The competition was fierce in the FEI Driving World CupTM today with drivers aiming to gain maximum points towards their World Cup Final qualification at Bordeaux.
First to go was Daniel Naprous, whose fast and skillful driving is impressing many around the circuit. However, after yesterday’s success luck was not with Daniel and he had sixteen seconds to add, taking him out of contention. Boyd Exell was next in, producing a masterclass of speed and skillful lines to put the pressure on for the remaining competitors.
Jozsef Dobrovitz of Hungary could not match the speed of Boyd, but a tactical drive kept a clean slate and a good finish at 143.83. Next up was German Marieke Harm, who drove an improving round cleanly and raised expectations for the only female driver on the indoor circuit. Koos de Ronde, (NED) took a slick no-nonsense approach to the first course and slotted in just behind Boyd on 136.49. Ijsbrand Chardon seemed to have left his ‘A Game’ behind today, with an uncharacteristic twenty penalties to add put him out of the competition. Do not discount him for the next leg however – a fierce competitor, he should still be in contention for Saturday’s competition. Last but not least, Chester Webber completed fast and clean to secure the third place in the drive-off.
The second round proved that focus is key at this level. An early error from Chester left him out of the competition following elimination. Koos meant business in his second round, but his horses couldn’t catch the speed merchant Boyd, whose final score was six seconds ahead of his rivals.
Boyd said, ‘We went very fast but the whole team are integral to the success. My navigator and longtime groom Emma Olsson was really important as the course had many twists and turns and, of course, Hugh Scott-Barrett as backstep ensures we get through the cones cleanly. I am happy, but we all work hard to make it happen.”