Sunday’s event at Leipzig marked the last round of exciting Driving action before teams head to France for the final showdown.
With legs in Lyon, Maastricht, Stuttgart, Stockholm, Budapest, Geneva, London, and Mechelen, the competition became increasingly more fierce, as teams vied for qualifying points and only six spots in the Finals.
Heading to Leipzig, Boyd Exell led the overall rankings on 30 points, having won all but the Budapest leg, which was held concurrently with Stockholm.
The course set by Dan Henriksson this weekend for the Partner Pferd Driving events at the Leipzig Messegelände was deceptively simple. Whilst there were two sets of marathon obstacles and a bridge to deal with, where teams really felt the heat was with two sets of tightly placed double cones and four sets of paired cones in the arena corners.
After one round of Driving, only three teams advanced to the drive off to see who would take the leg.
It all came down to Exell’s last round for the top honours. It looked good for the Australian champ with an even faster time of 138.18 seconds, but with one of the final cones down, he had to add 4 to his time for a total of 142.18, leaving him behind Chardon in second place.
“Bram drove spectacularly. Our times were so close the final was especially exciting for the spectators. I drove a long line in the first round so I knew that I could go even faster. I saw that I had a bit of room over on the inside of the last gate, but the ball fell on the far side, probably by a spray of sand.” explained. Boyd.
With the top six now decided, fans head to Bordeaux in just three weeks’ time for the pinnacle of the season and the best four-in hands Driving in the world.
The top six drivers headed to the final are:
Standings World Cup Four-in-hand 2019/2020 after 9 of the 9 competitions:
1 Boyd EXELL AUS 30
2 Bram CHARDON NED 27
3 IJsbrand CHARDON NED 24
3 Koos DE RONDE NED 24
5 József DOBROVITZ HUN 15
Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia