Tag Archives: IJsbrand Chardon

Wins for AP McCoy and Maikel Van der Vleuten on Race Night at Olympia

Jockeys of a different kind stole the show on day four of Olympia, The London International Horse Show. Ten of the most renowned jockeys from the world of flat and National Hunt racing took to the Olympia Grand Hall for the Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund, with Sir AP McCoy’s team of ‘legends’ coming out on top.

The day kicked off with the Olympia Senior Showing Series Championships sponsored by Anthony D Evans Insurance. Jayne Harper and her 20-year-old black gelding, Crimewave II, triumphed in the ridden section and Alice Stratton and the 13-year-old Welsh Section B gelding Laithehill Pashsa won the in-hand final.

Three CSI5* Show Jumping competitions and a FEI World Cup Driving Leg provided top class international action from start to finish, with Maikel Van der Vleuten taking the pinnacle of the day’s Show Jumping, the 1.60m Longines Christmas Cracker. Meanwhile, showing his Dad how it is done, there was a win for Rocco Dettori in the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National.

Cool-headed Dutchman Maikel Van der Vleuten, who has so often set the Olympia arena alight, was victorious again, this time on the 12-year-old bay mare VDL Groep Arera C in The Longines Christmas Cracker when shaving 0.19 seconds off the time of one of the world’s best horsemen, German Olympian Marcus Ehning (Comme Il Faut).

It was an international affair with Frenchman Simon Delestre third on Teavanta ll and another Dutchman, quiet horseman Harrie Smolders fourth on Cas.

There was no home cheer until ninth place, filled by Ben Maher on Don Vito, but the London Olympic gold medallist is now lying third in the Leading Rider of Show table.

In earlier classes, Belgium’s Francois Mathy Jnr set an unbeatable target from an early draw in The Snowflake Stakes, a speed class. Riding Falco van de Clehoeve, he held off a challenge from Britain’s Cayenne Puissance winner Laura Renwick, this time riding MHS Washington.

“Because I was so early to go I was hoping for a finish in the top five, so I am happy about how it finished,” said Francois. “This is the type of class where Falco has been quite competitive. He’s a special horse with a special personality.”

Germany’s Daniel Deusser, winner of the 2014 FEI World Cup Final, triumphed in a nine-horse jump-off in The Keith Prowse Snowman Stakes on SX Hidalgo VG.

Florida-based Amanda Derbyshire was fourth and highest placed Brit on Luibanta BH. Amanda, who is trained by Nick Skelton, and used to compete Olympic champion Big Star as a youngster, admitted that her aim was to be talent-spotted for the British team.

“It’s much warmer in Florida and I did wonder whether I wanted to travel over, but then I thought maybe I’d never get another invitation!” she said. “I was really quite over-excited when I arrived but I’m a bit more relaxed now. It’s fantastic to be here at Olympia.”

A stellar team of legendary jump jockeys trounced the flat jockeys in a thrilling Markel Champions Challenge in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund.

The National Hunt jockeys, trained by Graham Fletcher and headed by the winning-most jockey of all time, Sir AP McCoy, joked that their ages added up to more than 300 years. Their best performance came from Ireland’s Charlie Swann, winner of three Champion Hurdles on Istabraq back in the 1990s, but former champions Peter Scudamore, Richard Dunwoody and John Francome, a former Junior European champion Show Jumper, showed they could still cut it.

The best performance from the flat jockeys, trained by Nick Skelton, came from captain Frankie Dettori, who said: “We gave it our best shot.”

Ijsbrand Chardon, the most experienced driver on the FEI World Cup circuit, treated the Olympia audience to a breath-taking display of rein-handling as he knocked favourite Boyd Exell into second place in the FEI World Cup Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell.

First to go, Exell (AUS) set the bar high and the next four all picked up knockdown penalties. Penultimate to go, Benjamin Aillaud from France, who hasn’t competed in FEI World Cup competition for over a decade, posted a clear round, putting him second, but the Dutchman Chardon, twice a FEI World Cup champion, then took the course by storm, his horses responding to his every command. The win was his by 1.5 seconds, putting him in prime position for tomorrow’s final.

With a new mare in the lead, Chardon felt she was more settled. “Yesterday, she was a little over-awed by the atmosphere which is always so fantastic here. Today her concentration was better. Boyd had set such a standard, but today it all came together for me.”

GB’s representative, Daniel Naprous, whose day job is horsemaster to the display and stunt team The Devil’s Horsemen – recently taking the role of Darth Vader in Star Wars – put up a more assured performance, going clear until towards the end of obstacle two.

To find out more about Olympia, the London International Horse Show, visit www.olympiahorseshow.com.

For more information, please contact:
Olympia, The London International Horse Show:
Gayle Telford gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk 0203 176 0355

Chardon Beats Exell in Stuttgart

Ijsbrand Chardon (FEI /Stefan Lafrentz)

Stuttgart (GER), 19 November 2016 – After an exciting battle in the nearly sold out Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart (GER), reigning World Cup Champion IJsbrand Chardon (NED) beat his rival Boyd Exell (AUS) in the first FEI World Cup™ Driving competition of the season. Wild card driver Georg von Stein (GER) finished in the third place.

