Friday, October 8, 2010


Chester Weber (USA) co-leader after day 1 (©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)
With twelve more competitors to go, USA’s Chester Weber and title defender IJsbrand Chardon from The Netherlands have already set the standard in today’s driven dressage, with the two drivers scoring the same marks to take the early lead.

The many spectators were treated to wonderful dressage tests in the Driving Stadium, which was blessed with a warm autumn sun.
Chardon was second to go in the morning and put down a wonderful performance which was awarded by the international Ground Jury with a score of 35.97 penalty points to go into first place. With the Swedish warmblood geldings Isovlas Tango and Isovlas Paganini in the lead of his team and the Dutch warmblood horses Zidane and Whooper in the wheel, Chardon produced a near faultless dressage test.

IJsbrand Chardon (NED) shares the lead Day 1 (©Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)
At the end of the afternoon, the USA’s top favourite and silver medal winner in Beesd 2008, Chester Weber, scored exactly the same mark as Chardon. Weber drove a nice test, but the rein back was not faultless, which probably cost the eight-times US four-in-hand champion precious penalty points. Weber drove his mixed team of Dutch and Belgian warmblood geldings and a Polish bred horse with which he set a world record score at the CAI-A in Riesenbeck in 2008.

Weber mentioned that he may have contributed a little bit to the success of Chardon since the four times World Champion drives the talented KWPN gelding Whooper in his team. Whooper’s sire is Sir Sinclair, which is owned by Chester’s second cousin who owns the Iron Spring Farm.

Theo Timmerman (NED) holds third place after Driving Dressage Day 1 (Nan Rawlins/Equimage®)

Dutch all-round driver Theo Timmerman, who celebrated his  6th birthday yesterday, drove his best test of the season with his team of Holsteiner, Hannoverian and KWPN geldings, to move into third place. Timmerman also credited his strong dressage performance to his KWPN horse Valentino, which is owned by USA’s North Carolina based Seth and Patsy Wooten.

The remaining twelve competitors, amongst which favourites Boyd Exell (AUS) and Tucker Johnson (USA), will drive their dressage tests tomorrow. The marathon, with eight beautifully laid out obstacles designed by World Championship course designer Richard Nicoll from the USA, will take place on Saturday 9 October. The final obstacle driving competition is scheduled for Sunday, 10 October.

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