FEI World Cup™ Driving 2013/2014: Timmerman wins his ticket to FEI World Cup™ Driving Final

December 31st, 2013 10:30 AM | Comments Off on FEI World Cup™ Driving 2013/2014: Timmerman wins his ticket to FEI World Cup™ Driving Final

Mechelen (BEL), 31 December 2013
By Cindy Timmer

Dutch driver Theo Timmerman (NED) on his way to victory in the eighth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Driving 2013/2014 at Mechelen (BEL). Photo Dirk Caremans/FEI

Dutch driver Theo Timmerman (NED) on his way to victory in the eighth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Driving 2013/2014 at Mechelen (BEL). Photo Dirk Caremans/FEI

Dutch driver Theo Timmerman has concluded his very successful year by winning the eighth leg of the FEI World Cup™ Driving 2013/2014 and has secured his ticket to the series Final. Timmerman beat his compatriot Koos de Ronde and Hungarian driver József Dobrovitz. Seven drivers took part in the last qualifier of 2013 held in Mechelen, Belgium last night.

Dutch O-course designer Johan Jacobs, who was responsible for the tracks in Verona, Geneva and London Olympia this season, had laid out a good course for the Belgian leg of the series. Jacobs will also be building the course for the FEI World Cup™ Driving Final which will be held in the French city of Bordeaux in February 2014.

It was a last chance competition for Timmerman who had to finish among the top three in Mechelen to qualify for the Final. His outdoor season had been very successful with individual gold at the FEI European Four-in-Hand Driving Championships held in Izsák (HUN) in September and at the Dutch National Championships. The Dutch driver’s indoor season however has had its ups and downs.

At Mechelen, Timmerman set a very fast time in the first round but unfortunately knocked a ball off the last pair of cones. The result was nevertheless sufficient for a much-needed place in the Winning Round. József Dobrovitz and four-time Mechelen winner Koos de Ronde were in top form as well and, cheered by the enthusiastic spectators in the sold out Nekkerhal, they secured their places in the top three.

In the Winning Round, Dobrovitz knocked a ball off the first obstacle and lost his chances to victory when another ball fell. Mechelen was the last competition for the Hungarian who will sadly not make it to the Final for the first time in four years.

Theo Timmerman was determined to perform well in Mechelen, knowing De Ronde was competing with a wildcard and the full 10 World Cup points would go to him even if he were to finish behind his teammate. Timmerman drove his special indoor team very fast through the fluent course and even managed to beat his own time of the first round by nearly two seconds. The reigning European four-in-hand champion remained clear which put the last man in the arena Koos de Ronde under pressure.

De Ronde drove the same four-in-hand horses as last week at London Olympia where he finished second. An unlucky knockdown in one of the marathon obstacles prevented him from securing his fifth victory at Mechelen and he had to leave the honours to fellow countryman Timmerman.

Theo Timmerman had finished second in Verona and in Budapest and knew it was possible to win with this team, but falling balls kept preventing him from doing so. In Mechelen, it finally came together for him and he was able not only to win his first ever FEI World Cup™ Driving competition, but to also secure a ticket for the series Final.

Tomas Eriksson (SWE) was very close to a top-three placing, but after one knockdown, he also hit the last set of cones, which dropped him down to fourth place. Mechelen was also the last competition for József Dobrovitz Jr (HUN), who had his good friend, double FEI world pony four-in-hand champion Bram Chardon (NED), assist him on the carriage as his navigator. Dobrovitz Jr drove a clear and safe round, but did not reach the speed necessary for a top placing. The 21-year-old finished in 10th place in his first FEI World Cup™ Driving season.

Georg von Stein (GER) had two knockdowns and came in sixth, which puts him into a provisional fourth place in the series standings. Von Stein will start with a wildcard in Leipzig in mid-January and it will depend on the performances of his compatriots Michael Brauchle and Daniel Schneiders whether he will manage to remain in the top six to qualify for the Final.

Second wildcard driver Glenn Geerts (BEL) put on a very good performance driving his outdoor team of horses. Geerts has invested a great deal of effort and training into his team to be able to keep up with the professional World Cup drivers in Mechelen. Sadly he lost one of his best wheeler horses several weeks ago and had to use a spare horse, but the 24-year-old talented driver was still very proud to compete at top level in front of his home crowd.

Theo Timmerman (NED): “It went very well for me and I am pleased with my horses. I had some knockdowns on the first night and I decided to focus on my own round and not to look at the others. As soon as I found out that Dobrovitz had had two knockdowns, I knew I would be able to get the 10 World Cup points because Koos was competing with a wildcard. I had some margin, but it went so well that I just went for it.”

Koos de Ronde (NED): “We knew that we had to set a time of 124 seconds to beat Theo. We knew that was possible, because we normally drive faster in the second round. Unfortunately we had a knockdown at the third obstacle and we only noticed that when we came into obstacle four. That ball cost us the victory, but we are happy for Theo. In London we drove five horses in three different setups and the last one turned out to be the best. We are not 100% sure of the Final yet, but we are confident to put on a good performance in Leipzig in January.”

József Dobrovitz (HUN): “I am pleased with my horses, they did very well. I had hoped to win in Mechelen to secure a ticket for the Final, but unfortunately it did not work out for me.”

FEI World Cup™ Driving, Mechelen (BEL), 30 December 2013:

  1. Theo Timmerman (NED) 251,75
  2. Koos de Ronde (NED) 256,27
  3. József Dobrovitz (HUN) 273,60
  4. Tomas Eriksson (SWE) 134,19
  5. József Dobrovitz jr. (HUN) 136,80
  6. Georg von Stein (GER) 136,96
  7. Glenn Geerts (BEL) 143,85

Results in detail can be viewed here

FEI World Cup™ Driving, standings after 8 of 9 events:
1       IJsbrand CHARDON                NED         32
1       Boyd EXELL                           AUS         32
3       Theo TIMMERMAN                  NED         23
4       Georg VON STEIN                   GER         21
4       Koos DE RONDE                     NED         21
6       Tomas ERIKSSON                  SWE        20
7       Jozsef DOBROVITZ                HUN        18
8       Michael BRAUCHLE                 GER         15
8       Daniel SCHNEIDERS               GER         15
10     Jozsef DOBROVITZ jr.            HUN        14

The detailed standings are available here.

The 2013/2014 FEI World Cup™ Driving series now moves on to Leipzig (GER) on Sunday 19 January 2014.

For information on the next leg go to www.partner-pferd.de or contact Press Officer Andreas Kerstan, andreas.kerstan@comtainment.de, +49 4307 827970.
For more information on FEI World Cup™ Driving, please check the FEI website and the series’ comprehensive press kit.

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