Bram Chardon © CHIG / Photo Bujard

Bram Chardon, the glorious "Phaeton" of Geneva

A triple success for Dutchman Bram Chardon at the FEI Driving World Cup™, presented by Radio Télévision Suisse. Six drivers gave their best in the Palexpo arena, which is unique and ideal for this discipline with its indoor lake.

chi © CHIG / Photo Bujard

The audience was enthusiastic! After Lyon, Maastricht, Stuttgart and Stockholm, the FEI World Cup team driving circus made a stopover in Geneva. Halfway to the World Cup Final, which will be held in Bordeaux in February, the Geneva leg lived up to its promise, offering great sport and a fantastic atmosphere. The drivers demonstrated their skill and speed at breakneck speeds, as four-in-hand driving, the supreme discipline, remains a particularly impressive spectacle, an incredible blend of power and finesse.

The first team took to the track punctually at 11.30am and the grandstands were packed with spectators eager to see this most impressive of disciplines. The drivers gave it their all to secure a place in the top three. Unsurprisingly, Koos De Ronde, Dries Degrieck and Bram Chardon once again qualified for the all-important final round. The battle between the top three riders was fierce, with everyone putting all their eggs in one basket. Dutchman Koos De Ronde made a series of mistakes which slowed him down and dropped him to third place on the podium. The Belgian in front of him held his own and was only beaten by Bram Chardon. The Dutchman, who feels right at home in Geneva, rode to his third victory with almost unbelievable ease and gave the crowd an incredibly confident performance. Bravo!

Frenchman Anthony Hordé, who started as a wild card, finished a good fourth. He had nothing to hide in his first World Cup appearance in Geneva. Jérôme Voutaz from Valais finished fifth in his home race at Palexpo.

The voices of the drivers

Bram © CHIG / Photo Bujard

Bram Chardon (NED), winner: ʺThe other riders gave me hope because they made a few mistakes. That's why I was under less pressure than I thought when I went out on the track. I had a good first round and felt that my horses were in form and connected, but I didn't expect to be so fast at the end. I must say the crowd helped me. The course was technically demanding and suited my horses very well.ʺ

Bujard © CHIG / Photo Bujard

Dries Degrieck (BEL), second: “The aim for the first round was to be in the top three, but not to go all out to keep the horses fresh for the second round. I had a fault at fence 15, but I'm still very happy with the result and second place.”

CHIG © CHI / Photo Bujard

Koos De Ronde (NED), third: « The first round went very well. Then I saw that Dries Degrieck was fast in the second round, so I wanted to give it my all. Unfortunately, I had a misunderstanding with my horses and took my foot off the accelerator because I knew I could not finish second.”

CHIG © CHIG / Photo Bujard

 Jérôme Voutaz (SUI), fifth: “Yesterday I had the feeling that my horses were a bit reserved. That's why I tried to adjust the bridle a little, which might explain my mistakes today.”

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