Dutch Chardon leads after first part of dressage

Multi-medallist Ijsbrand Chardon set the tone for the Driving world championship at the World Equestrian Games. First starter out in Dressage he leads after the morning session on 42,12 points, followed by Christoph Sandmann from Germany (47,13) and Hungary’s Joszef Dobrovitz jr. on 57.16.

Dutch Chardon leads after first part of dressage
© PSV Photos

“The score was okay but I had expected 38. It felt better than in Riesenbeck where I had 40”, the 4times world champion said after presenting his elegant bays in breast collar harness, showing excellent changes between collected and extended movements but loosing some points in the free walk. The early start had forced him to change his preparation regime that normally calls for driving one pair, lungeing one horse and riding the fourth. “For all this I needed to start at 6 in the morning but at 7.15 it was still dark. I had to have one car in front and one behind the carriage to escort me to the training arena. Not good.”

Christoph Sandmann drove his light bays onto five points behind Chardon. “I am happy with my test and my horses, but not with the points,” the 47-year old owner of a transport company commented. German national coach Karl-Heinz Geiger called it one of Sandmann’s best dressage tests this year. “He was top prepared and had one disturbance in rhythm. That was punished too hard. We had expected a better score. But it was a good start for the team.”

Hungary’s  Jozsef Dobrovitz jr. was elated after the test with his bay team, last out before midday. “My best dressage this year. I really liked it”, said the 22-year-old youngest driver at this championship. “But my new lead horse became too lazy in the second half.”

Closely behind the Hungarian lies Belgian Glenn Geerts (57.22), presenting his flashy chestnuts in hard collar. American newcomer Misdee Wrigley-Miller is in fifth position after she drove a slightly wobbly line in walk, resulting in point reduction. First out after the arena had been freshly groomed turned out to be a disadvantage for her, she felt. “There were no tracks I could follow and I had been soooo nervous,” she said, putting all the praise to her team of bay horses. The five judges rewarded her elegant turnout with a 9.9 for presentation.

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