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Freund takes World Cup lead in Stockholm
27 November 2004

Michael Freund has won the third leg of the FEI World Cup Driving in Sweden?s cold and snowy capital Stockholm and is now at the top of the points standings after three competitions.

On 27 November, the Global Driving Team (Freund, Exell and Webber) faced three Swedish drivers - P?sson, Eriksson and Persson.

After a rather chaotic warm-up round on Friday evening, Swedish course designer Dan Henriksson decided to make the course a little wider, which was much appreciated by the drivers. Wild card driver Tomas Eriksson nevertheless lost his chances to victory in front of his home crowd in the packed Globen Arena in Stockholm when his leader reins got stuck and he had to make an extra circle. This cost him precious time and a knock down. Eriksson will, despite his second place in Stockholm, not climb in the standings because he started with a wild card, like Freund last week in Stuttgart, and is therefore not entitled to World Cup points.

Chester Weber finished his fourth World Cup season with the third place. The 29-year old American was one of the drivers who received, in his opinion, undeserved penalty seconds in the warm-up round after he hit one of the multiple obstacles. In the World Cup competition he had two faults with his team of German and Swiss warmbloods, but was very happy with the seven World Cup points he received. Because Eriksson was not entitled to points, Weber received the points for second place.

Boyd Exell was less happy with his performance. The British-based Australian driver had 15 penalty seconds added to his time and had to be satisfied with fourth place.

It was obvious that World Cup debutants, Swedes Nicke P?sson (5th) and Fredrik Persson (6th) needed to get into the World Cup rhythm but, like Persson said, "our time will come."

On Sunday afternoon the drivers took part in an extra competition, not counting for the World Cup. Swedish pony team driver Ulf Mattson took Weber?s place because Weber returned to the USA for Thanksgiving. Michael Freund will drove Weber?s team in this competition.

The next FEI World Cup driving event takes place in Mechelen, Belgium, on 26 and 27 December 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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