FEI World Cup Driving  

28 Nov 2004

Freund takes the lead in the FEI World Cup Driving 
Michael Freund has won the third leg of the FEI World Cup Driving in Sweden's cold and snowy capital Stockholm and is now in the lead of the standings after three competitions. After a rather chaotic warming up round on Friday evening, Swedish course designer Dan Henriksson decided to make the course a little wider, which was much appreciated by the drivers. Wild card driver Tomas Eriksson nevertheless lost his chances to victory in front of his home crowd in the fully filled Globen Arena when his leader reins got stuck and he had to make an extra circle. This cost him precious time and a knock down.

Eriksson will, despite his second place in Stockholm, not climb in the standings because he started with a wild card, like Freund last week in Stuttgart, and is therefore not entitled to World Cup points. Chester Weber finishes his fourth World Cup season with the third place. The 29-year old American was one of the drivers who received, to his opinion, undeserved penalty seconds in the warming up round after he hit one of the multiple obstacles. In the World Cup competition he made two faults with his team of German and Swiss warmbloods, but was very happy with the seven World Cup points he received. Because Eriksson was not entitled to points, Weber received the points for the second place.

Boyd Exell was less happy with his performance. The Australian driver had 15 penalty seconds added to his time and had to be satisfied with the fourth place. It was obvious that World Cup debutants Nicke Palsson (5th) and Fredrik Persson (6th) needed to get into the World Cup rhythm, but, like Persson said, "our time will come". On Sunday afternoon the drivers will compete in an extra competition, not counting for the World Cup. Swedish pony team driver Ulf Mattson will take Weber's place because Weber is going home for Thanksgiving. Michael Freund will drive Weber's team for this occasion.

The next FEI World Cup driving event takes place in Mechelen, Belgium, on 26 and 27 December 2004.

Results CAI-W Stockholm:
1. Michael Freund (Ger) 119,59
2. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 124,42
3. Chester Weber (Usa) 132,85
4. Boyd Exell (Aus) 134,09
5. Jan-Erik Palsson (Swe) 163,31
6. Fredrik Persson (Swe) 176,98

Classification after 3 of 7 events:
1. Michael Freund (Ger) 17
2. Boyd Exell (Aus) 15
3. Chester Weber (Usa) 12
4. Ysbrand Chardon (Ned) 10
5. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 7

For further information on the FEI World Cup Driving season, including standings, future competitions, driver's biographies, rules: www.worldcupdriving.com

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 2004/2005 season of the World Cup includes seven
competitions: Hannover (GER), Stuttgart (GER), Stockholm (SWE), Mechelen
(BEL) in 2004; Leipzig (GER), 's-Hertogenbosch (NED) and Göteborg (SWE) in 2005. The top 5 after 6 events will qualify for the 7th event in Göteborg. The winner of the first three editions of the World Cup was Michael Freund (GER).

Media contact CAI-W Stockholm:
Lotta Amnestal, phone:             +46 709 79 56 35      , e-mail: Lotta.amnestal@ridsport.se

For further information:
CAI-W Stockholm: www.stockholmhorseshow.com
FEI: www.horsesport.org