Chardon set the time to beat in the second round, in which the top three drivers started from scratch. Last starter Boyd Exell knocked down two cones and was unable to beat Chardon’s time, which resulted in Chardon wining Stuttgart again, for the first time since 2007.

Boyd Exell used a new left leader horse in his team as well. The 18-year-old gelding Costa contributed to Boyd’s very fast team of horses. Being the last man in, Boyd was so focused in the first marathon obstacle, he completed with an extra circle. Whilst trying to make up for this mistake, the four-times World Champion went even faster, but knocked down two balls and finished in second place.

Georg von Stein thanked the organiser for his wild card, which allowed him to test his horses: “I made changes to my wheelers; I took one out and changed position of the other. The spectators were amazing; the atmosphere was great. It is a shame that I knocked some flowers over in the second round, but I am very pleased with my results.”

Theo Timmerman (NED) used two new leader horses and his team was very fast. Unfortunately he had three knockdowns, which dropped him to fourth place. The four-in-hand of Rainer Duen (GER) lacked the proper settings and Duen could not get into the right rhythm, finishing in fifth place, ahead of Jérôme Voutaz (SUI) whose round did not go as well as he had hoped for.

The 2016/2017 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Stockholm (SWE) on Sunday, 27 November. Boyd Exell and Rainer Duen will drive their second competition in Sweden’s capital city. József Dobrovitz (HUN), József Dobrovitz jr. (HUN) and Edouard Simonet (BEL) will kick off their season there. Fredrik Persson (SWE) will compete with a wild card.


IJsbrand Chardon used a new horse in the left lead of his team, the 10-year-old piebald gelding Casper: “I have had this horse for two years and I normally use him in my riding school. I started to use him in a few small indoor competitions and he did very well, so I decided to use him in Stuttgart.”

Boyd Exell: “I wanted to stay tight to the elements and I forgot to think ahead; this was a driver mistake! I did cut every edge though and I am very pleased with my horses; they form a very good team.”

Results in detail can be viewed here.

The FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Stockholm will be broadcast live on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform, at 13.00 hrs. CET (local time in Sweden, GMT+1 hour).

For information on Stockholm, go to www.swedenhorseshow.se/english/news/ or contact Press Officer Lotta Amnestal, Lotta.Amnestal@ridsport.se, + 46 709 79 56 35.

For more information on FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website.

By Cindy Timmer

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

At Stuttgart:

Hartmut Binder
+49 172 972 2848

Chardon Claims FEI World Cup Driving Title

IJsbrand Chardon (NED) was extremely happy with his FEI World Cup™ Driving title. Photo: FEI/Eric Knoll.

Bordeaux (FRA), 7 February 2016 – After an amazing battle between the best drivers, IJsbrand Chardon (NED) beat top favourite Boyd Exell (AUS) in the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final 2016 in Bordeaux (FRA) today and re-claimed the title for the first time again since 2006. Winner of the first competition, Koos de Ronde (NED) finished third. The Final of the 15th season of the FEI World Cup™ Driving turned into a true thriller where the battle went on until the very last moment.

Chardon made the competition very exciting when his back stepper, his son Bram, lost his balance for a fraction of a second at the last gate and almost fell off, which would have cost the Dutchman his victory. But Bram found his balance in time and stayed onboard in the end.

Last starter Exell had to risk everything to beat the very fast and clear round of Chardon. The six-time World Cup winner had an unfortunate knockdown at obstacle 3, after which Exell put the throttle on even more to make up for that. It did look as if he was going to do it, but a second knockdown in the last half of the course prevented him from winning his seventh FEI World Cup title.

Dedicated his win

IJsbrand Chardon dedicated his win to his former sponsor Kees van Opstal, who passed away last week age 85. “Kees was my sponsor for ten years in the ‘80s and I owe many successes to him,” the Dutch driver said.

After two years of bad luck in Bordeaux, it finally came together for Chardon in the Final. Two years ago his horses were ill after the first day so he had to withdraw, and last year his leader horse jumped the start/finish line after which he drove a wrong gate. “I have won in Stockholm (SWE) and London Olympia (GBR) this year, so I knew that it was possible to beat Boyd. The team of horses that I have are very good and after I tried different set-ups I decided after my win in London that this would be my team for the Final,” he explained.

Winning Round

Boyd Exell was last to go in for the Winning Round, which took place over an altered course. After Chardon’s clear round, Exell was less than 2 seconds ahead of him, but the three-time World Champion didn’t feel any pressure. “I knew I had to go for it but then I had this unlucky ball at obstacle 3, caused by the hind leg of my left leader. I then had to push even more, but then a second ball fell. You just can’t have two balls in the Winning Round. I tried and I went as fast as I could, but it was IJsbrand’s turn this time to win,” said the sporting Exell.

