Boyd Exell is back on track after winning the fifth qualifier of this season’s FEI World Cup Driving in Geneva. Exell was too strong for IJsbrand Chardon and Tomas Eriksson and claimed his only victory rewarded with World Cup points this season. This is Boyd Exell’s third victory at Geneva’s Palexpo after his win in 2008 and the series’ Final last April.
Leader of the standings After his wild card wins in Hannover and Stuttgart for which he did not receive World Cup points, Exell claimed ten points in Stockholm where he came second behind wild card driver Tomas Eriksson. In Budapest, it was Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich who beat the Australian World Cup and World four-in-hand Driving Champion. Thanks to his victory in Geneva, Exell has taken over the lead in the standings and has secured his ticket for the FEI World Cup Driving Final in Leipzig at the end of April 2011. Exell will start once more this season in Mechelen, Belgium, where he will compete with his third wild card for the season.
The older the faster Boyd Exell competed with the same four horses in all five competitions he has done so far. The Britain-based Australian title holder has been travelling with seven horses in order to be able to replace one if any injuries occurred during the long trips between World Cup events. But the geldings, which on average are 17-and-a-half years old, went faster and faster at every competition. Boyd noticed this in Budapest last week and cut down their feed supplies to help them slow down.
HADDAD POISED TO SNATCH LEAD FROM WERTH AT THE FOURTH LEG IN LONDON by Louise Parkes
London (GBR), 9 December 2010 – Germany’s Isabell Werth, a double-winner so far this season, holds a slender lead as the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League series moves to the hugely popular Christmas Show at Olympia in London next week. However Werth’s decision to skip the British fixture and to aim instead for the following leg on her home turf in Frankfurt four days later has left the door wide open for second-placed Catherine Haddad to forge ahead in the rankings.
The German-based American is only one point adrift of the leader, and with third-placed Ulla Salzgeber from Germany and fourth-placed Dutch rider Christa Larakkers also missing from the action, Haddad’s nearest challenger is British veteran, Richard Davison, who lies fifth with 32 points and just eight points off Werth’s total of 40. The British Olympian won the opening leg of the Central European League in Lipica, Slovenia last May and was fifth in the Western European League qualifier at Lyon in France in October with Hiscox Artemis. Haddad collected points at the same two European venues, but owes her advantage to a very successful trip home to her native shores in October where she took the Grand Prix and Freestyle honours at Devon, Pennsylvania with her 10 year old gelding Winyamaro.
What nobody expected in Hungary’s capital city happened today: Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich stayed ahead of top favourite Boyd Exell from Australia and won the FEI World Cup Driving competition in Budapest. Exell made two mistakes and came second, ahead of Ulrich’s compatriot Daniel Würgler. This was the second FEI World Cup Driving win in Ulrich’s 31 year long driving career. His first World Cup win came in Mechelen back in 2005.
Heart for Driving The Papp Lászlo Budapest Sportarena was filled with enthusiastic driving fans this afternoon. In Budapest you feel that driving has a special place in the people’s hearts. The driving sport is extremely popular in Hungary, stimulated even further by the Lázár brothers who are very successful in both pairs and team driving and who enjoy celebrity status in Hungary.
Hungarian O-course designer Gábor Fintha had designed one of the best courses of the season for today’s competition, with technical challenges and fast lines, including a bridge with fireworks.
Wellington, FL – December 4, 2010 – The $50,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix, CSI 2* was the feature event this week at the Holiday & Horses Show, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Scoring his biggest grand prix win to date was Brazil’s Paulo Santana on Taloubet, owned by Jennifer Santana. Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL, was second on The London Group’s Athena, while Kate Levy (USA) rode Lirving du Volsin, owned by Christian Woschenko and Kate Levy LLC, to third place.
The Holiday & Horses Show is the first competition in the Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) Holiday Series, which consists of seven shows through the beginning of January. The Holiday & Horses Show runs through Sunday, December 5.
The course designer for tonight’s grand prix was Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. There were 39 entries in the grand prix, but only three could find the key to a clear round and advance to the jump-off. The fastest four-faulter in fourth place was Mario Deslauriers (USA) on Jane Clark’s Vicomte D. Fifth place went to Kent Farrington (USA) on Valhalla, owned by Hillary McNerney.
History repeated itself in Stockholm on Sunday when local driver Tomas Eriksson beat favourite Boyd Exell on home soil in the third leg of the FEI World Cup Driving.
