Felix Brasseur triumphs in Royal Windsor’s international driving trials, with Barry Capstick the best British driver in fourth place

Belgium’s Felix Brasseur and his fabulous grey Lippizaners dominated the 2002 Land Rover International Driving Grand Prix at Royal Windsor Horse Show.

“We always enjoy Windsor,” said Felix, who was making his third visit. “We had a good event, but small problems in every phase.”

The Belgian champion drove a scintillating dressage test to take the lead over Australia’s Boyd Exell and Britain’s George Bowman. Individual bronze-medallist in the last World Championships, Brasseur is a true perfectionist.

“It was good to win, but it is not enough. I still want to improve,” he explained. “I had a problem with my usual leader four days before the event and decided to replace him with a new Lusitano horse which had never been in a dressage arena!

“I had a good cross-country and marathon. The tight obstacles were good training for them. I didn’t have to push them and they gave me all I needed.”

George Bowman dropped out of the running when one of his leaders slipped in thewater-obstacle. Similar bad fortune afflicted another of Britain’s hopes, Karen Bassett, whose Trakehner team became tangled-up in obstacle five.

Current British champion Barry Capstick had his usual double clear in the cone-driving to move up into fourth place behind Germany’s Peter Tischer, while the consistent British-based Australian Boyd Exell was runner-up to Felix Brasseur.

The eight spectacular marathon obstacles in the Home Park were improved this year, thanks to top American course-designer Richard Nicholl.

“We’ve still got a lot to do,” said Richard. “We want to open them up and alter the water obstacle. I see it as a long-term project to put Windsor back on the map asa top international event.”

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