WEBER AND CHARDON SHARE EARLY LEAD AFTER FOUR-IN-HAND DRIVING DRESSAGE by Cindy Timmer
Lexington, 7 October – With twelve more competitors to go, USA’s Chester Weber and title defender IJsbrand Chardon from The Netherlands have already set the standard in today’s driven dressage, with the two drivers scoring the same marks to take the early lead.
The many spectators were treated to wonderful dressage tests in the Driving Stadium, which was blessed with a warm autumn sun.
Chardon was second to go in the morning and put down a wonderful performance which was awarded by the international Ground Jury with a score of 35.97 penalty points to go into first place. With the Swedish warmblood geldings Isovlas Tango and Isovlas Paganini in the lead of his team and the Dutch warmblood horses Zidane and Whooper in the wheel, Chardon produced a near faultless dressage test.
At the end of the afternoon, the USA’s top favourite and silver medal winner in Beesd 2008, Chester Weber, scored exactly the same mark as Chardon. Weber drove a nice test, but the rein back was not faultless, which probably cost the eight-times US four-in-hand champion precious penalty points. Weber drove his mixed team of Dutch and Belgian warmblood geldings and a Polish bred horse with which he set a world record score at the CAI-A in Riesenbeck in 2008.
Weber mentioned that he may have contributed a little bit to the success of Chardon since the four times World Champion drives the talented KWPN gelding Whooper in his team. Whooper’s sire is Sir Sinclair, which is owned by Chester’s second cousin who owns the Iron Spring Farm.
Dutch all-round driver Theo Timmerman, who celebrated his 46th birthday yesterday, drove his best test of the season with his team of Holsteiner, Hanoverian and KWPN geldings, to move into third place. Timmerman also credited his strong dressage performance to his KWPN horse Valentino, which is owned by USA’s North Carolina based Seth and Patsy Wooten.
The remaining twelve competitors, amongst which were favourites Boyd Exell (AUS) and Tucker Johnson (USA), will drive their dressage tests tomorrow. The marathon, with eight beautifully laid out obstacles designed by World Championship course designer Richard Nicoll from the USA, will take place on Saturday 9 October. The final obstacle driving competition is scheduled for Sunday, 10 October.
FEI TV – As well as live competition coverage throughout the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, FEI TV will make all competitions available post-event via VoD, plus an exclusive daily 30-minute VoD highlights show from the Kentucky Horse Park featuring the best of the day’s action, interviews, previews and reviews. There will also be lots of behind the scenes footage available. Check out www.feitv.org.
Chester Weber (USA)
“The movements went fantastic; my horses really woke up in the stadium. I was disappointed with my rein back, but the extensions went very well. It is wonderful to drive in this stadium with so many spectators.
My horses are fit and in top form and I am looking forward to the marathon. My marathon trainer is Dutch driver and fellow competitor at the WEG Koos de Ronde, he is probably one of the best marathon drivers in the world.”
IJsbrand Chardon (NED)
“It was a disadvantage that I had to start so early. Normally the judges give better points later in the day and on the second day. I was determined to drive a good test to put the pressure on Chester Weber. I had a very good feeling and I am very pleased with my score. The extensions could have been a bit more powerful and one of my leader horses dribbled briefly in the walk, but I am very pleased!”
Theo Timmerman (NED)
“This is the best test I have driven all season and they can even do better! This team has not been together very long. Two horses were in my team at the World championships in Beesd 2008 and the other two were added afterwards. It takes time to get them to this high level and I expect even more of them in two years’ time. The rein back could have been more fluent and my left leader horse cantered for a moment, but I do forgive him for this.”
Audio Links: Chester Weber (USA) co-winner first dressage day: http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/WEG_Chester_webber.mp3
Standings Dressage after 13 out of 25 competitors:
1. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 35,97
1. Chester Weber (USA) 35,97
3. Theo Timmerman (NED) 40,19
4. Christoph Sandmann (GER) 40,58
5. Tomas Eriksson (SWE) 50,30
6. James Fairclough (USA) 51.97
7. Gavin Robson (AUS) 55.30
8. Casey Zubek (USA) 60.29
9. Ludwig Weinmayr (GER) 62.46
10. William Long (USA) 64.90
Full results and startlists at www.alltechfeigames.com.
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The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations.
Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few Olympic sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences. For further information, visit www.fei.org.
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is the World Championship of equestrian sport and runs for 16 days, from Saturday 25 September to Sunday 10 October. It includes eight separate disciplines – Reining, Endurance, Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Jumping, Vaulting and Para-Dressage – and this is the first time for the Games to be held outside Europe.
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