|Ijsbrand CHARDON (NED) moves to 2nd in WEG 2010 Marathon (©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)|
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.
The competitors treated the spectators to much excitement as they went through the obstacles and it became a marathon with ups and downs. US top favourite Chester Weber, who was tied in second place with IJsbrand Chardon after dressage, had a groom down in obstacle 7 when one of his wheeler horses jumped over a leader trace, dropping Weber to 13th place in the individual standings.
|Koos de Ronde (NED) climbs into fourth (©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)|
Dutch driver Koos de Ronde made up for his disappointing dressage and finished fourth in the marathon, climbing to the seventh place in the overall standings. Tucker Johnson moved up to the bronze medal position after finishing seventh in his last marathon. Sweden’s marathon specialist Tomas Eriksson, who broke his foot at the CAIO in Breda five weeks ago on the dance floor, was in the lead in the marathon, despite two extra circles in obstacle 3, but had to give way to Chardon when the Dutch driver entered the course. Boyd Exell gave away his opportunity to win the marathon when he decided to drive the safe route in the last obstacle where Chardon beat him by 3 seconds.
|Boyd Excell maintains his lead in Marathon (©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)|
Boyd Exell has kept the lead in the standings, but is only 1.72 penalty points ahead of IJsbrand Chardon, who has closed the gap after his marathon win. The battle for the gold and silver medal will take place in the exciting final obstacle driving competition tomorrow, when Chardon will be trying to pile all the pressure on Exell.
|Tucker Johnson moves into third place in his final Marathon (©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)|
Tucker Johnson, currently in third, is hoping to conclude his impressive driving career with an individual medal. This would be the first individual medal for the American at a World four-in-hand Driving Championship. But Tucker has to drive clear in order to secure his bronze medal as Dutchman Theo Timmerman is following him in the standings with only 1.73 penalty points difference. And double World Champion Tomas Eriksson from Sweden has moved up into the Top Five with his second place in the marathon and is breathing down Theo Timmerman’s neck; so the bronze medal is still wide open.