2 augustus 2009

Thumbs up for Theo Timmerman in Riesenbeck

Runner-up in the Dutch Championships of last weekend in Beekbergen, Theo Timmerman has won the ninth FEI World Cup™ Qualifier at the international driving event in Riesenbeck, Germany. Timmerman won the German ‘Fahrderby’ and beat his strongest opponent Christoph Sandmann in the final obstacle driving competition. Australia’s Boyd Exell came second, Sandmann took the third place. Exell has taken over the lead again from Chardon in the standings after 9 competitions.

The 10th World Cup Qualifying event takes place at the CAIO in Breda, the Netherlands, from 3 to 6 September. The 11th and last Qualifier is in Donaueschingen, Germany, from 17 to 20 September. The four best results are counted and the Top Ten after Donaueschingen qualify for the FEI World Cup™ Driving season 2009-2010.

1. Theo Timmerman (NED) 125.45
2. Boyd Exell (AUS) 129.99
3. Christoph Sandmann (GER) 132.36
4. Werner Ulrich (SUI) 133.76
5. Georg von Stein (GER) 146.71
6. Tomas Eriksson (SWE) 148.37
7. Max Dangel (GER) 149.56
8. Fredrik Persson (SWE) 150.36
9. Herman ter Harmsel (NED) 156.28
10. Ludwig Weinmay (GER) 156.37

Provisional standings (NON-OFFICIAL) after 9 competitions:
Place Driver NF Total

1 Boyd Exell AUS 84
2 IJsbrand Chardon NED 79
3 Koos de Ronde NED 67
4 József Dobrovitz HUN 64
5 Theo Timmerman NED 61
5 Tomas Eriksson SWE 61
7 Werner Ulrich SUI 57
8 Christoph Sandmann GER 47
9 Fredrik Persson SWE 45
10 Daniel Würgler SUI 44

Click here for the full results.

Click here for the full standings after Riesenbeck.

Theo Timmerman (NED): “I started off very well in the dressage, it went better than in Beekbergen. Even the judges came up to me to tell me that they noticed the improvement, that says enough!”
”In the marathon I started off easily to see how thy went, but I soon noticed that I could do everything I wanted. Only in obstacle four I missed a gate and I had to drive a circle, but other than that it went very smooth.”
“The marathon was very technical and the sand pit obstacle was very long, but it suited me!”

Boyd Exell (AUS): “In Vecsés and in Aachen I drove a careful marathon, in Riesenbeck I was pushing a bit more to see how my horses would react. I went a little too fast myself though, which caused me three knockdowns. In one of the obstacles I had a leader trace over a post and my groom had to climb the pole to undo it. Looking at all this, I am very pleased that I still came second in the overall ranking!”
“Riesenbeck for me was a good training show and coming tenth in the marathon kept my feet on the ground. I felt like fighting for it again in the cones, which resulted in a double clear round.”

Christoph Sandmann (GER): “Dressage went well for me, the marathon went very well, but in the cones competition I had a small problem with my new horses. I swapped one horse before the cones, but it didn’t work out well. I know that I have some work to do on this part!”
“I have tried every option lately to compose the best set up for my team and I believe that I can be very successful with these horses.”
“I am happy that Timmerman won, it is very good for the sport to notice that the battle not only goes between Exell and Chardon. The Top is getting wider and the level is getting higher. That is exactly what we need in our sport.”

The Organising Committee of the CAI-A in Riesenbeck has put in a bid for the organisation of the World Four-in-Hand Driving Championship in 2012. The other candidate is Vecsés in Hungary at the home soil of the successful four-in-hand driver József Dobrovitz. Riesenbeck successfully organized several World Pair and Four-in-Hand Championships in the past years. The last time Riesenbeck hosted the World Fours was in 1992.

German international course designer Dr. Hartmut Kaufmann went straight from Beekbergen to Riesenbeck where he was responsible for the courses as well. To ensure the Welfare of the Horse, the course designer and the judges had placed an average of 16 knockdowns in the seven very challenging marathon obstacles. The knockdowns are used in large number at every international driving competition lately, not always to the like of the drivers, but always to protect the horses.

Theo Timmerman has two new young horses in his team since the start of this year. Together with the experienced horses that were also in his team at the World Championship in Beesd in 2008, Timmerman’s performance is improving with big steps at every competition. His team consists of Holsteiner, Hannoverian and Oldenburger geldings of which the eldest is 13 years old. In Aachen, he had some miscommunication with his horses, in Beekbergen the confidence came back slowly and in Riesenbeck it worked as never before between driver and horses.

Riesenbeck is known for its traditional ‘Fahrderby’ in which the four-in-hand drivers have to drive two dressage tests with a pair the day before the official dressage test with the four-in-hand turnout. Every competition counts several times for the overall result. The marathon result for example counts four times and the obstacle driving competition is counted three times. The Top Five of the Fahrderby turned to be equal to the Top Five of the international combined competition, in which the competition results are counted according to the FEI regulations. Werner Ulrich from Switzerland is performing very well with his mixed team of Lusitano horses owned by his sponsor and two Swiss bred horses of his former team. Ulrich came fourth in Riesenbeck, ahead of Georg von Stein from Germany and Sweden’s Tomas Eriksson, who had to compete with four horses as one was taken out at the horse inspection.

While last week in Beekbergen the Dutch battled in the Dutch four-in-hand Championship, this weekend in Riesenbeck the German four-in-hand drivers competed against each other in the German Championship. Christoph Sandmann took the gold medal for the fourth time in his career, competing with his young team of Dutch Warm blood horses and a French trotter. His 36-year-old colleague Georg von Stein, winner of the CAI-B in Neewiller in April, caused a surprise by coming second in the Championships, ahead of the experienced Max Dangel.

– 25 four-in-hand drivers from 10 nations competed
– the field included 2 (former) World Champions: Tomas Eriksson (SWE) and Werner Ulrich (SUI)
– eldest competitor Eddy van Dyck (BEL), age 57
– youngest competitor Michael Brauchle (GER), age 19