DRIVING - CONES DAY 4
Glenn Geerts BEL - “It was not easy, it was tough, the time was very sharp, I gave my all it wasn’t easy, but I kept going for it until 19D with no mistakes but I hit the second-last and I was a bit over the time but I’m really happy and I secured the bronze medal for Belgium. I did what I had to do and I can see I’m going to be in the top eight in the world and I can live with that!” (He finished 6th)
Benjamin Aillaud FRA - “Arabo/Freisian horses are super nice to drive, it’s a technical course and the time was difficult to reach so we needed to cut a lot of lines. I don’t have fast horses but we found a way to make no mistakes, no balls plus a good rhythm”.
Bram Chardon NED (first double-clear in Cones) - “Everyone had to wait a long time, including myself, for that performance this week! I knew when I made the change (of horse) before the vet-check that dressage and marathon was going to be hard but I still had my A-team for Cones. We are under pressure from Germany and still have two Dutch to go so this score will count for sure. This was the maximum I could do today, they felt amazing and I knew I had to put the pressure on the rest and we’ll see where it ends.
I’m the current Dutch, European and World Cup champion but on the World Championship I had unusual mistakes, the same as Tryon, I needed the revenge on the Sunday, I needed it today as well to show that I can do it.
Jerome Voutaz SUI - “It was a catastrophe - I don’t know what happened, I’ll have to watch it on video to see! My time here has been positive. I had good dressage and marathon but the cones still need a little work.”
Frederik Persson SWE - “This is a completely new team of horses and they did well, I nearly had the time but we had five down going at this high speed. But I’m still satisfied to be honest, they have performed well all week, it’s their first international season, just three months together. I’m here to see if they are suitable for big championships and I know now that in two years time they will be ready. I had a personal best in dressage, the marathon was a bit mixed but some obstacles were very good, I was worried they would get tired but they finished really fresh. And the cones was nice course, they just need more experience and I need it too. I’ve changed my driving style, before I didn’t go at high speed and it was safe driving so I’m out of my comfort zone. When I was here in 1998 the Warmbloods were the best horses for the driving sport but it’s all changed. Now you need more sport horse, but we have found some nice and really good horses so we look forward.”
Luca Cassottana ITA - “I need a bit more speed and control but I had a clear round and just added time, I’m very pleased. I’m really pleased with my team of horses and especially the left leader with the long white stripe on his leg - his name is Lady Killer and he’s a very good horse. It was emotional for the last few days with Italian people shouting for me - I was so happy for their support!”
DRIVING - MARATHON DAY 3
Rene Poensgren GER - “The Marathon was really hard but my horses were great. They did a really good run through the obstacles, just one or two mistakes with balls (2 balls at Obstacle 7). I’m happy that they finished fit and healthy and ready for tomorrow. I hope my daughter Emma is happy with me. It’s her birthday today and she said this morning - Papa you have to go fast but not so fast the balls comes down!”
Tom Stokmans BEL - “It’s my first World Championship and it’s a really nice experience to do a Marathon like this. It was technical and quite difficult for the horses, especially the two water obstacles. After the second water obstacle they lost a lot of energy but they still worked to the end and I’m very happy for that. The whole course was exciting and it went very smoothly, just one ball down (at Obstacle 2).”
Jerome Voutaz SUI - “I’m pleased but have to wait because the best drivers have still to go. I passed the last gate of the last obstacle at 8 and had to go back - that was my fault and cost 7 seconds. Thh obstacles are difficult but the course designer did a top job, giving a lot of options. It rode really well but you had to drive cleverly.”
Luca Cassottana ITA - “I had no penalties but the traces broke twice and I don’t know why. We fixed it no problem each time. I’m happy because before I have had little mistakes in Marathon but today we had a clear round!”
Michael Brauchle GER - “This year I won the Marathon at Windsor and Valkenswaard and that was good for me. I’m a young man and I have a lot of strength and my horses fight for me and with me. It’s a big plus for me in the Marathon when my horses have fun - big fun!!”
My right leader is Djamilo (Jamie) and he’s a brilliant Marathon horse. He knows his job, he’s doing this for four year, I bought him as a young horse and we work together a lot of years and make a good team together. I think we put Germany in a good place now.”
