30 november 2008

Dobrovitz: Double fireworks for Dobrovitz

Hungary’s Jozsef Dobrovitz proofed to be able to compete under high pressure in the third leg of the FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Stockholm, Sweden. Dobrovitz only had fifteen minutes to prepare his horses for the competition as he borrowed his carriage to his friend and compatriot Zóltan Lázár.

Lázár lost the left hind wheel of his carriage during the warm up session, just before the start of the competition. Although he at first did not want to start anymore at all and did not want to accept his friend’s offer to use his carriage, his horses were quickly hitched to Dobrovitz carriage anyway. Lázár had changed a horse after his sixth position in the warm up competition but driving a different carriage under such pressure did not work out for him. The 2004 World Champion knocked two balls down and came last.
After Lázár, who was the first starter, left the arena, Dobrovitz’ horses were put to their own carriage. In the mean time, Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich completed the rather technical course with a clear round in a time of 115,48, which would turn out to bring him into third position. Wild card driver Tomas Eriksson had also changed a leader horse after his disappointing last place in Hannover, but knocked two balls down and came fifth. Fredrik Persson performed very well in his first World Cup start and was cheered by the very enthusiastic spectators in the welcoming Globen Arena. With his team, amongst which a new French Trotter horse which he just bought from his colleague Boyd Exell, he stayed clear and was 3 seconds faster than Ulrich and herewith secured his second place.
Boyd Exell was determined to repeat his victory in Stockholm last year. He was only one second slower than Dobrovitz but came fourth after he knocked two balls down. Dobrovitz said afterwards that he had not been nervous after all the hectic of changing carriages. He drove to win and he did that without doubt. His team of Lipizzaner horses is one of the best indoor teams at this moment, they turn so quickly and are so fast, it is hard for any competitor to keep up with.
Dobrovitz started the competition in Stockholm without the traditional fireworks, he was the only competitor in the warm up competition by whom the fireworks failed to function as he passed the bridge. But he closed the competition in Stockholm with a double spectacle by passing the finish line in the fastest time and with fireworks.

The competitors all enjoyed competing in Stockholm, the only thing they would like to see changed is to have a second round for the best three competitors in the FEI World Cup™ competition, like this in done in all other FEI World Cup™ Driving events.

Dobrovitz is in the lead of the standings after three competitions. The team bronze medallist of Beesd 2008 will compete in Budapest next week with a wild card.

Course designer: Dan Henriksson (Swe)
Spectators: 10.189 (Sunday evening programme)

József Dobrovitz (Hun)
“It was my goal to end in the Top Three in Stockholm. I had very strong competitors here. In the warm up I felt that everybody was investigating their possibilities and today we all gave our best. The public was sensational and I am happy to have been able to compete here.”

Fredrik Persson (Swe)
“I am very happy with my second place in my first World Cup start of the season. I found the course technical but fair to drive.
I don’t care that the new horse is black and therefore doesn’t match my bay horses, he is fast and that is all that matters!”

Werner Ulrich (Sui)
“It was my first time ever in Stockholm and I enjoyed competing here. Although the arena is very small, I believe the obstacles were well placed.”

Boyd Exell (Aus)
“My goal was to come first or second in Stockholm in order to secure a starting place for the Final in Gothenburg. That didn’t work out this weekend, but I am pleased with my horses. I had a good feeling with them again which lacked me in the warm up competition.” Laughing: “I am going to change my tactics; last season I won nearly every Qualifier but came fourth in the Final. This year I haven’t been so good in the Qualifiers so I hope to ne the best in the Final!”

Tomas Eriksson (Swe)
“I found the course very technical, more technical than Dan Henriksson normally builds. I am not completely pleased yet with my horses, but I have two more competitions to go.”

Results CAI-W Stockholm:
1. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 104.33 (0)
2. Fredrik Persson (Swe) 112.98 (0)
3. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 115.48 (0)
4. Boyd Exell (Aus) 115.93 (10)
5. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 120.15 (10) wild card
6. Zoltan Lázár (Hun) 127.71 (10)

Classification after 3 of 7 events:
1 Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 27
2 Ysbrand Chardon (Ned) 17
3 Werner Ulrich (Sui) 8
4 Fredrik Persson (Swe) 7
5 Boyd Exell (Aus) 6
6 Koos de Ronde (Ned) 5
6 Christoph Sandmann (Ger) 5
8 Zoltan Lázár (Hun) 4
9 Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 2

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