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Federation Equestre Internationale News

Second World Cup victory for Freund

World Cup Champion Michael Freund has won the FEI World Cup Driving event in Stockholm. After he won the World Cup event in Stuttgart last weekend he drove superb again in the Globen arena in Stockholm. He won the warm up competition and was therefore last to go in the World Cup. OI had seen that all the other competitors made mistakes, so I took it easy,¹ explains the 49-year old driver from Germany. Freund is now half way through his World Cup season and in the lead of the standings. He is ready to renew his World Cup title, but he knows that he will have to fight for it in Vigo.

His Global Team partner Boyd Exell has lend the Cob team again from Britain¹s four-in-hand driver Fred Pendlebury. With this team he came second in the 2002/2003 World Cup season. OThe team was bit slower than last year, but they will improve as soon as they have done another show. I am ready to fight Freund again in Vigo,¹ says Exell. The drivers will compete in two World Cup events in Vigo because Bordeaux cancelled the World Cup Driving. Wild card driver Nicke Pålsson drove a clean round but dropped the ball of the last gate when his reins got notched up. Gert Schrijvers from Belgium took his outdoor team of Arabo Friesian sport horses to Stockholm but was
not very satisfied with his fourth place: OMy right wheeler horse missed the strength and caused two balls to fall. I will probably replace him with a Belgian Warmblood horse. The warmblood still needs a bit more training, it will be ready for Mechelen. I have new Arabo Friesian horses at home, but they are too young to compete.¹ IJsbrand Chardon put together a special indoor team and was successful in the warm up round (second place). He drove faster than Freund in the World Cup competition, but he knocked three balls down and, taking a short cut through one of the marathon obstacles, he hit the elements and dropped to the fifth place. Tomas Eriksson¹s team missed the indoor routine and knocked several cones down. He also lost precious time when one of his wheeler horses jumped over the lead bar after he crossed the bridge, causing a groom to dismount.

The course consisted of ten gates, which made it a true racecourse, not very much to the like of the drivers. The bridge however produced the ever-popular fireworks as soon as the drivers had crossed it and made the 12.000 spectators enjoy the show very much.

The next World Cup competition takes place in Mechelen, Belgium, on 27 December 2003.

Created in 2001, the Driving World Cup has provided an innovative new style of competition for indoor events, with courses combining marathon and cone driving obstacles. The 2003/2004 season of the World Cup includes seven events with eight competitions: Stuttgart (GER), Stockholm (SWE), Mechelen (BEL) in 2003; Leipzig (GER), two competitions in Vigo (ESP), 's-Hertogenbosch (NED) and Göteborg (SWE) in 2004.

The winner of the first two editions of the World Cup was Michael Freund (GER).

Stockholm Horse Show: www.stockholmhorseshow.com
World Cup Driving: www.worldcupdriving.com
FEI: www.horsesport.org


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Updated: October 2005.