Koos de Ronde was last in for the first round and had to go in first for the Winning Round which left his horses not enough time to recuperate: “It is a pity that my wheeler horses didn’t have enough power in the Winning Round to help me put the pressure on IJsbrand and Boyd, but it is still nice to be on the podium.”

Change of direction

Like during the first competition, the several thousands of enthusiastic spectators witnessed spectacular driving competitions today in Bordeaux.

International Course Designer Dan Henriksson (SWE) laid out a technical course, which suited most of the top drivers. In the Winning Round, Henriksson had taken out two gates in the marathon type obstacles and he changed the direction of gate A in obstacle 4. “I wanted to design a more complicated course for the Final than at a regular competition, but I still wanted to have the speed. The course must be challenging for the drivers and I believe it worked out well. I showed the course plan to the President of the Ground Jury, Bert Jambon (BEL), and he suggested changing the direction of one gate. This contributed to a fluent Winning Round although we could see some horses thinking ‘what’s going on here’ as they were already used to the course!” he explained.

Jérôme Voutaz (SUI) concluded his first World Cup season with a respectable fourth place behind the Top Three by driving a very fast round with only one knock down. European Champion Michael Brauchle (GER) finished fifth in his first Final, followed by wild card driver Sébastien Mourier (FRA) and Georg von Stein (GER).

In 2017, the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final will take place in Gothenburg (SWE). Bordeaux, however, will continue to host a leg, much to the appreciation of the drivers who enjoyed competing at the French fixture.

Official results

For more information on the FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website.

By Cindy Timmer

FEI Media Contact:
Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

At Bordeaux:
Press Officer
Pascal Renauldon
+33 608759407

IJsbrand Chardon Beats Boyd Exell at London Olympia

IJsbrand Chardon on his way to beating Boyd Exell at London Olympia. (Photo: FEI/Trevor Meeks)

London Olympia (GBR), 19 December 2015 – The Netherlands’ IJsbrand Chardon tonight succeeded in doing what all the drivers in the FEI World Cup™ Driving series are aiming to do. The four-time World Champion pipped the so-far-unbeatable Boyd Exell from Australia with two fast and faultless rounds in the electric atmosphere of the Grand Hall at Olympia in London (GBR). Exell, who competed with a wild card, finished second ahead of Koos de Ronde (NED) in third.

It is the third time that Chardon has won the leg in London, having previously been victorious in 2011 and 2013. And he performed very well throughout the three competition days, which included an extra competition on the first day that did not count for the World Cup.

By earning the 10 World Cup points, Chardon is now certain of a starting ticket for the Final in Bordeaux, France along with Exell and de Ronde.

From the largest to the smallest arena

Dutch Level 4 Course Designer Johan Jacobs was responsible for the course last week in the largest arena in Geneva, Switzerland and took up the challenge to design another exciting course in the smallest arena in the FEI World Cup™ Driving series in London Olympia, which worked out very well.

The spectators, who have become very knowledgeable over the past few years, very much enjoyed the performances of the seven drivers, and the atmosphere in the beautiful Olympia Hall was just amazing.

Grow in the competition

IJsbrand Chardon did not use his regular leader horse Aladin as he had a cough on arrival in England earlier this week. He replaced the gelding with the more experienced but tougher-to-drive Lipizzaner horse Inci who, however, had previous experience as part of the team. “I know that Inci has to grow in the competition, he just needs a bit of time. My horses felt super and I haven’t knocked any balls down for three days, which is brilliant,” Chardon said tonight.

He analysed both his own rounds and those of Exell on video after the first competition yesterday, and he subsequently decided to take a shorter route, which resulted in the second-fastest time, only one second behind Exell, who had a knock down. Chardon went into the Winning Round over an altered course with almost nine seconds of an advantage, but he still went for it. “I had a very safe feeling but I did drive at full speed. I knew I could have one knock down, and when I went clear the feeling was just great!” the winning driver said.

With his ticket to the final now in his pocket, and with one more competition to go in Mechelen (BEL) later this month, Chardon will try some alternate set-ups to his team in order to get the good feeling again for Bordeaux.

Not affect Christmas

Boyd Exell won the extra competition and the first competition and was last to go in the first round, where he set the fastest time. He was unfortunately plagued with team set-up problems and had one knock down, which put him into third position. After only a short break, he had to enter the arena again for the Winning Round and had no time to think about his tactics.

His plan to take a different route in one of the marathon type obstacles failed, he lost speed and rhythm and a ball fell, leaving the 2014 Olympia winner in runner-up spot at the end of the day.

“It is good for the sport that somebody else wins,” Exell said afterwards. “I am still pleased with my second place. I can’t expect to win all the time and I am for sure not going to let this ruin Christmas!” he added.

The last time Exell was beaten at an FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg was in Leipzig, Germany earlier this year, where Koos de Ronde was the strongest.

Exciting finish

The Dutch team gold medallist, de Ronde, has had his ups and downs this week. He finished sixth in the first competition after having made several changes in his team of horses. He actually made some changes during the warm-up session today as well, and finally re-found the right feeling.

