17 November 2023

Stuttgart: Ups and downs on the first day of competition

The warm-up round in Stuttgart was won tonight by Boyd Exell, but it wasn't a easy win. He even had to concede a ball. However, thanks to his enormous speed and the mistakes of his competitors, the world champion will be the last to start in tomorrow's competition.

Photo: Sonja Scharf

The enormous arena in Stuttgart offers space for a water feature, which provided the necessary spectacle for the public. There was also a bridge in the middle and there were 2 difficult marathon obstacles.

Koos De Ronde in form

Crowd favorite Michael Brauchle started at full speed. But when his right front horse hit a fence in a marathon obstacle and it had to be set up, he lost a place in the drive-off. Jérôme Voutaz also made too many mistakes. The Swiss drove off 4 balls and made very wide turns in the second marathon obstacle. Koos de Ronde was in top form and drove a perfect first round. From obstacle 5 he was the only one to drive a diagonal line to gate 6. His team ran smoothly and he drove quickly and briefly through the obstacles. The result: clear in 151.91. Boyd Exell was also clear in the first round, but just under 5 seconds slower than Koos. IJsbrand Chardon also joined the clear ones; with 162.61 he also reached the winning round.

Bad luck for Chardon

Because the C gate in obstacle 9 no longer participated in the winning round, the lines in this obstacle became a lot easier. In obstacle 5 the F gate was removed, causing the line to gate 6 to change.

IJsbrand Chardon had to start first, but he had an unfortunate line towards the water. Then team flew between gates 2 and 8, both of which were near the water feature. The two gates were knocked over, meaning they both had to be rebuilt and IJsbrand’s chances were lost. Then it was Boyd Exell’s turn, who had a throw-off in obstacle 5 at the B gate, but then took a very short line to gate 6. The Australian was at full speed and had a final time of 137.65. So there were opportunities for last starter Koos de Ronde, who was faster in the first round. However, Koos’ speed slowed, as he finished in 140.39 and added 2 dropped balls. This meant that the victory went to Boyd Exell and the second prize money went to Koos de Ronde, followed by IJsbrand Chardon.

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