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Alltech FEI WEG 2014™ Driving
Four-in hand driver Chester Weber (USA) has won the driven dressage competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy. (Marie de Ronde-Oudemans/FEI)
Germany’s Christoph Sandmann was the fastest in the Driving marathon of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Gamesª 2014 in Normandy. (Marie de Ronde-Oudemans/FEI)
France's Benjamin Aillaud drives his team through one of the obstacles during the Driving marathon at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen. Credit: (FEI / Arnd Bronkhorst / Pool Pic)
Holland's Theo Timmerman splashes through the water obstacles during the Driving marathon at La Prairie Racecourse at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen Credit: (FEI / Arnd Bronkhorst / Pool Pic)
By Cindy Timmer
Chester Weber (USA) and the Dutch team have made a convincing first step on their way to Driving gold at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy on September 5. Weber won the dressage competition with a wonderful test scoring 32.21 penalties, 3.3 points ahead of reigning world champion Boyd Exell (AUS) who finished on 35.51. Reigning European champion Theo Timmerman (NED) was third on 37.28 penalties, followed by compatriots IJsbrand Chardon and Koos de Ronde, which puts the Orange team in the lead of the nations’ competition.
No less than 6,000 spectators enjoyed the dressage tests of the 46 competitors representing 17 nations, who performed at the La Prairie racecourse in downtown Caen on Thursday and Friday during the first phase of the combined driving competition.
Four-time individual world champion IJsbrand Chardon (NED) was the first starter on the first dressage day and, driving his team of KWPN-geldings, became the overnight leader after 23 combinations.
Double world champion Boyd Exell drove a solid test this morning, beating Chardon’s score by nearly seven points.
Sandmann Wins Marathon But Exell In The Lead
By Cindy Timmer
The Driving marathon of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy held at La Prairie Racecourse in Caen September 6 was nothing short of a thriller. Christoph Sandmann (GER) won this phase of the competition, ahead of compatriot Georg von Stein and the reigning world champion Boyd Exell (AUS). The Australian, who was second after dressage, has taken the lead in the individual standings with a combined result of 125.83 points. The Dutch team is still in gold medal position followed by Germany, thanks to their extremely strong marathon performances, and Hungary in third.
The gravel footing of La Prairie racecourse in Caen guaranteed equal conditions from beginning to end for all of the 46 four-in-hand drivers in competition. Over 15,000 spectators enjoyed wonderful driving sport under ideal weather conditions for both people and horses.
Dressage winner Chester Weber had a few problems and was unable to get into the right rhythm. “My horses felt strong in obstacle one and after the second obstacle I could feel that they were setting into a groove,” he explained. “I gave them a little bit of a break before obstacle eight and looking back, I probably should not have done this as it disturbed the rhythm of my right leader horse,” he acknowledged. Weber dropped to second place in the standings, but still has a chance of winning the gold, following the cones competition.
Theo Timmerman (NED) also had several problems, but was able to hold on to his third place. He was followed by fellow countryman IJsbrand Chardon, marathon-winner Christoph Sandmann and Koos de Ronde (NED), who finished fourth in the marathon.
Boyd Exell Is World Champion For Third Consecutive Time
By Cindy Timmer
Boyd Exell (AUS) kept a clear head in the exciting final obstacle driving competition of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy and scored a fabulous clear round, securing a third world championship title in a row. Chester Weber (USA) won the silver and European champion Theo Timmerman (NED) took the bronze medal. The Dutch team won the nations’ competition for the fourth consecutive time, followed by Germany and Hungary.
O-Course Designer Richard Nicoll had laid out a superb course at the La Prairie racetrack in Caen, in which nine of the 46 four-in-hand drivers managed to stay clear. The top nine after dressage and marathon did not change after the cones competition, which attracted some 3,000 spectators.
Excitement grew as the competition reached the Top Ten. The German drivers all had one knockdown, but this did not jeopardize their silver team medal.
Fourth-placed driver IJsbrand Chardon (NED) drove a clear round and put compatriot Theo Timmerman under pressure. Timmerman only had a 0.5 penalty point advantage to Chardon and knew that he had to go clear to secure his bronze medal.
Young father Chester Weber was the penultimate starter. As he was just 2.77 penalty points behind Exell, Weber was determined to put the pressure on the Australian and drove a double clear round. “I am overjoyed with my silver medal,” he commented. “My horses were great today, it was a great fight with Boyd. I believe I have one of the best cones teams in the world and they did a super job. The course was measured really fair.”
Final individual results:
1. Boyd Exell (AUS) 125,83
2. Chester Weber (USA) 128,60
3. Theo Timmerman (NED) 133,88
4. IJsbrand Chardon (NED) 134,38
5. Christoph Sandmann (GER) 139,70
Final team results:
1. The Netherlands 263,19
2. Germany 283,56
3. Hungary 287,29
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