He went for it in in the first round, knowing that his fellow competitors were all eager to make it to the Winning Round as well. He drove clear in a fast time, and only Chardon managed to beat him in the end. De Ronde was then unlucky again in the Winning Round where he had 20 penalty seconds added to his time after two knockdowns and rebuilding the course.

His unlucky run, however, wasn’t finished yet. De Ronde caused excitement when his left wheeler horse and left leader horse fell just after passing the finish line. “I passed the finish at high speed when my left horses fell. I got pulled off the carriage but my horses quickly got back on their feet and did not get injured,” the Dutchman explained afterwards.

Johan Jacobs stood in their way and grabbed the team quickly, and in the true spirit of this great sport Boyd Exell and some of the other competitors rushed into the arena to also see if they could do anything help. However, de Ronde presented his team in the prize-giving ceremony, showing the spectators that everything was fine with his four-legged friends.

Strong competition

The remaining four drivers pushed their teams of horses in a very strong competition, where the level was extremely high, including second wild card driver Dan Naprous from Great Britain.

Hungary’s József Dobrovitz drove a short route from gate 8 to 9, but the risk didn’t pay off when a ball fell. It cost him a place in the Winning Round and dropped him to fourth place in the final analysis.

London Olympia was Dobrovitz’ fourth and last competition of this series, and with just 12 points picked up so far it is very unlikely that he will make it to the Final. The goal of Germany’s Georg von Stein was to drive very fast so he could afford a ball, but he unfortunately came short over one second and had one ball. Von Stein has one more competition to go and is currently in fifth place in the standings.

After finishing third in the first competition, Glenn Geerts from Belgium was determined to equal this performance today, but he unfortunately had three knockdowns and finished sixth. Geerts will compete on home turf in Mechelen (BEL) with a wild card, and then in Leipzig where he will get his last chance to earn enough points to enter the Top Six.

Dan Naprous, who is a stuntman by profession and currently working on the film “Wonder Woman”, put down very good performances with his team of Lipizzaner horses. And although he is always disappointed to finish last, he also accepted that the world-class drivers in London were very hard to beat.

New look and feel

Johan Jacobs and the Organising Committee gave the obstacles on the course a bit of a make-over, which resulted in several obstacles shaped as Christmas gifts.

“We are keen to have our own obstacles with a different look and feel,” Show Director Simon Brooks-Ward said.

The bridge on the course was completely new, and the Olympia jumping obstacles were used as wings at the entrance and exit of the bridge. The standard orange cones were covered with green sleeves to add to the Christmas theme that makes this horse show such a hugely popular event at this time of year.

Results in detail can be viewed here.

The 2015/2016 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Mechelen (BEL) on Wednesday, 30 December.

The FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Mechelen will be broadcast live on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform, on 30 December at 21:50 hrs.

For information on Mechelen, go to www.jumping-mechelen.com or contact Press Officer Edith de Reys, edith.dereys@skynet.be, +32 475 659 281.

For more information on the FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website.

By Cindy Timmer

Media Contacts:

At Olympia:

Jo Peck
Press Officer
+44 1753 847 900


Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Ijsbrand Chardon Back in the Driving Seat at Olympia

Dutch carriage-driver Ijsbrand Chardon stood up in his carriage and waved to a madly cheering audience at Olympia, The London International Horse Show, after winning the FEI World Cup™ Driving Leg presented by Dodson & Horrell.

Ijsbrand had achieved the seemingly impossible in overhauling the hitherto unbeatable world number one Boyd Exell, who was competing on a wild card at Olympia, and is now guaranteed a place in the final in Bordeaux, France, in February.

Koos de Ronde, also from the Netherlands, finished third, despite a tip-up after crossing the finish line in the final round. His horses, however, were none the worse for the spill and were able to perform in the traditionally rousing prize-giving ceremony.

Showing the camaraderie for which the sport is renowned, all the other drivers rushed to help. Boyd commented: ‘No one likes accidents to happen but it is good for spectators to see how difficult our sport is.’

He added sportingly: ‘It is good for the sport for someone else to win – this certainly won’t ruin my Christmas!’

Ijsbrand’s victory was all the more remarkable because he had to switch his usual lead horse, Aladin, due to the horse having a cough. Instead, he drove the more experienced but harder to manage Lipizzaner Inci.

‘The feeling was just great,’ said a visibly elated Ijsbrand, a man who has dominated the sport of carriage-driving for three decades. ‘I know that Inci has to grow in competition; he just needs a bit of time. My horses felt super and I haven’t knocked any balls down for three days, which is brilliant.’

The British representative Daniel Naprous, whose ‘day job’ is as a stuntman on the film Wonder Woman, put up a good performance with his team of Lipizzaner horses. He was disappointed to finish last, but acknowledged that the overseas drivers are very hard to beat.

The sell-out house was also treated to a spectacular competition from the Kennel Club Large Senior Dog Agility Finals where Greg Derrett and Devongem Rehab Sproglett went clear in an impressive time of 32.78secs to clinch the title.