Georg von Stein GER - “My team was fine, they are young and it’s only the second event for them. It’s a special Marathon, fast and difficult an many obstacles come fast but my two leaders did a great job. I had a few balls down because of a bit of not good driving from the driver! But I’m happy with my team and now we are in a good position with Michael Brauchle in the team and I think the result was OK. So Mareike (Harm) can have an easy job and come home safe and I hope we stay in the lead!”
Bram Chardon NED - “my left wheeler is an eight-year-old in his first season and we got three knockdowns on his side. I blame myself for that as well but they showed good potential with great scores and good times and we’re still in the race and that’s what it’s all about.
I started having some doubts myself after three knockdowns, more obstacles to go and the possibility of more knockdowns, so my grooms had to warn me a bit more about the knockdowns. Hopefully my father now can get near Brauchle so we stay in the race. Individually I’m hoping to keep my spot, 7th yesterday. I had to change a horse in my team and once I knew that I always knew I wouldn’t be going for gold.
Anna Sandmann GER - “We had four balls down and I’m a bit not happy with that. It was a hard Marathon but not too heavy, some longer obstacles, technical obstacles, it was a good course I think. The first water was difficult, I was a bit too fast there.
Benjamin Aillaud FRA - the design of the course was very interesting, super technical, but perfect for the horses I think. My horses are not very fast, but they can be very precise, so I didn’t have any knockdowns and that was my plan in the end. The speed is not a big speed for these horses, they moved smooth and relaxed and that was what I was trying to do in this Marathon. I did exactly what I was expecting to do.
It’s challenging, if you take all the short options it’s very very challenging, the water obstacles were not difficult but they were long. A lot of turns. But I’m very pleased with the horses who found it easy in the end.”
Chester Weber USA - felt the first four obstacles were really strong, they are new leaders after Tryon but they worked hard and from obstacle one to four I saw their potential. Some of the sharp banks in and out of the water were a bit old-school and it was hilly but also a nice challenge because at a lot of shows you’ve driven that track so many times - the Isjbrand Chardon’s he’s been doing this for almost 50 years and how many times has he driven the Aachen Marathon track….here you come to Pratoni and it’s a completely new feeling and that’s when you have to be a really clever driver and know where your strengths are and what you can and cannot do.”
Dries Degrieck BEL - “I’m exhausted. My arms are really quite sore at the moment, this year I skipped one international show to spare my horses a little bit and that was an advantage for the horses today but a disadvantage for me! They were really strong with a lot of power, I had a lot in my hands, normally technical routes is my speciality but maybe I should have gone for longer routes today and let them run a bit more instead of steering so much and going inside. But we had no knockdowns, I was one time too slow because my horses were too quick for me so I had to take a longer route than planned.
I think Michael took better routes than me. If you take longer routes and let them gallop a bit more and take less risk at a higher tempo that was a clever move by him. I saw him at the obstacles a few times and I thought he’s going safe, but now I know why. Also every team is different, I think today I had too much power for the routes I took but I’m really satisfied - just one longer route at one obstacle that cost of bit of time, otherwise I’m happy!”
Mareike Harm GER - plan was to get around safely because the two German team drivers were before me and they did good rounds. I had a good feeling that I should just bring my good Dressage result home and that worked. I knew from the others because five Germans went before me and said it was very tight and the first three obstacles were really right and technical so we started maybe a bit too carefully in number one but it was fantastic and really fun!”
Koos de Ronde NED - second overall in Marathon - the horses were fantastic, the beginning was extremely strong. I lost a little in the water. Michael Brauchle drove a fantastic Marathon, I tried to catch him but in the end I missed, I think by 0.8 but I’m very happy. Michael is a very fast driver, his team is very fast, he has power, he’s technically good, he has a lot of guts, like me he wants to go fast.
As I said yesterday I have two new horses, this is my second show with them and they did a fantastic job. In the end it’s a combined event so there’s always a bit of calculation if I can lose so much in Dressage and make so much up today. And you have to find the right balance with the right horses. I lost a bit in Dressage, I’m now in fifth place so I’m happy. Very happy team is in top spot but it’s not over yet. Another important day to come but so far so good.”
DRIVING - DRESSAGE DAY 2
Mark Weusthof NED (62.30) - “It wasn’t the best, at a World Championship you want to do the best. During the training they were a little nervous. The left wheeler made a big mistake but this is only his second show, he is a dressage horse. The left leader and right wheeler are Dutch horses and the right wheeler is a jumping horse. My father competed Four-in-Hand and I learned from him. I’m expecting good things in the Marathon. We have a plan and will do our best, it’s a tough but nice course. I am a construction engineer.”
