1 September 2013

Topolcianky: Double Gold for Hungary

Vilmos Lázár is the new World champion. After four days of fascinating sport, the 46-year old Hungarian driver won for the fourth time in his equestrian career the individual gold medal, the silver was for German Sebastian Warneck, Lázár’s younger brother Zoltan took bronze. In the nations cup Hungary was for the fifth time – after winning gold in 1989, 1999, 2001 and 2003 – again the strongest team. Germany was good for silver, the bronze went to the Netherlands.

The national Studfarm of Topolcianky is one of the most important breeding and crossbreeding centers for warm-blood horses in Europe. The Stud was founded in 1921 and counts 500 horses. This week the Studfarm was the decorum of the 16th World Championship for Pairs, the First FEI Championships held in Slowakia.

Dressage Queen Diener
Thursday and Friday the dressage took place at the stadium in Topolcianky which was covered in sunshine both days. Although the judging of the five members was not unaminous in all cases, the best won and that was the German Carola Diener. The 25-year old reigning World Champion drove a consistent test which was granted with 35.58 penalty points, and as one of last drivers she took the lead off the Irish horseman Barry Capstick who was with 36.93 penalty points in the provisional standings. With her score and of her countryman Thorsten Zarembowicz the German team was in the lead after the first competition ahead of Hungary and Ireland.

Lázár top
The Hungarian course designer Gabor Fyntha was responsible for the exciting marathon course around the racetrack. All eight marathon obstacles were very attractive and required technical skills of the drivers. More than 5,000 spectators, including Slovak President Ivan Ga?parovi?, were witness of sport of the highest level. Multiple World Champion Vilmos Lázár was the by far the fastest in six of the eight obstacles, won the marathon and took the lead in the provisional standings off Carola Diener who finished 17th in the marathon and moved to silver position. Marathon specialist and World Champion Harrie Verstappen took second place, followed by the Polish driver Jacek Kozlowski.

Ireland’s Barry Capstick was the most unfortunately competior in the marathon, he was second in the dressage but had a complete turnover of his carriage and was brought to hospital and was diagnosed with a fractured vertebrae in his back, but was released out of hospital in the evening. Zoltan Lázár, competed with Lipizzaners bred in Topolcianky, was in third place before the final obstacle driving competition on Sunday.

Final day
As wel as the other competition days the weather of the final day was perfect sports weather. None of the competitors managed to clear the cones course without penalties. Best driver was the Hungarian team member Tibor Nagy jr. with only 4.67 penalty points, followed by WDC-debutant Rachel Blanchard from the United States of America and German Sebastian Warneck. Vilmos Lázár kept his nerves together and although he got 9.41 penalty points the crowd saw him not only win gold but also set the second cones result for his golden team. Carola Diener lost her silver position after a disappointing 18 penalty points in favour of German’s individual driver Sebastian Warneck.

The team competition was won by Hungary after a close battle with Germany. The Netherlands took the bronze just before the United States of America.

Vilmos Lázár (HUN, gold): ‘The fourth time gold, but more over it is special to have the teamgold together with my brother Zoltan. This is one of the best organization of a World Championship ever, not only well organized, but with a heart.’

Sebastian Warneck (GER, silver): ‘I am extremely happy with silver. These horses I bought three years ago, they are now seven and in two years they will be ready for the real top. A fantastic World Championship, especially today I enjoyed driving with this pair. World Champion in two years? I hope!!’
Zoltan Lázár (HUN, bronze): ‘My brother convinced me to compete with a pair this World Championship. I stick with the four-in-hand but to win gold after ten years with him is very special.’

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