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|Standing ovation for Freund in Stuttgart |
20 November 2004
The German crowd?s favourite Michael Freund left the arena of the Hanns Martin Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart to a standing ovation after magnificently winning the second leg of the 2004/5 FEI World Cup Driving.
After a period of troubles, amongst which is a pending doping case, Freund received huge support from the enthusiastic crowd for winning the driving competition in Stuttgart for the eleventh time in a row.
?I feel very much at home in Stuttgart, and the spectators are super here. Although it didn?t go so well for me in the warm-up competition, I proved today that I am able to win on a technical course,? explained Freund.
British-based Australian driver Boyd Exell drove beautifully through the obstacles, which resulted in a fast time and a second place. Since Freund was invited to drive as a wild card in this event, which was not one of his 3 selected World Cup events, he will not receive any points. Boyd Exell will therefore receive 10 World Cup points.
Switzerland?s Werner Ulrich also drove a profitable competition. His team is in its fourth World Cup season and has found the necessary routine. The 1998 Wold Champion drove his team of Swiss horses to take third place.
Jozsef Dobrovitz just missed the qualification for the winning round, which was driven over a shortened course. The Hungarian drove a clear round, but passed the finish line two seconds too slow: ?It is going much better than in my first season, but I still need to learn more.? he said.
USA's Chester Weber had, in contrary to the warm-up round, carefully studied the course, but this could not prevent him from knocking down four balls in the technical course, designed by Falk B?nisch. With his current indoor team with the leader horses borrowed from Swiss four-in-hand driver Stefan Kl?, he will try to make up for his results so far in Stockholm.
World Cup debutant Zoltan Lazar admitted that he still has much to learn, but considering the fact that the Hungarian pair World Champion only started driving a team in March this year, he was satisfied with his sixth place.
Second wild card driver Hansj?g Hammann encountered some difficulties on the course, but promised that he would keep on driving as long as would be invited by the Stuttgart organisation to compete with a wild card.
The next FEI World Cup driving event takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 26 and 27 November 2004.
For all results and current points standings in the 2004-5 FEI World Cup, please CLICK HERE.
The official World Cup website is at www.worldcupdriving.com
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