IJsbrand Chardon beats Boyd Exell in thrilling driving final


After an amazing battle between the best drivers, IJsbrand Chardon (NED) beat favourite Boyd Exell (AUS) in the FEI World Cup Driving Final 2016 in Bordeaux, France, on Sunday, and re-claimed the title for the first time again since 2006.

 

Winner of the first competition, Koos de Ronde (NED) finished third. The Final of the 15th season of the FEI World Cup Driving turned into a true thriller where the battle went on until the very last moment.

Chardon made the competition very exciting when his back stepper, his son Bram, lost his balance for a fraction of a second at the last gate and almost fell off, which would have cost the Dutchman his victory. But Bram found his balance in time and stayed on.

 Last starter Exell had to risk everything to beat the fast and clear round of Chardon. The six-time World Cup winner had an unfortunate knockdown at obstacle 3, after which Exell put the throttle on even more to make up for that. It did look as if he was going to do it, but a second knockdown in the last half of the course prevented him from winning his seventh FEI World Cup title.

IJsbrand Chardon dedicated his win to his former sponsor Kees van Opstal, who passed away last week age 85. “Kees was my sponsor for ten years in the 80s and I owe many successes to him,” the Dutch driver said.

After two years of bad luck in Bordeaux, it finally came together for Chardon in the Final. Two years ago his horses were ill after the first day so he had to withdraw, and last year his leader horse jumped the start/finish line after which he drove a wrong gate.

 

In 2017, the FEI World Cup Driving Final will take place in Gothenburg (SWE). Bordeaux however, will continue to host a leg, much to the appreciation of the drivers who enjoyed competing at the French fixture.

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