Exactly one year ago at the same venue, Eriksson triumphed and this year he was again too strong for the Australian FEI World Cup Driving Champion. However, Exell still claimed the full ten points because Eriksson drove with a wild card. Hungary’s Jozsef Dobrovitz came third in the Ericsson Globen Arena.
For the first time in the history of the FEI World Cup Driving in Stockholm, a winning round for the top three drivers was included in the event, which resulted in two exciting rounds. The drivers revelled in the competition and commented that they hoped next year they would be able to win a Volkswagen, like those competing in Jumping and Dressage in Stockholm.
CORNELISSEN STORMS TO A THREE-TIME WIN IN STOCKHOLM by Louise Parkes
Stockholm (SWE), 28 November 2010 – The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival stormed to victory in the third leg of the 2010/2011 Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series in Stockholm, Sweden this afternoon. The 31 year old rider, who suffered such deep disappointment when eliminated on her first appearance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in September after Parzival bit his tongue, bounced back with a performance that had “winner” written all over it. And it was a special moment as Cornelissen celebrated her third consecutive victory at the Swedish venue where she also topped the Freestyle line-up in 2008 and 2009.
On yet another great day for Dutch dressage, nine-time FEI World Cup Dressage champion Anky Van Grunsven produced a lovely Freestyle test from IPS Painted Black to secure runner-up spot ahead of Edward Gal and Interfloor Next One in third. Germany’s Isabell Werth, winner at the first two legs of the series in Odense, Denmark and Lyon, France did not compete this afternoon but still heads up the series leaderboard going into the next round at Olympia in London in December. However the Dutch contingent look set to pose a serious threat to the leading pack in the coming weeks.
NAGEL AND CORRADINA STORM TO VICTORY IN STUTTGART by Louise Parkes
Stuttgart (GER), 21 November 2010 – A superbly-judged round against the clock secured victory in the fifth leg of the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series today for Carsten-Otto Nagel. Riding the lovely grey mare Corradina, the 48 year old rider from Hamburg set the pace in this afternoon’s 13-horse jump-off and none of the rest could match his speed despite their very best efforts. The biggest threat came from defending Rolex FEI World Cup champion, fellow-German Marcus Ehning who had to settle for runner-up spot with Noltes Kuchengirl while Ireland’s Billy Twomey finished third with Tinka’s Serenade.
This latest result brings Germany’s impressive early-season tally to four wins from the opening five qualifying legs of the Western European League series which will conclude with the world final on their home turf in Leipzig next April. And Nagel has now moved into sixth place on the leaderboard which continues to be headed by World No. 1 Kevin Staut from France and which includes three Germans amongst the top six to date.
Boyd Exell (AUS) flew to his second victory of this season in the FEI World Cup Driving competition in Stuttgart. The World Cup and World champion drove an impeccable and extremely fast round with his new indoor marathon carriage and new harness, cheered by the enthusiastic crowd in the Schleyer Halle.
Dutch force Dutch drivers Koos de Ronde and IJsbrand Chardon qualified for the Winning Round and their main goal was to put the pressure on Boyd Exell, whose parents had come over from Australia to watch their son perform. Kentucky silver medallist Chardon set a fast time but knocked a ball down, giving his compatriot Koos de Ronde some air. De Ronde however was a bit confused by the different course in the Winning Round and drove an extra circle in the marathon obstacle. But being a true sportsman, De Ronde decided to keep driving as fast as he could and beat Chardon’s score by almost three seconds.
Verona (ITA), 7 November 2010 – The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam broke the German stranglehold on the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series when delivering a sensational victory in Verona, Italy this afternoon. German riders dominated at the first three legs at Oslo (NOR), Helsinki (FIN) and Lyon (FRA) so far this season, but the flying Dutchman set an impossible target when second to go in today’s thrilling 10-horse jump-off and couldn’t be caught despite the best efforts of the world-class field that followed him.
His winning margin was a narrow one however as Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, winner with Checkmate just a week ago in Lyon, came dangerously close to making it a back-to-back double with a superb performance from the 17 year old Shutterfly who was only fractionally slower against the clock. And Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Casall La Silla finished third in the star-studded line-up. Dubbeldam was crowned Olympic champion in Sydney (AUS) in 2000, Michaels-Beerbaum’s many successes include three Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping titles and, most recently, team Jumping gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA, while Bengtsson took individual silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Also in the top ten today were Carsten-Otto Nagel (4th) who was a member of that German gold medal winning side last month, Ireland’s Billy Twomey (5th) who finished individually 11th in Kentucky, and the man who continues to wear the Rolex armband as No. 1 Rider in the World Rankings, Kevin Staut from France (6th). This truly was a line-up of champions.