Wins for Exell
and Chardon

02 December 2018

FEI World Cup™ Driving action was in full swing this weekend, with simultaneous events at both Budapest and Stockholm...

Bram Chardon of the Netherlands took the win in Budapest, his second on the World Cup circuit, edging out Jérôme Voutaz of Switzerland and József Dobrovitz of Hungary in an exciting drive off.


In Stockholm, it was reigning World Cup and WEG champion Exell of Australia on the top of the podium.


Exell miraculously made up 8 penalty points in the drive off to finish with the fastest score over Koos De Ronde of the Netherlands and Edouard Simonet of Belgium.

Six of the world’s
top drivers went
head to head

Budapest marked Chardon's first win of the year...

The Budapest Driving event saw six of the world’s top four-in-hand drivers going head to head. Winner Chardon, with his sister as navigator, beat out his own father, driving legend Ijsbrand Chardon, as well as Glenn Geerts of Belgium and József Dobrovitz Jr. of Hungary, to enter the final drive off.


Voutaz was first to go in Round 2, and though he had two balls knocked down for 8 penalty points, he completed the tricky course in a fast time for a total of 137.57 seconds.


Unfortunately for the home crowd, Dobrovitz senior ran into trouble early on the drive off course, accruing 20 penalties. Whilst it put him in second for the moment, he knew he would have to settle for third once the young Dutchman began to whip round the track.


Chardon had one ball down for 4 penalty seconds. The question became: would he still be able to finish fast enough for a victory over Voutaz?


Pushing his horse team to the very end, Chardon completed the course in a lightning time of 127.57 seconds for a total of 131.57 seconds and the victory, his first of the year!


Up in the dark and wintry Swedish evening, more tension was unfolding in Stockholm. Edouard Simonet of Belgium was first to run through the drive off course, having beaten out American champion Chester Weber, Benjamin Aillaud of France, and Axel Olin of Sweden for the third spot. ​


A close race to the top...

Simonet’s second time was faster than Exell’s first round through the course, but with a ball down for 4 seconds, would his total time of 141.63 be enough?


Next up, Koos De Ronde of the Netherlands was a hair slower at 137.79, but with a clean run and no penalty seconds, moved into the lead, after losing a boot on Dan Henriksson’s bridge and negotiating a challenging speed box set by the Swedish course designer.


It all came down to Exell, who uncharacteristically had two balls down on the drive off course for 8 points, meaning he had to push even harder than normal on the time.


Flying through the course, the Australian champion did it, finishing in only 129.56 for a total of 137.56 seconds and the win!


Budapest and Stockholm were legs 4 and 5 of this season’s FEI World Cup™ Driving qualifiers. With legs still remaining in Geneva, London, Mechelen, and Leipzig, who will go to the Finals in Bordeaux in February? Stay tuned to FEI TV to find out!


Text by: Patricia Salem

Images from Stockholm by:  FEI/Roland Thunholm

Images from Budapest by: FEI/Kriztina Hadju