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|Freund remains unbeaten in Bordeaux
9 February 2003
Germany's Michael Freund has won his third World Cup event of this season and has extended his advantage in the World Cup standings.
In the sold out Parc des Expositions in Bordeaux, where the 28th season of the Jumping International de Bordeaux took place, Freund managed to stay ahead of his fellow competitors Gert Schrijvers of Belgium and Australia's Boyd Exell.
Freund, who used a new horse in the wheel for the first time, gradually grew in the competition. He ended in third place of Friday's warm-up round and on Saturday he came second in the extra competition, where he had five extra penalty points added to his score because one of his grooms fell off the carriage.
"I feel that nobody has ever come so close to beating me than here in Bordeaux. To my opinion, every driver is getting better and better and they come closer every time" comments the World Cup title defender.
Freund, Exell and Schrijvers qualified for the winning round, which was driven over a shortened course. Exell, driving Fred Pendlebury's team of Welsh Cobs and winner of the warm up competition, made a mistake in the course and ended in third place.
Gert Schrijvers, competing in Bordeaux for the first time, ended in second place, which is his best World Cup result so far. The multiple champion of Belgium started off well on Friday, where he came second in the warm up competition. On Saturday evening he won the extra driving competition, not counting for the World Cup. Schrijvers had managed to find the right solution for the composition of his team after two competitions.
"I am very happy with my results here in Bordeaux. I made some changes in my team, which exists of Arabo Friesian sport horses and one Warmblood horse, and it has worked out very well. I look forward to the next competition in Vigo where I hope to beat Michael Freund" says Schrijvers.
Placings four to six were taken by Rainer Duen (Germany), Werner Ulrich (Switzerland) and wild card driver Patrick Rebulard, who was eliminated in the World Cup competition because he forgot to take a gate in one of the obstacles.
Michael Freund is in the lead in the standings after six competitions, being 12 points ahead of Mark Weusthof (Ned) and Tomas Eriksson (Swe), who share the second place. Gert Schrijvers has moved up from 11th to 6th place. His results in Vigo will decide if he will qualify for the last World Cup event in G?eborg. Boyd Exell is now sharing 7th place with IJsbrand Chardon, but Exell has still got two events to go.
The FEI World Cup Driving in Bordeaux will be broadcast on television by CNBC Sports Europe on 12 April. Sky viewers fill find this on channel 510 (CNBC).
The next World Cup competition takes place in Vigo, Spain on 15 and 16 February.
More information on World Cup Driving is also available from www.worldcupdriving.com