Ever since the success of the World Cup Jumping (introduced in 1978) and the World Cup Dressage (introduced in 1985) the International Driving Community contemplated the creation of a World Cup Driving.
The extensive work, in 2000, of a Driving Think Tank, which evaluated the future of the Driving Sport from communication, marketing and promotions aspects led to the creation of an indoor World Cup for Four-in-Hand Drivers, to start in November 2001. Max Amman was also the Director of this new Challenge.
The space limitations of the normal indoor events, either a sport arena or an exhibition area, led to the establishment of special rule for this FEI World Cup Driving. There will be no Dressage and the aspects of the Marathon and the Obstacle (Cones) Driving are combined in a course involving both Marathon and Cones driving obstacles.
The World Cup Driving, in its initial season 2001/2002, consisted of eight events : Stuttgart and Dortmund in Germany, Amsterdam and ‘SHertogenbosch in the Netherlands, Stockholm and Göteborg in Sweden, Mechelen in Belgium, and Bordeaux in France. German’s Michael Freund took the World Cup championship in this first season calculated with points.
In the second season, 2002/2003, the top 5 in the point standings after eight events, qualified for a ninth event in Göteborg. Vigo, Geneva and Leipzig joined the Driving World Cup in this season. Michael Freund became again World Cup Champion.
In the third season, 2003/2004, there were eight events in the calendar including two competitions in Vigo, taken over Bodeaux competitions, which were cancelled. Michael Freund became the World Cup Champion for the third time in a row. Amazing !
In the fourth season, 2004/2005, there were seven events in the calendar. Michael Freund and Dutch’s Ysbrand Cardon finished equal first. 2004/2005 was the last season without a final.
The first final took place in 2006 in Gothenburg. Ysbrand Chardon won it, second place for Michael Freund, third place and first medal for Switzerland thanks to Werner Ulrich.
In 2007, in Gothenburg, last victory for Michael Freund who stopped then his career.
In 2008, the final took place for the first time in Germany, in Leipzig. Christoph Sandmann (GER), holder of a wild-card became World Champion for the first time.
First victory in 2009 for an non-european was the Australian Boyd Exell won the final in Gothenburg.