driving Class and set two double clear rounds. Chardon however lost 3 seconds in the last part of the course where he wanted to take a short cut, but one of his leader horses became too strong and forced him to go outside.

Glenn Geerts knew he had nothing to loose and went for it in the Winning Round. The 26-year old driver unfortunately had two knock downs, but he was nevertheless pleased with his results: “I don’t blame my horses, just myself. I went simply too fast in the obstacle and knocked two balls down.”
József Dobrovitz was also pleased with his horses, which went better than on Thursday. He changed a bit on one of the leader horses and drove a clear round, taking his team to the fourth place. Georg von Stein set the third fastest time today in the first round and had an unfortunate knock down otherwise he would have made it to the Winning Round. Koos de Ronde also had an unlucky ball and lost some seconds in the marathon type obstacle when his rein got caught under his break pedal, which dropped him to the sixth place.
Wild card driver Naprous put down an excellent performance as first starter, driving his team of Lipizzaner horses clear through the course, finishing on the seventh place in this field of World Class drivers.

The seven drivers will enter the arena at London Olympia again on Saturday, 19th December at 18.15 hrs. (UK time), where they will compete for World Cup points. Boyd and Dan compete with wild cards and are therefore not entitled to points.
The competition will be broadcast live on FEI TV.

Click here for the starting orders and results.

Click here for the photo album.