In the showjumping, Germany’s Hans-Dieter Dreher continued his run of form when emerging victorious in the fast and thrilling Shelley Ashman International Ltd, K M Rogers (Transport) Ltd Father Christmas Stakes on Callisto.

The long-time leader of this accumulator competition was John Whitaker on Lord of Arabia, ahead of his younger brother Michael (Right Now Semilly). ‘Watching John’s round was a big advantage for me because I was able to create a good plan,’ said Hans-Dieter. ‘It was a fast course, with short turns, and I had to go for it. Luckily, my horse is very careful.’

Next, Ben Maher produced a superb display of power jumping on new ride Boomerang to scoop €15,000 in the winner-takes-all Christmas Masters.

This fascinating competition, which is all about tactics and clearing huge fences, is open to the seven riders currently heading the H & M Leading Rider of Show table. Each clear round means another €500 in the prize pot, the fences keep going up, and a rail down spells elimination.

By the end of the fourth round, only Switzerland’s formidable Pius Schwizer (Leonard de la Ferme CH), Ben and Jur Vreiling were left to jump off against the clock for the jackpot.

Pius had a fence down and Ben went clear, but in a time that was slow enough to leave the door open yet fast enough to put pressure on the Dutch Olympian, who hit the second fence.

‘There’s an enormous amount of tactics, and I think this sort of competition is a way that the sport could develop,’ commented Ben. ‘They’re probably the biggest jumps we’ll see this week and the crowd loves it.

‘We have an agreement beforehand that the winner buys everyone drinks – and no doubt the others will take me up on it!’

Ben has acquired the ride on the nine-year-old Boomerang, and also on Quabble, through Danish rider Emilie Martinsen, who is taking a break from competing. ‘Everything is new territory with this horse – he’s still has to be led into the ring,’ explained Ben. ‘But although he’s now quite tired after five rounds, he’s learned a lot. It’s a great way to end the year.’

There was yet another British win in the Christmas Tree Stakes, in which William Whitaker and his uncle John finished first and third, split by Finnish visitor Anna-Julia Kontio on her beautiful grey Fardon.

Thirteen of the 21 starters went through to a mammoth jump-off, but there were only five clears, of which William’s was the fastest on Balibu – keeping it in the family, the 10-year-old chestnut by Baloubet is owned by another uncle, Michael.

‘I’m thrilled with the way he has come on,’ said William. ‘Even though it was quite a small class I knew it would be tight because there were so many good combinations.’

Uncle John, beaten by about 1/100th of a second, admitted he was ‘sick as a parrot’, but pointed out that his mare, Ornellaia, hadn’t got the biggest of strides.

‘Every fence came up perfectly and I don’t think anyone was faster than me at the second to last fence, but William did the last in six strides and I intended to do the same, but she just didn’t seem to get there,’ he explained.

There’s two more days of exciting competition to come but, for now, John, the senior rider at Olympia, has the satisfaction of heading the H & M Leading Rider of Show leaderboard.

To view the full results click HERE.

For more information, please contact Gayle Telford, Revolution Sports + Entertainment
E: gayle@revolutionsports.co.uk T: +44(0)778 757 6490 or +44(0)207 592 1207

Olympia, The London International Horse Show
The first international horse show took place in the Olympia halls in 1907. Olympia, The London International Horse Show, the event we see today, was started by Raymond Brooks-Ward in 1971. This year’s show takes place on 15-21 December 2015 in the Olympia Exhibition Hall, located in West Kensington London. The show will play host to a packed timetable of all things equestrian and is expected to welcome over 90,000 visitors. It is regarded as one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious equine competitions. The show mixes top class equestrian action, including FEI World Cup™ Jumping, Dressage and Driving with family entertainment, such as the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National and The Kennel Club Dog Agility.

Chardon Wins FEI World Cup Driving in Stockholm

IJsbrand Chardon. (FEI/Roland Thunholm)

Stockholm (SWE), 30 November 2015 – Dutchman IJsbrand Chardon won the third FEI World Cup™ Driving leg yesterday at the Swedish International Horse Show in Stockholm. But it did not come easy for the four-time World Champion, as he had to stop for a moment when one of his wheeler horses caught a leader rein under its tail. Young drivers Michael Brauchle (GER) and József Dobrovitz Jr. finished second and third.

Over 15.000 spectators witnessed the exciting competition between the six drivers in the Friends Arena where Swedish course designer Dan Henriksson built a technical course with three marathon type obstacles and a bridge.

First clear

Chardon was last to go in the first round and put down the first clear round of the evening. He was over nine seconds faster than his closest rival Michael Brauchle.

He started off very controlled in the winning round and aimed for a safe round. “In the first round my team went super; the feeling with them was fantastic,” he said afterwards. “In the winning round I had to stop in one of the marathon obstacles after the right wheeler horse had caught the rein of the right leader horse. It really got stuck and I couldn’t move it so I had to stop,” he explained. Chardon’s groom managed to solve the matter quickly, and in the end the Lipizzaners passed the finish line despite one knock down with a six-second advantage over Brauchle. It was the first time in Chardon’s career that he has won the FEI World Cup™ Driving leg in Stockholm.

