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Exell defends title, Dutch again best team

Australian Boyd Exell won the four-in-hand Driving world championship and defended his individual title from Lexington. Scoring 125,83 in Normandy he is now world champion for the third time in a row. American hopeful Chester Weber stayed again on silver and the Dutch loaded their carriages with gold, driving away from the World Equestrian Games with their fourth team victory and bronze individual for Theo Timmerman. Twenty points in total behind, Germany repolished their silver from the previous World Equestrian Games and Hungary won bronze, their first WEG team medal ever.

Exell defends title, Dutch again best team
© Sindy Thomas

Hugely relieved after a week that went well but not perfect”, the Australian described his feelings, still grudging about his hiccup in Saturdays’s marathon, that had him drop to third place and left no margin for error to keep pursuing Weber at bay. The American had put the pressure on in, driving clear through the cones and was pleased with his third back-to-back world championship silver. “Some call this the bridesmaids’ award but I am pleased,” he said.

Theo Timmerman secured his first individual WEG medal on 133,88, staying clear in the cones as did Ijsbrand Chardon before him. “I knew I had to stay clear  and it was diffcult to keep it together until the end”, the reigning European champion said. Taking over the podium place from Chardon, now fourth on 134.38, he thanked him anyway. “Ijsbrand did such a good job and therefore I could concentrate on myself”,  said 48-year old No.3 in the World after diving like on train tracks.

German marathon winner Christoph Sandmann kept his fifth position individually. Having daughter Anna as a groom in the back he had one ball down, leaving him with 139,70. “I felt the carriage sliding, could not get it straight enough after the turns”, the team veteran explained his mistake. “But top 5 was my goal and fifth place is less annoying than fourth like in Lexington.” With Georg von Stein and new-generation-driver Michael Brauchle, only 24, he secured the team silver, again the top scorer.

Father-and-son-team Joszef Dobrowitz senior (7.) and junior (14.) and the former jumper Zoltan Lazar (12.) summed up their achievements to 287.29 points for bronze, securing Hungary’s first medal at World Equestrian Games.

American Richard Nicoll had designed an obstacle course with three zig zags and two gates five centimeters narrower as the final difficulty.  The footing was groomed after every ten drivers to avoid ruts and securing equal conditions for everybody, but the warming sun softened the ground and made it deeper for the top ranked, coming out towards the end. It needed very good driving to keep the carriage on track. Only eight competitors managed to stay clear within the time. Tchek Jiri Nesvacil jr. drove his grey Kladrubs fasted through the cones, besting Great Britains Wilf Bowman-Ripley who had a horse on the team that was with him only since one week. “It has been a battle to get here”, he summed up his first world Equestrian Games.      

Top 5 teams:

  1. Boyd Exell (AUS) - 125,83 points
  2. Chester Weber (USA) - 126,60 points
  3. Theo Timmerman (NED) - 133,88 points
  4. Ijsbrand Chardon (NED) - 134,38 points
  5. Christoph Sandmann (GER) - 139,70 points

Résultats définitifs par équipe :

  1. Netherlands - 263,19 points
  2. Germany - 283,56 points
  3. Hungary - 287,29 points
  4. US - 298,48 points
  5. Belgium - 299,54 points

CLICK HERE to see the individual results

CLICK HERE to see the team results

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