Maxime Maricourt FRA (66.43) - “not really pleased with my horses today , they are young and they had a few mistakes here and there, I’ve had them for two years and my goal was to bring them here to the WC. I’m really happy to be here. I train in Normandy. I’m competing as an individual, physicala nd techncial the hills and valleys are more difficult than at home and the terrain is more sandy. I don’t work full time at driving, I’m a riding instructor for children and I also teach driving”.
Daniel Schneiders AUT (55.84) - not happy with my score, it was my best performance all season and the marks are still the same. This test was for sure my best this season. I built this team up over three years and today I was really pleased with them. They are all Dutch harness horses and they are tough and powerful. I’m based in the north of Germany near Osnabruck and I train sometimes with Boyd Exell but I can’t do it often because I am busy at my work. I am a farrier and in my real life I am shoeing horses! This I do only after work, it’s been difficult for the last few months because daylight is gone at 8.30 and when you are back from work at 6pm and you have to train five or six horses it’s not easy.”
Piotr Mazurek POL (61.57) - “Today was very positive for me. I did my first World Championships in 2008, I’ve changed horses a few times and this is my third team. I’m a vet and I breed horses, Polish Warmbloods and dressage lines. We have a long tradition of breeding in my family, five generations.
Glenn Geerts BEL (51.24) - “mixed feelings, I’m really happy with my horses, they really gave of their best. One of them was in a clinic with colic a month ago before the Belgian Championship but he recovered well, we didn’t have to operate so this was his first time back in a big arena and he gave his all for me. When I see the points I’m a bit disappointed because the head judge put me in third place which pleases me but my lowest score is 15th place which is a bit weird but it is how it is and I’m still close to the top five and tomorrow is another day, nothing is lost and I’m still motivated and excited about tomorrow. Only one horse replaced in the team I took to Tryon in 2018. These horses did the European Championships in Donaueschingen in 2019 and 2021 in Budapest so they are experienced and I know them inside out! I think as a team we are on schedule. Right now we are not in a medal placing but we will put pressure on the others over the next two days and we don’t intend to go home without a medal!”
Benjamin Aillaud FRA (48.84) - “My team are Arab x Friesians. I was hoping for a better score, my horses went well and made no mistakes. The flexibility was good but they were maybe missing a bit of energy. Horses come from an Arabo/Friesian breeding stud and I drive for them, Mr and Mrs Baumann. I was hoping to do better in dressage so now we are working for a medal in the team.”
Boyd Exell AUS (34.13) - “Very pleased, horses were very light and dancing and it felt safe but showing off. Maybe disappointed because it felt more like a 32 than a 34. This team is experienced and solid and one of the best teams that have been around the world and I’ve had teams that got 29’s and 30’s in dressage and these are better so I’m disappointed that the judges don’t go ‘hey, this is like the Totilas and Valegro team! I love driving, the score is only the icing on the cake. The horses - my right leader is Checkmate and today he was the showpiece, he was a wheeler in Normandy and Tryon and now he’s a leader. He’s always been a really special horse. Celviro is my left leader, he’s the solid one, every time he delivers. I have a new wheeler called Hero and he did well, he’s a marathon specialist. I have a nice lead but it’s a three-day competition and a lot can go wrong. We had problems in Aachen in the cross-country and your five-point lead is not enough so it’s not over until Sunday afternoon.
Zoltan Lazar HUN (44.85) - “I’m still recovering after a knee operation so this is only the third event I’ve done this year. My team of horses are great and I love them! One of them made a little mistake today but I think we can do better later in the event. The horse that made a mistake didn’t like the atmosphere and needs some time to get used to it. In the team I have two Dutch horse, one German-bred and one I bred on my own Lazar farm near Budapest. I breed jumping horses and this is the only one I have bred for carriage driving.
Mareike Harm GER (38.85) - “I’m really happy! I had a little bit of pressure because I had to do the dressage score for the team and we made it. It’s totally different when you are driving just for yourself, a lot more pressure. I couldn’t be happier. It’s a mixed team of horses, Dutch Warmblood, Oldenburger, Westphalian. We’ve been together as a team a long time and we know each other really well. They are aged between 11 and 16. I started riding, my mum also rode and had problems with her back so she started driving and one day I took the reins and started driving Pony Singles and in 2010 I was here for the World Singles Championship and won the gold medal with the German team - so this is a good place for me!. After that I had four Single horses and we put them together in a team and in beginning everybody said you can’t do that as a woman, it’s too strong and too hard in the Marathon. And the Marathon is hard because the men are stronger in Marathon tomorrow for sure. But I can do a good Dressage and good Cones and try to lose not too many points in the Marathon.”
