Saturday, November 20, 2010

Driving: Stutgart: EXELL FLIES TO VICTORY IN STUTTGART by Cindy Timmer

Boyd Excell (AUS) receives his awards from Germany's Paul Schockemohle. (FEI Photo)

Boyd Exell (AUS) flew to his second victory of this season in the FEI World Cup™ Driving competition in Stuttgart. The World Cup and World champion drove an impeccable and extremely fast round with his new indoor marathon carriage and new harness, cheered by the enthusiastic crowd in the Schleyer Halle.

Dutch drivers Koos de Ronde and IJsbrand Chardon qualified for the Winning Round and their main goal was to put the pressure on Boyd Exell, whose parents had come over from Australia to watch their son perform. Kentucky silver medallist Chardon set a fast time but knocked a ball down, giving his compatriot Koos de Ronde some air. De Ronde however was a bit confused by the different course in the Winning Round and drove an extra circle in the marathon obstacle. But being a true sportsman, De Ronde decided to keep driving as fast as he could and beat Chardon’s score by almost three seconds.

Exell accelerates
After having made some adjustments to his new indoor marathon carriage and new harness after the first competition day, Boyd Exell was ready to strike again.
The double FEI World Cup™ champion decided to let his horses go from the beginning and flew round the course, designed by Germany’s Falk Böhnisch. His new marathon carriage held very well on the new footing of the Stuttgart German Masters Horse Show and Boyd passed the finish line without any mistakes nearly 10 seconds faster than Koos de Ronde. This was Exell’s second victory of the season but as he drove with a wild card just as he had done in Hannover, he wasn’t awarded points. However, he will compete for World Cup points in Stockholm next weekend.
Boyd Exell (AUS) wins in Hannover. (FEI Photo)

Pressured by Dobrovitz
Today’s second starter, Hungary’s Jozsef Dobrovitz put the pressure on his fellow competitors straight away by driving a clear and fast round with his team of Lipizzaner horses. Dobrovitz forced his rivals to drive at full risk and made them realize that there are only three places for the Winning Round. Dobrovitz came fourth in Stuttgart and is now in the lead of the standings after two events, tied with Koos de Ronde.
József Dobrovitz (HUN) takes 2nd place in Hannover. (FEI photo)

Change of horses
Hungary’s Zoltan Lázár decided to replace two horses in his team after his disappointing result at the first World Cup competition in Hannover three weeks ago. The two Lipizzaner horses that were previously owned by his compatriot Csaba Vacszi who competed with them in Aachen 2010 got new company. The 11-year old Favory was part of Lázár’s marathon pair at the 2009 World Championships. The 12-year old mixed Lipizzaner and trotter stallion Remeny was part of Lázár’s marathon team during the 2010 outdoor season. Lázár had a much better feeling than in Hannover, but the horses still need to improve. Lázár knocked one ball down to finish fifth in Stuttgart.

 IJsbrand Chardon (NED) takes 3rd place in Hannover. (FEI Photo)
Young talent
Wild card driver Michael Brauchle from Lauchheim was the best German driver from the outdoor season after finishing 11th. The talented 20-year old driver drove his regular outdoor team of horses with the 21-year old Dutch warm blood Atna and the 11-year old Gambo in the wheel and the trotter Skippy Crown and the Hungarian warm blood Rambo in the lead. Atna was in the Schleyer Halle before as part of his father’s team 10 years ago in the competition where the drivers drove each other’s four-in-hands. His elder brother Stefan, who is the silver medallist in pony team driving and member of the golden German team 2009, assisted Michael on the carriage. Brauchle struggled to keep up with the high standard of the FEI World Cup Driving and came sixth, ahead of third Dutch team member Theo Timmerman, who drove his first FEI World Cup Driving competition of the new season.

Exell’s exciting new indoor marathon carriage
Boyd Exell drove for the first time with his new indoor marathon carriage, which he designed together with Van den Heuvel carriage manufacturer from the Netherlands. Everything has been thought of with this new carriage to assist driving fast and clear rounds. The most striking part is the fact that the wheels are not in line. The track width of the wheels is still the compulsory 1.25m, but the vehicle is 10cms. shorter from bumper to bumper. The bodywork is lighter and the centre of gravity has been lowered even more by the use of two heavy axles, which makes the carriage stick to the ground at high speed. The ‘hanging’ space of the navigator is smaller and the back stepper now has more space. The back step has been lowered and there is a special place in the cushions for the grooms’ knees. The carriage has no less than three different turntable brakes. At indoor shows, horses must turn on a smaller diameter and the carriage was designed to be horse friendly and to improve the turning speed.

Boyd Exell (AUS):
“The new indoor marathon carriage is very good, it gives me more grip on the cones. I am going to have to adjust myself however! The carriage allows me to turn my horses earlier and that means I have to start thinking earlier.“

Koos de Ronde (NED):
“My brother Peter, who is also a four-in-hand driver, was my navigator this weekend and he saved me when I nearly forgot gate D in the marathon obstacle. My team went as fast as they could. I think they have reached their speed limit here. They went super and I am very pleased with them.”

IJsbrand Chardon (NED):
“My horses are ridden in dressage a lot and I take advantage of that when they are in the carriage. They turn very well and they wait for me. My goal was to qualify for the Winning Round. This team really starts to feel good and now it is time to pick up the speed. But the level nowadays is so high, we all drive fast. But Boyd is a huge exception, he is unbeatable at the moment.”

Results CAI-W Stuttgart 2011:
1.    Boyd Exell (AUS) 204,09
2.    Koos de Ronde (NED) 221,59
3.    IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 224,08
4.    Jozsef Dobrovitz (HUN) 118,56
5.    Zoltan Lazar (HUN) 122,41
6.    Michael Brauchle (GER) 126,17
7.    Theo Timmerman (NED) 138,93

Classification after 2 of 7 events:
Place Driver                                       NF             Total
1       Jozsef DOBROVITZ            HUN        15
1       Koos DE RONDE                NED         15
3       IJsbrand CHARDON           NED         14
4       Zoltan LAZAR                    HUN        6
5       Tomas ERIKSSON              SWE        2
5       Theo TIMMERMAN             NED         2

The 2010/2011 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Stockholm, Sweden on Sunday, 28 November.

For information on the next leg go to
or contact Press Officer Lotta Amnestal, phone: +46 709 79 56 35, e-mail:

More information:

FEI World Cup™ DRIVING 2010/2011
Hannover (Ger) 28-31 October 2010
Stuttgart (Ger) 17-21 November 2010
Stockholm (Swe) 26-28 November 2010
Budapest (Hun) 3-5 December 2010
Geneva (Sui) 9-12 December 2010
Mechelen (Bel) 26-30 December 2010
Bordeaux (Fra) 4-6 February 2011
FINAL Leipzig (Ger) 27 April – 1 May 2011

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