16 februari 2009
Excitement guaranteed in FEI World Cup Driving FinalAfter seven thrilling FEI World Cup Driving qualifiers in Hannover, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Budapest, Geneva, Mechelen and Leipzig, the Top Six drivers of the standings after Leipzig are preparing themselves for the FEI World Cup Driving Final in Gothenburg on 21 and 22 February.
Excitement is guaranteed as out of the six drivers, four already won one or more qualifiers. After his second place in Hannover, Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary got even better with his wonderful team of grey Lipizzan horses and won the following qualifiers in Stuttgart and Stockholm.
Four times World Champion IJsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands won the first qualifier of this season of Hannover, came second in Stuttgart, missed the right connection with his horses in Mechelen where he came sixth, but made up for it again in Leipzig at the end of January.
Australia’s all round horseman Boyd Exell gradually grew into the season with a fifth and fourth place in Hannover and Stockholm, but proofed to be an extremely strong opponent in Budapest and Geneva, where he became the winner.
Chardon’s compatriot and member of the golden Dutch team in Beesd 2008 Koos de Ronde started with a third place in Hannover, scored a second place in Budapest and won after an exciting round in Mechelen.
Title defender Christoph Sandmann drove the most qualifiers this season, having received wild cards in both Hannover and Leipzig. His performances in Stuttgart, Geneva and his second place in Mechelen guaranteed him a starting ticket for the Final.
Home driver Fredrik Persson was considered as an outsider, but proofed the contrary. Out of his four starts, he achieved three Top Three placings and the sympathetic driver will certainly go for this goal again in the Final.
After a break in 2008, when the FEI World CupÔ Driving Final took place in Leipzig, the Final is back in Gothenburg. The Gothenburg Horse Show has hosted the FEI World CupÔ Driving Final from the beginning in 2002 and the Scandinavium provides an excellent stage for the eighth edition of the Final in which the drivers start from scratch.
Visit www.feiworldcup.org section driving for the up to date biographies of the competitors, results, standings, news and photo gallery.