Tag Archives: Michael Brauchle

Marathon Supremos Dominate in Exloo


Bold brilliance from Marathon specialists Michael Brauchle (GER) and Koos de Ronde (NED) has put them in contention for titles in Exloo, while reigning Four-in-Hand Champion Bram Chardon (NED) is in front, but only just.

With the comfort of his sub-40 Dressage score, Bram had an advantage going into the second phase in his bid to remain European Champion.  As one of the first of the serious contenders to race through the eight obstacles, he took efficient routes and played it relatively safe.  With a score of 124.96, which placed him 7th to add to his Dressage of 39.85, the total of 164.48 is marginally ahead of Michael’s 166.21 and Koos’ 169.10, so there will be little margin for error in the Cones.

With Michael and Koos on the course at the same time, they were nip and tuck as to who was posting the fastest times through the obstacles.  Michael led the tally with five to Koos’ three, but after a slightly sticky obstacle seven for Michael, they averaged out closely with the German a slither in front on 115.30 and Koos on 116.19 – enough to raise them to silver and bronze positions.

“I was really happy with my team – my horses did a good job today.  I had one ball in the second obstacle and in number seven I made a small mistake, although I had a good line, but perhaps I put on a bit too much pressure.  But it was no problem in the end.  And as for the water, it wasn’t too deep, which meant that I could go through much faster and get the best time!” said Michael Brauchle.

Dressage leader Mareike Harm (GER) produced a Marathon that was on form, and after the two phases ties for 4th place (172.45) with countryman Georg von Stein, competing as an individual, who pulled out a great round to finish in 5th (123.27).  Glenn Geerts (BEL) put the setback of a disappointing Friday behind him when he stormed through the obstacles and found himself for some time the fastest overall.  Pumping the air as he exited the last obstacle, then pointing to his horses, he ended in 3rd on 119.64 and rose from 21st to 8th on the individual scoreboard with 179.67.

As one of the last of 38 the competitors to set out, Austria’s Daniel Schneiders produced a consistent round, which gave him a 4th place on 121.32 pulled him up to 7th (176.82).  Anna Sandmann, supported like the rest of the German team by Boyd Exell, who is their trainer for the event, dropped three places to 6th (174.19).  Radek Nesvacil (CZE), also trained by Boyd, improved on his 11th after Dressage with a 6th placing (123.53), which puts him just behind Glenn (179.70).

For the team event, the Dutch and Germans have swapped places, 326.66 to 328.01, but it’s a fragile lead as just one ball roll at 3 penalties could change the order.  The pressure will be on for cool, clear rounds on Sunday as the team and individual placings will go down to the wire.  Belgium retains the bronze position on 358.09, comfortably ahead of France on 369.82.

Consistent Para Equestrians

Starting the proceedings on a sunny Saturday morning, the Para Driving World Championship saw individual first places remain unchanged with Grade 1 Tracy Bowman (USA) on 132.23 ahead of Patricia Großerichter on 140.76 (GER).  However, storming rounds from Jodie Mckeone, who has travelled from Victoria, Australia, driving a Dutch Hackney loaned to her by British legend George Bowman, meant she won the Grade 1 Marathon with 81.46 ahead of Tracy’s 85.43 and move up to 3rd going into the Cones.  Both classes drove six of the eight obstacles, missing numbers three and four, and in the Grade 2 section, Dressage leader Alexandra Röder maintained her position with a leading round of 83.95. Aad van Marwijk, competing as an individual for The Netherlands, pulled himself up to 2nd with a great round of 89.31, although Alexandra has quite a margin going into the Cones, sitting on 132.91 ahead of Aad’s 152.59.  In 3rd was one of the home crowd’s favourites, Ingman Veneman (NED), who retained her position after the Dressage and is only just behind Aad on 154.50.

In the Para team event, Germany remains in front on 273.67 with the USA on 292.45.  The British have moved into bronze position on 299.69, with Emily Ham and Mick Ward putting their team into medal contention after confident rounds.

by Sarah Dance


Germany’s Michael Brauchle and Dutch Team Claim Gold at Aachen 2015

Michael Brauchle claimed individual gold and team silver for Germany in the final marathon phase at the FEI European Driving Championships in Aachen (GER) today. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)

Aachen (GER), 22 August 2015 – Michael Brauchle (GER) is the new individual FEI European Driving Champion after putting everything on the line in the final phase of the European Championships to win the marathon and overtake IJsbrand Chardon (NED) in the individual standings. The bronze individual medal went to Koos de Ronde (NED), and the combined scores of Chardon and de Ronde, together with 11th placed Theo Timmerman meant the Dutch claimed team gold again.

Exciting marathon

Brauchle, 25, was in fifth place after the dressage and cones and decided to really go for it in the marathon, his favourite phase of the competition. Brauchle was 56 seconds behind Chardon, overnight leader in the standings.

Winner of the marathon at the CAIO Aachen 2008, when he was the youngest ever, and in 2011 and 2013, Brauchle set the fastest times in six of the obstacles today and was second and third fastest in the remaining two, leaving his opponents far behind him.

“I was able to use my best wheeler horse again, which I had to miss in the previous two competitions,” Brauchle said. “I started very fast and the horses got better and better after each obstacle. I drove at full risk, then I am at my best!”

More than 58 seconds faster than Chardon, Brauchle’s incredible performance eased him ahead of his Dutch rival by the slimmest of margins – 0.21 – to give him victory in the marathon and his first ever individual gold medal.

Brauchle’s compatriot Christoph Sandmann was lying 12th going into the final phase and was also determined to perform well in the marathon, which attracted throngs of enthusiastic spectators who were able to enjoy a warm, sunny day and really great sport. Sandmann set top times in nearly all obstacles, securing second place in this competition and helping the German team to the silver medal.

Koos de Ronde’s third place finish gave him his second individual bronze medal at the FEI European Championships, having taken bronze in 2011 in Breda (NED).

“The differences between me and Dobrovitz and Brauchle were very small and my goal was to secure my third position by driving safely,” he said. “My team did not perform good enough to win the marathon at this level, but despite a knockdown in obstacle three I still finished third in this phase, for which I am very happy.”

Last out on the course, IJsbrand Chardon fought like a lion in the eight obstacles, designed by level 4 Course Designer Dr Wolfgang Asendorf. It didn’t come easy for the four-time World Champion, however.

“My horses did not have the right form to perform well today,” Chardon said. “I had a mistake in obstacle two, which cost me precious seconds. I did calculate before that I would lose some seconds to Brauchle in every obstacle, but I haven’t tried to equal his times because I wanted to finish safe.”

After Chardon had passed the finish line of the marathon, which included a portable marathon obstacle in the main stadium for the first time, the scoreboards showed Chardon provisionally in first place, with Brauchle as the runner-up in the final standings, but when the scores were made official later on, Brauchle was declared the new European champion with Chardon as silver medallist.

The team standings mirrored the 2013 results. The Dutch successfully defended their team title, while the German hosts fought hard and took home the silver medal again, while the Hungarians slotted into third for the bronze.

By Cindy Timmer

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