Bram Chardon NED (46.25) - “I was hoping for better score, I had a 37 at the Dutch Championship in Beekbergen but I had to change one horse so I knew a score in the 30s would be difficult to get. I thought the low 40s was what these horses can do but unfortunately we had a few errors. But nothing is lost, I still have a good team for the next two days so I need to attack a little more and I will!
Horde FRA (54.77) - “This is my fourth World Championship and I’m very happy because this is a personal-best score! My left leader was anxious because of the sound of the drone overhead but that is the skill of the sport, to be able to communicate and calm your horse even though there are three others also in the team. We did some training with the rest of the French team in the north of France before we came here. The Marathon tomorrow is going to be very physical because between obstacles there is a lot of uphill and downhill - it’s a real championship course.”
Jiri Nesvacil CZE (55.64) - “We had some minor mistakes but in general I’m very satisfied. The whole performance gave a generally compact picture, the positions of the horses, the flexion and bending was all nice so I’m happy! The leaders were excellent today, only the left wheeler was a bit inattentive. I couldn’t put pressure on him because it would have upset him so I just had to keep him calm and happy. This team has together two year and my left leader is my special Pastorella, a very experienced stallion 18 years old who has been working in my team for more than 10 years so he is my favourite!”
Tor Van den Berghe AUS (57.37) - “I’m really happy - for one horse, my right leader, it was only his second show so he was a bit all over the place but that’s the best test we’ve done all year and I couldn’t ask for more! It’s great to have an Australian team here and I just hoped I could keep the points up for Boyd. Our group of supporters here is huge, the amount of people who make sacrifices just for that 10 minutes in the arena is huge. I’m originally from Sydney but I now have a property in Brisbane. On my team here I have two Australian bred mares who came over on the plane and it’s quite incredible what they’ve done because they don’t have the class or movement of the others but they are so important, I couldn’t do without them! One of them is tricky but she is so important to the team. Another one - Indiana - came from show harness sport, and he needs another year to settle but he’ll be really good in the Marathon and I love him, he just needs another season to relax.”
Luca Cassottana ITA (58.24) - “In total the performance was good, I had a little problem with the left leader and we had a mistake in halt and walk but in general I am happy. I competing in Singles and Pairs for many years and I’ve been training with Bram Chardon for four years. My horses are three KWPN and one riding horse, all Dutch. I had to go to six competitions to qualify with this team together which I only put together last year. We did three nations comps, then the internationals at Exloo, Kladruby and the Test Event here in Pratoni in May. I’m a builder, this is my hobby because in my main job I build houses and it is difficult to manage because I work until 5pm each day and then do my horses but this is great sport!”
József Dobrovitz Jr. HUN (58.44) - “My left leader Johnny was not so fun to drive today. It’s his first year in the lead and yesterday in the training he was really good so today I don’t know what happened - he was angry and nervous but the other three horses were really good. All year I had problems with the other three horses and Johnny was always good. He was never like this before so I’m not sure how to fix it. The halt and walk used to have problems but today the team was nearly perfect so now I just have to find a way to fix Johnny. Normally he is very calm, but even outside before going in today he wasn’t happy.”
Michael Brauchle GER (49.18) - I’m happy, maybe we could have more points if I was more brave but I decided to stay on the safe side. My left leader is a bit new, an eight-year-old and less experienced, my right leader is the most experienced and the wheelers are experienced enough. I’m very excited to be in this German team but Driving is only my hobby. I am a farrier and I manage to be in this sport only by working, working and working!”
DRIVING - DRESSAGE DAY 1
Chester Weber (41,52): «I’m not happy, only the first half of the test was really on point. We came over to Europe in May for the indoor world cup. Unfortunately the way the sport is if you want to be in the top five in the sport your have to spend time competing against those top five. I live in Ocala, Florida which is beautiful area for driving horses and we can show at different venues in the area all winter so it’s good place to train. My horses are all Dutch Warmbloods and two of them were in my Tryon team (where he won team gold in 2018)., left leader and right leader. Typically I’m trying to score in mid 30s but that’s the score now (41.52) and everyone else has to beat it.»
