Exell triumphs after initial elimination from the final round
The fourth leg of the FEI World Cup Driving competition came to an exciting conclusion this weekend in Geneva, Switzerland as, once again, Boyd Exell of Australia triumphed with a first place win and a lightening quick time of 152.16. But Exell’s inclusion in the final three-team drive off was up in the air until the very last minutes of the event.
The most celebrated driver of all time was initially eliminated from the final round when in the first round he knocked a fence coming out of the water element--an element he would have to go through again to finish--and the clock had to be stopped so the course could be reset. Exell appealed and was granted his final drive, but not before local favourite Jérôme Voutaz of Switzerland completed his Round 2 drive, having moved into the drive off when Exell was eliminated.
With the home crowd going crazy for him, Voutaz completed a clear round with a time of 156.85 seconds. His smooth, relaxed path through the course, with amazingly attentive horses, drew a standing ovation from the audience and threw down the gauntlet for the other competitors in the drive off. Voutaz eventually finished fourth in this leg once Exell was officially reinstated in the drive off, and his original Round 1 time of 167.10 was his time of record.