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|Daniel W?gler wins at Geneva
15 December 2002
Switzerland's Geneva International Horse Show hosted the FEI World Cup Driving for the first time, from 13 to 15 December 2002. This major international horse show took place in Europe's biggest indoor arena (51 x 98 meters). The driving course included a water splash and a small hill to guarantee spectacular moments for the four-in-hand drivers and the crowd.
The home crowd were delighted by the success of Swiss driver Daniel W?gler, who finished in first place with a time of 131.11 seconds. The professional carriage driver from Biel put down an excellent performance with his team of Kladruber horses. Although not one of the 10 drivers selected for the 2002/3 World Cup , W?gler received a "wild card" entry together with another home driver Stefan Kl?, to drive at the Swiss event. W?gler qualified for the Indoor World Cup last season and was very successful, finishing second at Bordeaux and G?eborg.
W?gler was extremely happy with his result. "It is a special feeling to win here in Geneva and I certainly see this as one of my best performances. I lost two horses this season and had to make replacements in my team. The near wheeler is a black Kladruber horse which I only started training for this event four weeks ago. I am very pleased that I can end my season so positively in front of the wonderful Geneva crowd". It is the first time in the short history of World Cup Driving that a wild card driver has won a World Cup event.
In second place at Geneva was Dutch driver Mark Weusthof, making his debut in the World Cup Driving series. Third was another Swiss driver Werner Ulrich and in 4th place was Reigning World Champion IJsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands.
Created in 2001, the Driving World Cup has provided an innovative new style of competition for indoor events, with courses combining marathon and cone driving obstacles. The 2002/2003 season of the World Cup includes nine events - eight qualifiers and a final, to be held at G?eborg, Sweden on 27-30 March 2003.
More information on World Cup Driving is also available from www.worldcupdriving.com
The next World Cup competition will be held at Mechelen, Belgium on 26-27 December 2002.