Georg von Stein GER (49.44) - “In the beginning we had a bit of a mistake with the left leader. I think he had flies on his head and he went too fast and make a mistake so I stopped a little bit. After that he was good and my team was perfect and nice and easy to drive. It’s a young team, three horses are seven-year-olds and the other two are together two years at this big level, it’s a nice team. My best discipline is normally the Marathon. The course here is fast and technical but it’s similar to my home terrain near Frankfurt so we will see..…”
Anna Sandman GER (42.52) - “This is my first World Championship with the team so I’m really happy with the score. This was the best test I’ve ever done with my horses, the extended trot and the reinback were really good. I’ve had this team two years now, they all have a lot of movement and I think that makes them special. The family is here, my father took the horses just now and my mother (Karin Sandmann) is a groom on the coach. I’ve been training with Boyd Exell since 2016, I’m based in Lehden near the Dutch border. I drive also in Pairs competitions and I have competed in five World Championship Pairs but this is my first Four-in-Hand Championship and it’s very exciting!”
Ferenc Galbacs Jr. HUN (57.77) - “I’m the driver of Szilvásvárad National Stud of Hungary and we hold onto our traditions so the bridles we use are traditional and the carriage and also the historical costumes we all wear. In my team I have one mare, one stallion and two geldings and they are all Hungarian Lipizzaners. I’m very proud that still after 400 years of breeding horses we can use them in these championships in 2022!”
Fredrik Persson SWE (49.98) - “I’m very pleased, this is a completely new team and three of my five horses here are at their first international show! I bought them two years ago and stayed home training them. Three of them are American-Dutch harness horses, we bought them in America as young ones. A friend of mine found them with Amish people and two come from a pair driver. These last two had plenty of experience but I’ve only had them for three months and they’d never done Four-in-Hand before so I’m very pleased with them today.
During Corona time I had a lot of learning. I started driving Four-in-Hand in 1996 and I had my first medal in the team in Pratoni World Equestrian Games in 1998. It was my international break-through and the Swedish team won bronze. It’s so great to be back here 24 years later! I’m based at Flyinge (Swedish National Equestrian Centre), I’m a farmer’s boy and live outside the village but I’m raised there and live near there.
Today is a big relief, coming here was a very late decision but I’m so emotional now we are here. I had goal to go under 50 and I got 49.98 so I’m delighted!”
Jerome Voutaz SUI (57.97) - “I’m very happy because this is one of the lower scores received. My horses are French-bred seven and eight-year-olds and they have been working together for four years. They are very good for dressage, very agile but quick in the Marathon and I’m really happy with them. The Marathon will be physical for the horses, and the drivers must use their heads and be attentive. I hope to be World Champion one day but I am an amateur and this is a hobby. I am a mechanic and I have a garage and that is my main job.”
Llibert Calvet Martinez ESP (57.50) - “I’m happy with my score. My favourite phase is dressage but I like all three. My horses are PRE 7/8 year-olds and this is my first World Championship so I am excited to be here. The Marathon course looks technical but I look forward to it on Saturday.”
Gergo Bakoczi ROU (68.36)- “I mostly compete in Hungary, I am 36 years old and I live in Romania. I am professional Pair Driver but this is my first Four-in-Hand Championship. I started this (Four-in-Hand) five years ago but I have been driving Pairs since I was ten years old because my father was a Pairs driver and my dream was to be a Team driver. Five years ago I got sponsorship from Lipizzaner stud farm of Romania. It is home to about 300 Lipizzaner horses while in the Szilvásvárad National Stud of Hungary they have about 2,500 horses. This is my first World Championship Four-in-Hand and I have a lot to learn to make better results. This World Championship is a great opportunity to promote Lipizzaner and Nonius horse breeds this week. The dapple greys in my team are younger horses, by the next world championship they will have turned white! They are eight and nine years old and other two grey horses are 20 and 21 years old.”
Antonie Ter Harmsel NED (61.43) - “there were a few mistakes, it could have been more forward and the right wheeler reared, he’s a young one and it’s only his second competition, I had a problem with another horse so I took this one. My horses are Gelderlanders, the leaders are experienced and I compete with them in Pairs but this is their first year Four-in-hand. I’m a farrier so in the morning I’m working at shoeing horses and in the afternoon I drive!”