Michael Brauchle flew through the course in the first round, but lost time in the marathon obstacles. He went wide around and touched an element, which caused a ball to fall. The reigning European Champion went even faster in the winning round and stayed clear, finishing one second ahead of Dobrovitz Jr. “This was my second start in a World Cup competition this season. I was very happy how my leader horses worked together. I competed in Stuttgart last week as well, but this arena is a bit smaller so I had to drive a bit more carefully. I found the course technical and very good,” he said.

Lost accuracy

József Dobrovitz Jr. did very well in the first round, but in the winning round he lost accuracy and touched an element, which caused an unlucky ball. He lost precious seconds in the third marathon obstacle after he slightly went over a gate. “This was my first indoor competition this season and I decided to make some changes in the setup of my four-in-hand after the first competition on Friday evening. But I always dreamed about competing in Stockholm. I have been here before as a groom for my father and now I am competing here myself. I find it fantastic! The horses worked very well. I had one knock down in each round but that was not the fault of the horses. It was my fault,” he insisted.

His friends, German international four-in-hand drivers Christoph Sandmann and Sebastian Hess, assisted Georg von Stein (GER) on his carriage. Von Stein started off well, but he had a bit of miscommunication with the horses in one of the marathon obstacles and lost speed, so the 2014 German Champion finished in fourth place in Stockholm this year.

Extra circle

József Dobrovitz (HUN) finished fifth after he knocked two balls down in the second marathon obstacle and loosing time after making an extra circle in the third obstacle.

Wild card driver Axel Olin (SWE) finished sixth after tragically losing one of his horses on Friday night. Olin’s team had completed the round and the horses were walking towards the exit from the arena when his wheeler horse Filur collapsed. The veterinary team was very quickly on the scene to attend to the horse, but sadly there was nothing that could be done. An autopsy will be conducted to establish the cause of death.

Results in detail can be viewed here.

The 2015/2016 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Geneva (SUI) on Sunday, 13 December.

The FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Geneva will be broadcast live on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform, at 10.30 CET (local time in Geneva, GMT+1 hour).

For information on Geneva, go to www.chi-geneve.ch or contact Press Officer Corinne Druey, druey@syntagme-lausanne.ch, +41 21 312 82 22.

For more information on FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website.

By Cindy Timmer

FEI Media Contacts:
Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

At Stockholm:
Lotta Amnestal
Press Officer
+ 46 709 79 56 3

Dutch Dominate Driving at Aachen 2015

IJsbrand Chardon (NED) has won the dressage phase of the FEI European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand 2015 in Aachen – all eyes are now on tomorrow’s second phase, the cones, before the European individual and team champions are crowned after the marathon stage on Saturday, 22 August. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Aachen (GER), 20 August 2015 – The Dutch four-in-hand drivers have dominated the dressage phase at the FEI European Driving Championships for Four-in-Hand in Aachen, which got underway yesterday with all 180 horses and 36 competitors.

The four-time world champion IJsbrand Chardon (NED) won this first phase of the Championships, ahead of his compatriot and defending European champion Theo Timmerman.

Spain’s Juan Antonio Real Garcia broke the “Orange domination” by finishing in third place, followed by the third Dutch team member Koos de Ronde in fourth.

With three Dutch drivers now in the top four, The Netherlands has taken an early lead, with Hungary and Belgium lying second and third respectively in the team standings.

Winning test

IJsbrand Chardon was second to go this morning and the 26-time Dutch Champion put down the winning test, despite a small mistake in the second walk when his right leader horse trotted. “I am very pleased with my performance, apart from the walk. The horses formed a nice team together and my wheeler horses were very good today. If the walk had gone well as well, this would have been my best test of the season,” said Chardon.

New wheeler horses

Defending European individual and team champion Theo Timmerman is competing with two new horses in the wheel of his team this season. The start to the season has not been easy, but today in the sunny and beautiful Deutsche Bank Stadion, it all worked out for him. “Our goal this season was to prepare for the FEI World Championships 2016 in Breda. If things had not worked out, that would have been our own choice. We decided not to start in Riesenbeck earlier this month, and we drove a national competition instead to build the four-in-hand even more. It went very well there and also in the training session with our national coach Harry de Ruyter, who kept faith in us. It is super that it worked out well today!” explained Timmerman.

Spain excels

Juan Antonio Real Garcia, the first starter today and finishing third, is trained by triple world champion Boyd Exell (AUS). A multiple four-in-hand champion, Real Garcia is competing with two horses from Exell’s four-in-hand gold medal winning team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014. “I am very pleased with my test, despite two small mistakes. One of my leaders had a break in the walk and during the one-handed circle, which was a pity,” said Real Garcia.

Close scores

Hungarian drivers Zoltán Lázár and József Dobrovitz set the same score in the dressage today, finishing fifth and putting Team Hungary in second place.

