Olympia, London 20 December 2013 – The Netherlands’ long-standing champion driver, IJsbrand Chardon, linked speed, accuracy and boldness in an outstanding display of driving skill to win the FEI World Cup qualifier at Olympia, The London International Horse Show.
Olympia is the only show in the world to host three FEI World Cup qualifiers: dressage, carriage-driving and, tomorrow, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup qualifier. This is the seventh of nine driving legs, with a final in Bordeaux in February.
In a tense final round, Chardon beat his compatriot Koos de Ronde and new German sensation Michael Brauchle, who dropped from second to third place in the final run-off. Britain’s Georgina Hunt, the first woman ever to be granted a wild card at a qualifier, put up a terrific show to finish seventh.
A shock result was the omission from the top three of world number one Boyd Exell, who was left an impossible margin to catch up after collecting two knock-downs.
Drivers and officials were unanimous in their praise for the organisation at Olympia. “The spectators are very close to us and their enthusiasm and support was amazing,” Chardon remarked. “The noise was deafening.”
Klaus Peppersack, president of the ground jury, said, “The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I have been to all the qualifying events and would have to say that I have never experienced an atmosphere like it. It is quite the best audience in the world.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Laura Renwick raised the Olympia roof when she became the first senior British rider to win a jumping class this week.
Riding David Perry’s brilliant Oz de Breve, Laura won the Earls Court Olympia Christmas Cracker by just 0.23sec from the flying Swede Peder Fredericson on yesterday’s speed class winner H & M Sibon. Peder is now H & M Leading Rider of the show.
Laura was drawn at exactly halfway down the 32-strong class and put up an immaculate round, meeting the final line of fences to perfection. “Oz is small and agile but he also has a big stride and covers the ground well, which is why he won,” explained Laura, who will ride the French-bred 11-year-old in tomorrow’s Longines FEI World Cup qualifier.
“I’ve had a few ups and downs this year and so to win here at Olympia has put me on a real high. I didn’t go into the arena thinking I’d win, but we met every fence on the right stride and I found myself where I wanted to be all the way round. It was very smooth.”
The honour of taking the first British win of the week went to young rider Jess Dimmock, who had the thrill of a lifetime when triumphing in the Under 23 British Championships, sponsored by Dodson & Horrell and The World Class Programme.
This class at Olympia is probably the most prestigious competition for young riders in the world – previous winners include the current world number one, Scott Brash. “If I can follow in even half of Scott’s footsteps it will be fantastic,” said Jess.
Riding her own Capella ll, Jess was first to go in the five-horse jump-off and produced a steady clear, which proved good enough to win. Scarlett Ward, who was carrying forward one time fault from the previous round, also went clear to finish second on Milena 8. Jessica Mendoza was third on Spirit T with one fence down.
Jess missed last year’s Olympia because Capella had to have colic surgery. “He is my horse of a lifetime and he nearly died last year, so for him to come back and win is a fairytale,” said Jess, who is trained by Tim Stockdale. “This means everything to me.”
IJsbrand Chardon (NED) http://www.olympiahorseshow.com/wp-content/uploads/chardon.mp3
Laura Renwick (GBR) http://www.lloydbell.co.uk/access/client_zone/Renwick.MP3
For details of the final placings in the Extreme Driving FEI World Cup, please click HERE.
For more information, please visit the website at www.olympiahorseshow.com.
Olympia, The London International Horse Show
Throughout the week of 16 December, the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington, London will play host to packed timetable of all things equestrian and boasts a total of over 80,000 visitors. The show mixes top class equestrian action including FEI World Cup Jumping, Dressage and Extreme Carriage Driving with family entertainment, such as The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art display and the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National which raises money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Olympia Horse Show celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 2007 and is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest equine competitions. Olympia Horse Show’s official charity for 2013 is veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, which works behind the scenes to monitor equine disease around the world and undertakes extensive on-going research to minimise the risk of injury to sport horses. The evening performance on Wednesday 18 December will be dedicated to the Animal Health Trust and 50p from every seat sold will go to the charity.
For more information, please contact Hannah Grissell, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207