17 September 2022

World Championships single horses 2022: Marion Vignaud wins the marathon, Eline Houterman surprises

Once again it was a beautiful day of competition at the Driving World Championships for single horses. Johan Jacobs' marathon course brought great sport. The obstacles had many possibilities and many different lines were driven. The false flat required extra strength from the horses although fit horses had no problem with it.

Favorite Marion Vignaud was in a class of her own in the marathon. With a lot of control, she blasted through the obstacles at lightning speed. Only in obstacle 7 she drove an extra circle. Saskia Siebers also had a hitch, which happened in obstacle 5 and that took her about 5 seconds. “I thought I should pay attention now,” she says. “Axel was a bit offended by that hiccup and I had to be really careful in the left turns. Other than that he went very well, he was himself. The obstacles were good, but I have to admit that a burden has been lifted off me now.” Saskia kept up well, drove stylishly and fast and, thanks to her 6th place in the marathon, she climbed to 2nd place in the standings.

Marion Vignaud
Photo: Melanie Guillamot

One ball is just too much

The big surprise of the day was Eline Houterman. She was determined to go all out and managed to improve a number of the obstacle times of leader Marion Vignaud. A dropped ball in obstacle 5 just missed her the marathon victory. But she is more than satisfied with her second place. “That ball is part of the game”, she is realistic. “I knew Flow could do it and it’s just cool that it’s coming out right now. The feeling was good from obstacle 1, because my horse’s steering was good and he cooperated well. I just had no idea if I was fast, because there were no scoreboards. Along the way, Ad informed me that I was a second ahead of Vignaud.” Eline finished 2nd in the marathon today and ensured – together with Saskia Siebers – that the Dutch team is still second.

“I really don’t know how Flow will do tomorrow, but at least I made my contribution in the parts I participated in”, Eline concludes. Due to her good marathon, Eline is now 7th in the intermediate classification. National coach Ad Aarts: “I am very satisfied. I had expected the dressage results and Eline surprised me positively.”

Eline Houterman
Photo: Melanie Guillamot

Bad luck and good luck

Kelly Houtappels (CAN) also drove an excellent marathon, but did not reach the speeds that Vignaud achieved. She dropped to 3rd place in the standings. The Belgian Laure Philippot also drove fast and fluently through the obstacles and was able to hold on to her 4th place. There was also bad luck for a number of participants, in total there were 4 eliminations, of which two were overturned carriages and two were due to a course error. One of the unlucky ones was Dirk van Beckhoven who started early and turned into obstacle 2 after the F gate.

Marion Vignaud has increased her lead and is almost 8 points ahead. “I will let her know that I will do everything I can to increase the pressure tomorrow,” says defending champion Saskia Siebers. Tomorrow promises to be another exciting day of competition.

Click here for the results

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