Top 20 FEI Top Driver Award Ranking competes in Breda
World's best four-in-hand drivers will battle at world championship
Breda, August 18th, 2016 – Today the definitive entries for the FEI World Driving Championship Four-in-Hand organized by Outdoor Brabant are announced. In total 57 riders from 16 countries, including 14 competing for the team title, will compete in Breda from August 31st until September 4th. The line up includes the complete top 20 of the FEI Top Driver Award ranking.
Boyd Exell (AUS) will defend the individual world title and the Netherlands will defend on home soil their team title. For Netherlands Bram Chardon, 3 times winner of the world title four-in-hand ponies, is the rookie in this World Championship together with Edwin van der Graaf. Other riders making their first appearance at the World Championship Four-in-Hand are Mark Peel (AUS), Josef Leibetseder jr, Andreas Ruschitzka and Ewald Wurm (AUT), Dries Degrieck (BEL) and Johan Dengg (SWE). The 76-years old Antonio Blazques Marin (ESP) also debutes at this World Championship, he is the eldest competitor.
As the host country The Netherlands are allowed to have 9 riders. Chef d'equipe Harry de Ruyter selected his golden team IJsbrand Chardon, Koos de Ronde and Theo Timmerman. Mark Weusthof, Herman ter Harmsel, Edwin van der Graaf, Peter de Ronde, Bram Chardon, and Hans Heus are individual starts.
With the teams the Dutch trio is expecting strong competition from Germany, Hungary and Belgium. In the battle for the individual medals reigning world champion Boyd Exell will have to defeat the new German National Champion George von Stein, his ongoing rival IJsbrand Chardon (NED) and the numbers 2 and 3 at the Top Driver Award Ranking Jozsef Dorbrovitz jr (HUN) and Koos de Ronde (NED).
"It will be exciting to watch the battle between the world's best four-in-hand riders here in Breda," says Cees Meeuwis, president of Outdoor Brabant. "Our course designer Jeroen Houterman, sports secretary and course builders are right now working day and night to present the four-in-hand sports at its very best in 2 weeks from now. I'm looking forward to great championship."
On Wednesday the 31st of August the vet check is scheduled followed by the official opening ceremony. Thursday the 1st and Friday the 2nd of September are dominated by the dressage competitions. On Saturday the four-in-hand drivers will compete during the spectacular marathon and on Sunday the final show down will happen during the cones competition. Besides the FEI World Driving Championship there are national dressage and jumping competitions scheduled. Furthermore there are several side events planned, f.e. the third edition of the After Summer Lounge on Thursday night and all days there is an Outdoor Fair with nice stands, bars and restaurants.