The most experienced Belgian driver Felix-Marie Brasseur and his young compatriot Edouard Simonet finished in 7th and 8th respectively, and with very close scores of 48.79 and 48.90.

Michael Brauchle, whose best phase is normally the marathon, put down the best German performance in the dressage phase. Brauchle finished ninth, followed by his team mates Georg von Stein and Christoph Sandmann.

Friday cones

The FEI European Driving Championships 2015 will enter the second phase tomorrow (21 August), with the cones competition. As with Saturday’s final marathon stage, tomorrow’s cones phase will see athletes start in reverse order of results.

By Cindy Timmer

Media Contacts:

At Aachen:

Niels Knippertz
Press Officer
+49 (0) 241 9171 182


Grania Willis
Director Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 42

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
Email: ruth.grundy@fei.org
Tel: +41 787 506 145

Chardon Takes the Lead after First Competition

Dutch driver IJsbrand Chardon is in the lead after the first competition of the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final 2015 in Bordeaux (FRA) (Pierre Costabadie/FEI)

Bordeaux (FRA), 8 February 2015 – Dutch driver IJsbrand Chardon has taken the lead of the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final 2015 in Bordeaux (FRA) after the first competition held last night. The reigning FEI World Cup™ Driving Champion Boyd Exell (AUS) is close second. Germany’s Christoph Sandmann is currently lying in third position.

IJsbrand Chardon was the first of the three favourites for the title to start on the challenging course laid out by Dan Henriksson (SWE). Despite the late hour, the Bordeaux spectators cheered enthusiastically the seven drivers. Chardon drove his team of three Lipizzaners and one KWPN to a clear and very fast round.

Fredrik Persson (SWE), the next man in the arena, went also clear crossing the finish line 14 seconds behind Chardon and finishing in fourth place with his lovely team of Swedish warm blood geldings. This means that in today’s second competition he will start with seven seconds to his name since 50% of the score differential between each competitor and the leading driver from the first competition on Saturday evening converted into seconds will be carried forward into the competition on Sunday.

Next favourite in was Koos de Ronde (NED), who drove the same team with which he won the last FEI World Cup™ Driving qualifier in Leipzig (GER) two weeks ago. De Ronde however knocked a cone down and had bad luck when the trace of one of his wheeler horses came loose. His grooms had to step down from the carriage to repair this, which cost him five penalty seconds in addition to some time penalties. De Ronde will change one horse in Sunday’s competition and will use the leader with which he won the qualifiers at Budapest (HUN) and Mechelen (BEL). De Ronde will start with nine seconds behind Chardon on Sunday.

Last man in and top favourite Boyd Exell drove a very nice round in which he did not push for speed. His goal was to drive a clear which he managed to produce. Exell finds himself at a disadvantage this weekend as he nearly lost one of his fingers after a concrete block smashed his left hand last week. The stitches are causing much pain and the Australian used his hand carefully in last night’s competition. The difference between Chardon and Exell is 1.59 seconds, which means Exell will only be 0.8 seconds behind Chardon in Sunday’s grand finale which is building up to be very exciting.

Third starter Christoph Sandmann drove a smooth round and was well on his way to a clear but unfortunately knocked a ball off the last gate. Despite this mistake, Sandmann, who has not competed in Bordeaux since the start of the FEI World Cup™ Driving series in 2002, went in a very fluent manner and finished in third place. He will start with 5.90 penalty seconds to his name in the Final.

The sixth place went to wildcard driver Sébastien Mourier (FRA) with his team of mixed grey Polish, Spanish, and Austrian horses. Georg von Stein (GER) missed the necessary speed and fluency in his team and had to settle for seventh place.


IJsbrand Chardon (NED): “My tactics were not to give too much. Because this first competition counts for the Final, I wanted to finish as close as possible to the time of the winner. I did not want to take any risks and to take myself out of the competition on the first day already. I used Aladin again in the lead of my team and my round went very easily. I am very happy!”

Boyd Exell (AUS): “My team was very driveable and easy. I did hold them back the whole round to make sure I drove clear. I also had to be careful with my hand. For the Final I can put IJsbrand under pressure a little bit by driving a clear round. My main goal is to keep my focus!”

Christoph Sandmann (GER): “The course was technically very difficult and it will be decisive in the Final on Sunday. My plan was to drive a clear round after I had seen the first two competitors and I took few risks. In the Final I will start safely and keep it that way until at least the fifth gate. After that I’ll give it my all and take all the risks there are.”

Official results

YouTube content:

Check out the FEI TV preview here.

First competition wrap-up http://youtu.be/h3PGb2MMcko

Course designer Dan Henriksson (SWE) http://youtu.be/wexvASEMYvc

Boyd Exell (AUS) http://youtu.be/wK9LY_jtFis

Christoph Sandmann (GER) http://youtu.be/1toUbQzyAAU

Fredrik Persson (SWE) http://youtu.be/BkgXpLZricY

Koos De Ronde (NED) http://youtu.be/OKhE2gr34ro

The second competition of the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final in Bordeaux will be broadcast live on FEI TV, the FEI’s official video platform, on Sunday, 8 February at 13.25 CET (local time in France).

