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Federation Equestre Internationale News

Eriksson beats Freund at home soil-Freund wins third World Cup title

Sweden¹s Tomas Eriksson has done what no driver did this FEI World Cup season: he beat triple World Cup Champion Michael Freund! In front of an outraging Swedish crowd in the Globen arena in Gothenburg, Eriksson stayed ahead of Freund and his compatriot Christoph Sandmann and climbed to the fourth place in the final standings.

The best three drivers from the first round, Eriksson, Sandmann and Freund, had qualified for the winning round. The times and penalty seconds of both rounds were added together. OI hit two balls in the first round and new that I had to go for it. I took a lot of risks and was lucky to stay clear which put extra pressure on Sandmann,¹ explains Eriksson. Sandmann was unable to equal Eriksson¹s time in the speedy course, which was set at 10 cm tighter than yesterday¹s warm up competition, and knocked one ball down. Freund however, driving with a wild card, knew that he had to drive faster than his first round. Haste is never good, especially in the last FEI World Cup Driving event of this season. Freund knocked two balls down, which dropped him to the second place in the final results in Gothenburg. This result did not have any effect on his third World Cup title, since he had already won the full 40 points after Vigo and could not have been beaten anymore: OI did not feel nervous before I started in the winning round, but I turn 50 this September and today it was the first time I felt like 50,¹ explains the sympathetic driver with a smile.

Freund¹s compatriot Rainer Duen, driving his team of Oldenburger horses, was very pleased with his fourth place: OThe Gothenburg Horse Show is a fantastic event with super sponsors and a super crowd. It is a great pleasure and great fun to drive here,¹ explains the 32-year old professional horseman. Jozsef Bozsik, who travelled all the way from Hungary, came fifth today with his mixed team of Lipizzaner and Hungarian geldings and stallions. Switzerland¹s Werner Ulrich encountered some difficulties with his right leader horse. His team was not able to make adequate turns to the right, which cost him valuable seconds, and he had to be content with the sixth place. Second wild card driver Fredrik Persson, who is employed by the national equestrian school and stud Flyinge since February, finished seventh: OI just need more indoor experience to perform better. Yesterday in the warm up competition I drove too fast, today I drove too slowly. My goal this year is to qualify for the FEI World Cup season 2004/2005 so I can get more indoor experience.¹

FEI World Cup director Max Ammann mentioned that for next season, the same World Cup events will participate in the World Cup Driving, as well as Hannover, who will be part of the World Cup circuit for the first time. The drivers can qualify at eleven outdoor international driving events; the best four results will count.

Results CAI-W Gothenburg:
1. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 217.39 (0)
2. Michael Freund (Ger) 220.86 (0)
3. Christoph Sandmann (Ger) 227.12 (5)
4. Rainer Duen (Ger) 118.18 (5)
5. Jozsef Bozsik (Hun) 129.77 (10)
6. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 131.76 (0)
7. Fredrik Persson (Swe) 137.05 (20)

Final standings FEI World Cup Driving Season 2003/2004:
1. Michael Freund (Ger) 40
2. Boyd Exell (Aus) 27
3. Christoph Sandmann (Ger) 26
4. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 24
5. Gert Schrijvers (Bel) 22
6. Werner Ulrich (Sui) 15
7. Rainer Duen (Ger) 15
8. Ijsbrand Chardon (Ned) 14
9. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 13
10. Jozsef Bozsik (Hun) 8

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 2003/2004 season of the World Cup includes seven events with eight competitions: Stuttgart (GER), Stockholm (SWE), Mechelen (BEL) in 2003; Leipzig (GER), two competitions in Vigo (ESP), 's-Hertogenbosch (NED) and Göteborg (SWE) in 2004. The winner of the first two editions of the World Cup was Michael Freund

Relevant internet addresses:
CAI-W Gothenburg:
FEI World Cup Driving:


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