Chardon wins Stuttgart World Cup round
17 November 2007
From: F??ation Equestre Internationale, Lausanne

IJsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands has won the second leg of the FEI World Cup? Driving in Stuttgart.

Chardon is back on winning track after coming second three weeks ago in the World Cup competition in Hannover.

Hannover winner Boyd Exell lost the battle against Chardon and finished in second place, with less than four seconds difference, which contributed to an exciting competition.

Christoph Sandmann started again with a wild card and came third, ahead of his compatriot and shooting star in the German driving world, 17-year-old Michael Brauchle.

Chardon and Exell are now equal in the lead of the standings after two competitions and are certain of a starting place for the FEI World Cup? Final in Leipzig in January 2008.

The Stuttgart audience in the Schleyer Halle enthusiastically followed the performances of the seven drivers. International course designer Falk B?nisch had designed a tricky but fair course, which was super to follow for the spectators and ideal to drive for the competitors. ?I always spend several evenings designing a course,? explains B?nisch. ?I then put in on the table and my wife looks at it as well. We discuss it together and then I finalize the course. The challenge is also to design a course for the winning round, in which the lines are different from the first round, so the drivers really have to do their best to memorize the course.?

President of the Stuttgart German Masters Gotthilf Riexinger was very pleased to have such a worthy successor to Michael Freund, who won the driving competition in Stuttgart since the beginning, thirteen times. Chardon himself was a bit hesitant at first to compete in Stuttgart, because he had a bad memory: ?I came to Stuttgart eighteen years ago to do a show in the old hall and I came back six years later to compete in one of the first indoor marathons here in Stuttgart. I drove over 600 kilometres to get to Stuttgart and I could go home after 30 seconds in the arena after I drove a wrong course!? This time, Chardon became the glorious winner in Stuttgart and is looking forward to competing in the Schleyer Halle again in the future.

Boyd Exell from Australia drove excellent rounds with his team, consisting of a Cleveland Bay horse, a Holsteiner, a Russian Trotter and a French Trotter. Exell was fed with information on the course by his trainer Michael Freund, who followed the competition from the sideline. ?The standard of the competitors is very high and there is no room for errors. I am very pleased with my team, they are working super together and can accelerate amazingly. I am very lucky to have them!?

In contrary to Chardon and Exell, Sandmann used his outdoor horses again in Stuttgart. Sandmann was pleased with his performance, especially because he made some fatal errors in the warm up competition. ?I was not in form yesterday, today it went much better. I would have loved to become Michael Freund?s successor, but I hope I will have a chance again next year.?

Young talent Michael Brauchle from the nearby town Lauchheim put on an excellent performance by coming fourth. Brauchle came second in the German four-in-hand Championships this year behind Sandmann. Michael comes from a true driving family. His father Franz is a farrier and four-in-hand driver and his 19-year old brother Steffen contributed with his pony pair to the German gold team medal at the World Pony Driving Championships in Denmark this summer. His mother Brigitte is also into the carriage driving sport. Michael is a member of Michael Freund?s ?Perspektivgruppe?, a group of young and talented drivers who are trained by the master himself. His brother and a cousin assisted Michael on the carriage in Stuttgart. His team existed of an Hungarian, a Th?inger, an Orlov trotter and a Dutch horse. ?It was super to compete in the Schleyer Halle, the feeling was great and I was amazed by the spectators, they are much better than at the outdoor shows!? told the young driver.

Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary came fifth in Stuttgart, which he praised for the excellent atmosphere. ?I looked for a long tome for a good indoor team and I believe I found the right horses now. Unfortunately I made some mistakes myself!?

Werner Ulrich was with his 48 years the oldest competitor in Stuttgart, but is still feeling young and competitive: ?I tried my best, but I made some errors myself. My horses went well, so I am pleased with their performance.

FEI 17/11/2007          Photo by Markus Bechert

Results CAI-W Stuttgart:

1. IJsbrand Chardon (Ned) 256.87
2. Boyd Exell (Aus) 260.07
3. Christoph Sandmann (Ger) 282.85
4. Michael Brauchle (Ger) 152.93
5. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 153.17
6. Zoltan L?? (Hun) 154.15
7. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 161.13

Classification after 2 of 6 events:

1. Ijsbrand Chardon (Ned) 17
1. Boyd Exell (Aus) 17
3. Zoltan Lazar (Hun) 8
4. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 7
5. Dani? W?gler (Sui) 3
6. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 2

The next FEI World Cup driving event takes place in Stockholm, Sweden, on 1 and 2 December 2007.

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