BRAM CHARDON © FEI/Martin Dokoupil
The thunder cracked and the lightning flashed, bringing a triumphant double championship to an finish in Exloo. The Para Drivers had exited the sector in time to keep away from the storm, however in scenes paying homage to the prize giving on the FEI World Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA) final yr, the 4-in-Hand medals had been offered, and speeches made, throughout a deluge.
The Dutch crowd was thrilled to see their favorite Bram Chardon (NED) retain his European title, one he has now gained thrice consecutively. As in a single day chief, he was final to drive the Cones, however stored his cool and produced a double clear when he wanted it probably the most. That got here simply after his teammate Koos de Ronde assured himself a person medal after his double clear and sealed the sixth staff gold for The Netherlands, aided by the enduring Ijsbrand Chardon.
“It’s nice to win the European Championship in your house nation on your dwelling crowd. I used to be notably proud of my Dressage rating and to have my season’s greatest right here – it was such a reduction as I knew what my staff might do, however to have the ability to present it right here was good. Within the Marathon, I knew I couldn’t assault however needed to be extra defensive in my driving, which labored out and meant I might maintain the short guys behind me whereas additionally taking the lead. It was actually tight between us as they had been pushing and had been very quick, which we anticipated, however my horses did sufficient to maintain me in entrance. Right now within the Cones, we knew that the routes had been open and with so many double clears earlier than me, it was difficult as a result of with lower than a cone between Michael Brauchle and me, I didn’t need to throw away my gold medal. However I nonetheless wished to have a double clear and end in model – which I did, and it was fantastic to do it in entrance of the general public with such a terrific ambiance right here in Exloo!”
The margins had been minimal between the highest three drivers and the highest two nations, as Germany’s Michael Brauchle dropped to bronze individually after a ball roll to allow Koos to leap up a spot to silver. However Michael and his teammates Anna Sandmann and Mareike Hurt had completed sufficient over the 4 days of competitors to seal their staff silver. Double clears from Belgium’s Glenn Geerts, Dries Degrieck, and Tom Stokmans ensured they too had a spot on the rostrum for the bronze.
The Cones proved to be much less decisive than in different championships, however needed to go well with the horse fours and the Para Equestrians. The flowing course meant that there have been 16 double clears within the horse fours, and the winner was Georg Von Stein (GER), with Jérôme Voutaz (SUI) second, and in third, Jiri Nesvacil Jnr. with the beautiful gray Kladruber stallions.
Para Driving World Championships and Hand in Hand Trophy
The Para Drivers slotted right into a later morning session after the decrease order of horse fours positioned 38 to twenty had pushed. The route was the identical, however the cones had been narrowed and time allowed elevated.
Having fun with the experience of Bram as her coach earlier than and throughout the championship, the primary title of the day went to reigning Grade I Para Driving World Champion Tracy Bowman (USA). She drove a flawless spherical along with her pony Albrecht’s Hoeve’s Lars to win the section and emphatically retain her crown. Collectively, she and Bram additionally gained the Hand-in-Hand trophy and within the prize giving, Bram sat behind Tracy on the groom’s seat of the carriage to enter the sector.
Paying tribute for her success to the assist she has obtained from the prolonged Chardon crew, who had been recording the break up occasions on the course to feed again to her, Tracy stated, “This is absolutely the fairytale and Lars is my unicorn! I feel throughout all of the equestrian sports activities, Lars is recognised for his high quality and skill. Bram was wonderful and gave me a unbelievable gameplan – which labored.”
Patricia Großerichter (GER) was one in all 5 Grade I athletes to provide a double clear, which helped clinch a silver medal, forward of Australia’s Jodie Mckeone in bronze after her storming spherical for a win within the Marathon.
Alexandra Röder (GER) was untouchable within the Grade II class, main in all three phases and taking gold for the primary time since she gained at Sandringham (GBR) in 2014. Silver and bronze went to the host nation’s Ingmar Veneman and Aad van Marwijk, each medallists at earlier championships.
With the sturdy exhibiting from the German women, who had been joined on the nationwide staff by Para legend Heiner Lehrter, they had been clear winners of the staff gold for the fourth time. The silver went to the USA with Tracy joined by long run staff members Bob Giles and Diane Kastama. They had been solely narrowly forward of Nice Britain by 0.74, who completed in bronze for the fifth time, helped by Deborah Daniel’s second putting within the Cones and powerful performances by Mick Ward and Emily Ham.
Throughout his closing ceremony speech, FEI Driving Committee Chair Karoly Fugli (HUN) paid tribute to the inclusivity of the championship and sport driving as an entire, citing the success of becoming a member of the Para Drivers with the 4-in-Fingers. The organisers at Exloo had been delighted with the assist from the massive crowds who had been current all through the occasion, particularly the various households who got here for the day to take pleasure in Saturday’s Marathon. Reflecting the worldwide nature of the mixed occasion, much more followers tuned in from everywhere in the world to look at the reside protection of the motion on FEI TV.
by Sarah Dance