For information on Bordeaux, go to www.jumping-bordeaux.com or contact Press Officer Pascal Renauldon, p.renauldon@rbpresse.com, +33 608759407.

By Cindy Timmer

Media contact:

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 33

Chardon Takes the Lead

Dutch Driver IJsbrand Chardon and his four-in-hand team on their way to victory in the first competition of the FEI World Cup Driving Final 2014 at Bordeaux (FRA). Photo Rinaldo de Craen/FEI.

Bordeaux (FRA), 9 February 2014 – IJsbrand Chardon (NED) is well on his way to secure his third FEI World Cup Driving champion title. The experienced Dutch rider won the first competition of what has turned out to be a very exciting FEI World Cup Driving Final 2014, which got under way in Bordeaux (FRA) last night. Daniel Schneiders (GER) finished second ahead of title holder Koos de Ronde (NED). Australia’s Boyd Exell (AUS) came in fourth.

The enthusiastic spectators attending the Jumping International de Bordeaux enjoyed a thrilling competition despite an incident suffered by the first starter. Wildcard driver Thibault Coudry (FRA) tipped over after the fourth obstacle, but his horses, his grooms and Coudry himself were not injured. The Frenchman will start in the Final on Sunday afternoon but has little chance to make the podium.

The rule, according to which 50% of the score differential converted into seconds are carried forward to the final competition on Sunday, was introduced to ensure that all the competitors did their best from the start and guarantee an excellent show.

Budapest and London Olympia winner IJsbrand Chardon held on to his strong performances with his Lipizzaner horses and drove a very fast and fluent round around the course designed by FEI O-course designer Gabor Fintha (HUN) who had also officiated at last year’s Final. Chardon, who won the FEI World Cup Driving Final in 2005 alongside Michael Freund (GER) and again in 2006, took some significant risks by using a shortcut in the last phase of the course. He managed to overtake by six seconds Daniel Schneiders, who had been in the lead until that moment, and won the competition.

Daniel Schneiders drove his mixed team of German and Dutch warm blood geldings in a safe manner and managed to beat Koos de Ronde’s time by 0.59 seconds taking second place. The 33-year-old farrier thoroughly enjoys the FEI World Cup Driving circuit in which he competes for the first time. Schneiders praised the Bordeaux organisers for putting on a wonderful event with excellent facilities for the horses, the competitors and their teams.

Reigning FEI World Cup Driving Champion Koos de Ronde used his new chestnut gelding Zimba for the first time in the wheel at an FEI World Cup Driving event. Zimba is replacing the experienced piebald gelding Mario, who was injured halfway through the season. De Ronde’s performance was on the safe side but the Dutch driver was nevertheless pleased with his third place.

Four-time FEI World Cup Driving champion Boyd Exell found the right speed and was well on his way to victory when his left leader horse hit a ball off the last pair of cones dropping the team to fourth place. The time difference between Exell and leader Chardon is however only 4.17 seconds which guarantees an exciting Final.

Tomas Eriksson (SWE) drove a clear round but failed to reach the necessary speed whereas European and Dutch national champion Theo Timmerman was a bit too impatient and had a knockdown dropping to sixth place.

Seconds carried forward
By winning the first round, IJsbrand Chardon will be the last starter in the Final this afternoon at 17.00 CET. Runner-up Daniel Schneiders will have to make up only 2.61 seconds to catch up, closely followed by third-placed Koos de Ronde who is 2.96 seconds behind the leader.

Chardon is well aware he cannot take anything for granted as his rivals are very focused and one knockdown can make or break a champion.

The course in the FEI World Cup Driving Final will remain the same as during the first competition. The course for the Winning Round, for which only the best three drivers will qualify, will also remain unchanged.


IJsbrand Chardon (NED): “My team has been performing well all season. This is the Final and there is no room for hesitation, so I decided to give it my best. I am very happy with my results, but I know that the differences are very small so I will see if I have to drive even faster.”

Daniel Schneiders (GER): “My goal was not to drive too fast and be safe. I really enjoyed the course and I will see what I can improve in the Final. My horses are a good team and I am very pleased with them.”

Koos de Ronde (NED): “I think I drove a bit too safely, but I did not want to make any mistakes. Zimba did very well and I am pleased with him. I know I can drive faster and in the Final I will have to drive faster, but I also realise that one knockdown can make a big difference.”

Official results

Timetable and live broadcast on FEI TV
The FEI World Cup Driving Final will begin on Sunday 9 February at 17.00 CET and will be broadcast live on the FEI online official video platform FEI TV.

For more information on FEI World Cup Driving, please check the FEI website and the series’ comprehensive press kit.

By Cindy Timmer

Media Contacts:

At Bordeaux:

Pascal Renauldon


Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 33

Chardon Is in the Driving Seat

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.”

Audio Links

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

Final Placings

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
Email: hannah@revolutionsports.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 1207