Exell's second win at World Cup
2 December 2007
From: F??ation Equestre Internationale, Lausanne
Photo by: Marie de Ronde-Oudemans

Australia?s Boyd Exell has won the third leg of the FEI World Cup? Driving competition in Stockholm, Sweden. Exell put down a superb performance, which was closely followed by over 10,000 enthusiastic spectators in the Globen Arena. Dutch driver Koos de Ronde, who drove his first World Cup competition of this season, came second, ahead of Jozsef Dobrovitz from Hungary.

Exell needed some luck this evening. Thieves broke into his lorry last night and took his and his wife's passports,  as well as several horse passports. Damage was done to the horse truck, and it will take several days before Exell can travel to the try-out World Cup competition in Budapest next weekend.

The leader of the standings was very pleased with the competition: ?The course in Stockholm was one of the best courses I have seen. Course designer Dan Henriksson built a course which tested the skills of the drivers without difficult angles so it was very good for the crowd to watch.?

Exell and the other competitors enjoyed the fireworks as they crossed the finish line, the music and the electric atmosphere in Stockholm. Exell has completed his three competitions and can prepare himself for the Final in Leipzig, Germany, on 18-20 January 2008. ?My team is getting better every time. I try to make small adjustments to make them go even better and to control them more,? explained perfectionist Exell.

Koos de Ronde was pleased with his second place: ?My team went very well in the first round and I beat Exell?s time by five seconds. When Jozsef Dobrovitz, who also qualified for the winning round, knocked down four balls, I knew what I had to do. I started off full speed but I hit two cones. After that, I consciously slowed down. I only have two chances to qualify for the Final so I knew I had to be content with second place. And to finish second behind Exell is nothing to be ashamed of ! 31-year old De Ronde was happy with his team and has no plans to make any changes before his next start, which is next weekend in Geneva: ?I was able to use my top horse Gerrit again in the lead. He has been injured for the past few months. With another experienced horse in the lead and the two piebald horses owned by my father in the wheel, I hope to make the Final again. ?

Hungary?s Jozsef Dobrovitz has also already completed his three competitions and is currently in third place in the standings. Whether he will make it to the Final will depend on how his colleague-drivers will perform in the FEI World Cup? Driving competitions in Geneva and Mechelen. Dobrovitz was happy with his third place, although he knocked four balls down.

Wild card driver Fredrik Persson came fourth, ahead of Dani? W?gler, who won the warm up competition. ?I am very pleased with my horses, I made a mistake myself by making the curb chain of one of my leader horses too tight. I had small hiccups in every turn to the right, which caused three balls to fall.? W?gler also praised the course in Stockholm and is looking forward to next weekend, when he will compete in Geneva with a wild card.

Home driver Tomas Eriksson drove a very fast and risky round, which resulted in 20 penalty seconds for knock downs: ?When I knocked a ball off the second gate I knew I had to drive even faster. Then I missed a gate in one of the multiple obstacles and knocked two more balls down.? Eriksson used new leader horses in his team and they need a little bit more time to get used to each other. The double World Champion will get the opportunity to make up for his performance of today in Geneva.

Before the start of the World Cup competition, Eriksson had officially said farewell to one of his best horses, 25-year old Impus. The gelding was bred by Tomas? father and has been competing in Tomas? team for 19 years. He competed in nine World Championships and contributed to Eriksson?s individual gold medals in 1990 and 2000. Tomas used Impus for the last time in the eight-in-hand turnout show at the end the evening's programme in Stockholm.

Results CAI-W Stockholm:
1. Boyd Exell (Aus) 194,61
2. Koos de Ronde (Ned) 206,47
3. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 217,14
4. Fredrik Persson (Swe) 106,17
5. Dani? W?gler (Sui) 114,75
6. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 120,02

Classification after 3 of 6 events:
1. Boyd Exell (Aus) 20
2. Ijsbrand Chardon (Ned) 17
3. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 10
4. Zoltan Lazar (Hun) 8
5. Koos de Ronde (Ned) 7
6. Dani? W?gler (Sui) 6
7. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 2
7. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 2

Keep track of the World Cup on our website
The lists of drivers, results and points standings will be shown on our website as the competitions take place. Information is also available on the performance of the individual drivers. CLICK HERE for the 2007-8 Driving World Cup drivers, dates and venues.

The official World Cup Driving website is at http://www.worldcupdriving.com  

The next FEI World Cup Driving event takes place in Geneva, Switzerland, from 7 to 9 December 2007.  Website: www.csi-geneve.ch