EXELL PUTS THE PRESSURE ON IN HANNOVER by Cindy Timmer
Hannover (GER) 31 October 2010 – Australian Boyd Exell laid down a marker for his rivals as the FEI World Cup Driving season got underway in Germany.
The Double World Cup Champion and recent World Four-in-Hand Champion won the first competition of the season in Hannover, finishing ahead of Hungary’s József Dobrovitz and IJsbrand Chardon from the Netherlands.
The 10th season of the FEI World Cup Driving kicked off traditionally during the German Classics show where the drivers and their horses received a warm welcome from the enthusiastic spectators at the near-capacity Hannover Messe Halle.
October 28, 2010 – The current single pony national champion and a former national single pony champion were paired this weekend at the Pine Tree CDE in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Shelly Temple drove her 12 year old Morgan gelding LR Ami B-Line (“Cooper”) with Jack Wetzel’s Harry for their first competition and won the preliminary pair class.
The team’s day started off on a high note with a competition best 35.27. Soon after finishing dressage, Temple drove the pair to a double clear round in cones by meeting the maximum time and not incurring any penalties. “Harry and Cooper exceeded our expectations today. They were responsive and work well together,” remarked Temple. A solid marathon on the Halloween-themed course solidified the blue ribbon for the pair’s debut outing.
World Equestrian Games Riders and Drivers to Attend 52nd Annual Washington International Horse Show
October 18, 2010 – The finest riders and drivers in the world assembled at the historic 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) last month in Kentucky. The Washington International Horse Show is pleased to welcome a number of these great horsemen and horsewomen October 26-31 at Verizon Center in Washington, DC.
Chester Weber, Ocala, FL, winner of the WEG Team Silver Medal for four-in-hand driving will bring his brilliant team of four to WIHS on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings for an exciting exhibition. Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward, Brewster, NY, the highest placed show jumper at WEG with a 7th individually, will be competing in the $100,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix Saturday night and other jumper classes throughout the week. He is a past winner of this highlight event. Also on hand will be show jumping superstar Rodrigo Pessoa, Brazil, who made it to the elite Final Four at WEG, and Venezuelan Pablo Barrios, whose performance at WEG advanced him into the select individual competition.
“What a journey this continues to be,” said Dr. Pearse Lyons, as he sat mesmerized by the incredible talent he was witnessing on September 25 as he watched each performer showcase their talents during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. It had been four years since Dr. Lyons had made the decision for his company, Alltech, a worldwide leader in animal nutrition, health and performance, to be the first major sponsor of this event.
This day was especially significant and he wasn’t about to miss even one beat of the evening’s performances.
“As the first performers entered the arena, I felt a great sense of relief and a sense of achievement,” commented Dr. Lyons after pausing for a moment to answer the question of how significant it was to have the Games start officially. “That relief wasn’t just for me but for our people at Alltech and for WEG. We all planned it and our people and the WEG people came together to get the job done. It’s been a great example of a team effort. So, how do I feel? I feel really delighted, especially to see our people really get into it and get involved.”
13 October 2010 – Following the success of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, the Driving world can expect more thrilling competition as the sport moves indoors for the 10th season of the FEI World Cup Driving.
Ten top class drivers, including eight from the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, will battle for the Driving World Cup title in seven competitions. For the first time ever, all three FEI World Cup Finals – the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping; the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage; and the FEI World Cup Driving – will be staged together in one venue at Leipzig in Germany.
Five World Champions
The qualification season consisted of 14 competitions throughout Europe and no less than five World Champions have qualified for the 2010-2011 season.
Lexington, KY (October 12, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber showed himself to be a world class competitor during the final days of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, when he brilliantly won the cones phase of the Combined Driving event with a lightning fast time of 200.42 to help the U.S. team clinch the Silver Medal. US Teammates Weber, James Fairclough and Tucker Johnson not only won the team Silver, but Johnson won the Individual Bronze as well, while the Netherlands won the team Gold and Germany the team Bronze.
On the first day of the Combined Driving competition, a standout dressage test had Weber tied for second place with IJsbrand Chardon of the Netherlands. However, things weren’t all smooth sailing for Weber; the eight-time USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion experienced bad luck on the marathon phase when one of his horses put a leg over a trace and a groom had to dismount to help the horse. The groom dismounting added points to Weber’s score and put him out of the running for an individual medal.
October 10, 2010 – Lexington, KY – Boyd Exell accomplished something today that no other Australian has ever done at a previous Driving World Championships — he won the individual gold medal, at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
With one ball down in the obstacles phase, held in front of a packed Driving Stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park, Exell (134.04) edged IJsbrand Chardon of the Netherlands (135.24) and Tucker Johnson of the United States (150.06).
Johnson is the second four-in-hand driving medalist in the history of the U.S. team, and he led teammates Chester Weber (who was the first U.S. individual medalist, winning individual silver in 2008) and James Fairclough to the team silver medal (330.92). This is the second team silver medal this trio has won at the World Equestrian Games. (The first was in 2002.)
Chardon, a four-time individual world champion, led the Netherlands to the team gold medal (279.77), the third time they’ve won the team gold medal in the World Equestrian Games. Germany moved up to the bronze medal (322.20) when Tomas Eriksson of Sweden was eliminated for going off course and took his third-placed team with him.
Boyd Exell from Australia has been on the hunt for a gold medal in four-in-hand driving for many years and at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky it finally came together for him. After a World Record dressage test and third place in the marathon, Exell drove a safe cones course and won his first individual gold medal. Dutch driver IJsbrand Chardon took the silver; with the bronze going to USA’s Tucker Johnson. The Dutch team won the gold, ahead of the USA and Germany.
Today was another drama-filled day in the full Driving Stadium as there were problems with the timing system half-way through the competition. Team drivers Ludwig Weinmayr from Germany and USA’s Chester Weber had to leave the arena while the repairs were done. Weber was the first driver to go after the enforced break and the 35-year-old multiple US Champion showed his professionalism by driving the first double clear round of the day despite the long wait. His compatriot James Fairclough followed him and did the same to secure team silver for the USA.
October 9. 2010 – Lexington, KY – Australia’s Boyd Exell drove the day’s third-fastest marathon to maintain the lead he took in the first phase of Driving World Championships at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Second-placed IJsbrand Chardon has put the Dutch team in front (273.77), while third-placed Tucker Johnson is leading the U.S. team’s charge for second place (300.92). Sweden is third (311.24).
“Normally on most marathons you’ll have one little something somewhere, but today seemed almost perfect. Even going safe we were still fast, “said Exell, 38. “I wanted to go fast enough to put pressure on Chardon, but not make mistakes. The horses were machines out there; they just really did it on their own.”
Exell, along with teammate Gavin Robson, has put Australia in the team medal hunt too. They’re in fourth, with 311.99 penalties, just behind Sweden. Australia has never won a team medal at the Driving World Championships.
CHARDON FIGHTS BACK IN THE MARATHON by Cindy Timmer
Title defender IJsbrand Chardon fought like a lion in today’s marathon, which he won ahead of Tomas Eriksson (SWE) and winner of the dressage Boyd Exell (AUS). Chardon had been under a lot of stress before the start of the marathon when he discovered his marathon carriage had been damaged. The Ground Jury allowed him to start last in the marathon to give the four-times World Champion enough time to repair his carriage.
The marathon was followed by a large number of spectators, who enjoyed watching the 25 international competitors on the eight marathon obstacles, designed by USA’s Richard Nicoll. The temperatures rose to 30 degrees Celsius and all necessary precautions were taken to ensure the welfare of the horses, with plenty of ice, water and misting fans at the halt and finish of the marathon.