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Chardon unbeatable in Amsterdam World Cup
26 January 2007

After his spectacular victory in Leipzig last Sunday, title defender IJsbrand Chardon was unbeatable again this evening in Amsterdam's RAI Arena. He won the FEI World Cup? Driving competition at Jumping Amsterdam, presented by the Stichting Vierspan Westland. Sweden?s Tomas Eriksson came second and was therefore awarded 10 points, since Chardon competed with a wild card. Koos de Ronde came third, ahead of the other two Dutch wild card competitors Herman ter Harmsel and Edwin van der Graaf.

Amsterdam was the seventh and last World Cup leg before the Final, which takes place on 24 and 25 February in Gothenburg, Sweden. IJsbrand Chardon and his compatriot Koos de Ronde, Germany?s Michael Freund and Christoph Sandmann, who qualified as wild card drivers, Sweden?s Tomas Eriksson and Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary will all compete in the Final. It will be an exciting and open competition, because the drivers start from scratch.

Dutch international course designer Joop Brink had designed a challenging course in Amsterdam, which included technical elements and speedy sections. The four best drivers from the first round qualified for the second round over the same course, in which they started from scratch.

Chardon set the fastest times but noticed his horses were a little tired: "It is quite heavy for my team to compete in two FEI World Cup? Driving competitions within six days. I felt that my horses had lost some power and I was therefore happy that I was last to start." Chardon did not want to make it a show-off, but a proper drive-off, so he drove his team without putting his first place at risk.

Tomas Eriksson was very pleased with his second place: "I was only two seconds behind Chardon in the first round, so I tried to speed up in the second round. Unfortunately I made two errors, but my horses went really well." Eriksson is looking forward to the Final for which he tipped Chardon as the favourite.

Koos de Ronde was not very pleased with the three errors he made: "My team is just not as steady as Chardon?s, but the first part of the course went super. I had an unlucky mistake in the second marathon type obstacle, but at this level you simply cannot afford this."

As well as Chardon, Dutch drivers Herman ter Harmsel and Edwin van der Graaf also competed with a wild card. Both four-in-hand drivers made their FEI World Cup? Driving debut in Amsterdam. For riding school owner Ter Harmsel, his goal was to see how he would perform against the experienced World Cup drivers and he was satisfied with his performance: "Two of my horses have never competed indoors before and they were quite shocked by the atmosphere and the noise. I started well in the first round, but I made three errors in the second round. I am nevertheless happy with my fourth place in this very strong field of competitors."

Edwin van der Graaf is ambassador of the FEI World Cup? Driving competition sponsor at Jumping Amsterdam, Stichting Vierspan Westland. He started off a little too fast in front of his many fans and came fifth.

Belgium?s Gert Schrijvers had hoped for a higher placing, but his team of Arab-Friesians lacked the needed power: "I never expected to come this far anyway with my team of young horses. Because of the bad weather the last few weeks I have not been able to train in obstacles. My wheeler horses miss the necessary speed to turn quickly, but I am already looking forward to the green season and I hope for a Top Ten placing again."

Dutchman Theo Timmerman came seventh in his last FEI World Cup? Driving competition of this season, ahead of Switzerland?s Werner Ulrich, who ended in seventh place in the standings.

Results CAI-W Amsterdam:
1. IJsbrand Chardon (Ned) 113.81
2. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 120.85
3. Koos de Ronde (Ned) 128.56
4. Herman ter Harmsel (Ned) 137.85
5. Edwin van der Graaf (Ned)
6. Gert Schrijvers (Bel)
7. Theo Timmerman (Ned)
8. Werner Ulrich (Sui)

Classification after 7 of 7 events:
1. IJsbrand Chardon (Ned) 27
1. Michael Freund (Ger) 27
3. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 25
4. Koos de Ronde (Ned) 22
5. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 15
6. Christoph Sandmann (Ger) 14

The Final of the FEI World Cup? Driving season 2006/2007 takes place in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 24 and 25 February. Visit: www.goteborghorseshow.se

    FULL RESULTS AND POINTS TABLES

CLICK HERE for the full results, together with the list of drivers, venues and points tables.

The full rules of the FEI World Cup for the 2005/6 season are available - CLICK HERE

More information can also be found on the official FEI World Cup Driving website at www.worldcupdriving.com

Information supplied by the FEI  & Hoefnet.

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