Sebastien Vincent FRA (62.23) - “I’m very happy with my ride, my team are young horses and they were very well behaved and working well. The marathon course is big but we are prepared to ride to help our French team. I’m from Compiegne and I’m a videographer. I compete at weekends but sometimes my video work and the competitions clash.”
Tom Stokmans BEL (58.3) - very happy because this was my best dressage result this season. Important score as first for the team. The highlight for me was the transitions. I drive Arabian horses crossed with Friesians. The marathon looks technical but really nice. I’m not a full-time horseman, I have my own company at home, HVAC which does air-conditioning, heating and plumbing. I keep the horses at my home near Antwerp and train with them in the evening after work.
Koos De Ronde NED (54.32) - Competitive score but still a lot of drivers to come of course, a few small mistakes, the reinback didn’t go far enough but did my best so on to tomorrow. Came to Pratoni before in 2010 for the Singles World Championship so I knew the facility so a lot has been changed and renewed but I think it looks fantastic. Left wheeler and right leader it’s the first championship, only driving them since July so it’s a short time. In Aachen I had an accident and turned over so I had to swop some horses late in the season and actually they did well but a world championship is always a little extra atmosphere. They are young horses I bought last winter for the future, but the future came a little sooner than we thought, but they did a great job. Based near Rotterdam, nine world championships, Next two days will be exciting.
Jozsef Dobrobitz Sr. HUN (63.63) - “I drove two young horses in the front and for one it was only the second competition this year and three of the horses in the team were good but that one who was only in his second competition was in disarray and made a lot of mistakes so I am disappointed. He wouldn’t walk in the second walk and he was looking around too much and was not so easy to drive. Before I drove him at small shows where the dressage arena is much smaller - with the flowers and the screen and the public it was too much for him today. He will go in the marathon on Saturday but not in the cones on Sunday. He will go as a right wheeler because he was a wheeler in the past and this was the first time to put him in the lead and that was the problem. Hopefully I can still help the Hungarian team for the rest of the competition. Ten of our family and friends are involved in our team this weekend including my wife Monika who is a groom in the carriage.
Rene Poensgen GER (62.96) - “I’m happy with my horses, I have two young horses seven years old and for both it was the first big event. With my test I was not so satisfied, there was too much pressure on my young wheeler but it’s a big arena with a lot of spectators. My plan was to bring just one of the young horses but one of my other horses was not fit so I took both. Today one of them was a wheeler and one was a leader. All my horses are KWPN. My first World Championship was ten years ago in Riesenbeck, then I competed in 2016 in Breda and in 2020 the championship didn’t happen. I’m only an amateur, I have a big bakery for only gluten-free products close to Aachen. I only do the horses after work. I’m not satisfied with the score, I had too many faults in the test, but I hope we can do well on Saturday and Sunday!”
Janos Papp HUN (64.03) - “I’m happy to complete the course because this was my first world championship. The horses went well, some small unexpected mistakes but I’m happy. My team are Nonius horses, a very traditional Hungarian breed that has a history of more than 240 years. They come from the National State Stud at Mezőhegyes in the south-east of Hungary close to Romanian/Serbian border where I have worked for the last 22 years”.
Istvan Vaczi (70.69) - “At the training before the competition we had a problem between two front horses and it was not the best. We have four Lipizanner breeding stallions together in the carriage and yesterday two of them had a disagreement and it was one of these. We represent the National Stud of Szilvásvárad which is one of the biggest Lipizzaner studs in the world. The World Championship for Four-in-Hand in 2024 will be held there. Our best day will be the marathon, it’s a very technical course with 119 balls.”
Hans Heus NED (61.9) - test went well, small things could be better but the team worked well and it’s a big experience. My horses are all Dutch KWPN and I have a German horse I use in marathon and cones. All my horses have a favourite place where they go in competitions but at home I change them all the time. I’m happy with my score, it’s a championship and of course if it was in the fifties I’d be happier but I always say by Sunday evening we will know more. We have a very big marathon and a big cones competition so this is just the start. Holland is flat but where I live we have hills so I could train for this!
Dirk Gerkens GER (62.03) - in the warm-up my horses were really good but in the arena the left leader was too excited so we made some mistakes. They are all Westphalian horses, one is bought but all the rest are home-bred. They are quite experienced as a team. I’m based in Paderborne and in Four-in-Hand I have been second in the German Championship in Aachen three times but I have been world champion three times in Pony Driving.