Individual world driving champion Boyd Exell fought to take back his Olympia title in front of a sell-out crowd at the London International Horse Show on Saturday (20 December).

This was Boyd’s fourth consecutive world cup victory having already won in Stuttgart, Stockholm and Geneva this year. In Switzerland last week (14 December) Boyd won with three borrowed horses to save his team for London.

He was competing on a wild card at Olympia, however, so will not score any world cup points.

The Australian faced stiff opposition from last year’s winner Ijsbrand Chardon.

Boyd was last to go in the first round and went into second place, behind Ijsbrand, after he picked up five penalties. Ijsbrand then piled on the pressure in the second round putting in another clean quick performance. However, Boyd then shaved five seconds off his time in the previous round and went clear to take the title.

“My plan was to drive cleanly and quietly in the first round but my leader knocked down a ball with his nose,” Boyd said.

“I knew we could better the time second time round — I really don’t have to push my horses; there’s lots more to come from them yet.”

Ijsbrand, who is lying second behind Boyd in the world cup rankings, said he couldn’t have gone “any faster with this team in order to stay clear.”

“This competition was very important for me, I needed the world cup points so that is why I decided to use my experienced leader horse again,” he added.

“At the moment it is very difficult to win from Boyd. I gave everything I had and I am now in the final so I can test my new leader horse at my last competition in Leipzig [15-18 January 2015].”

Sweden’s Fredrik Persson drove steadily and claimed third place.

There are now just two events left in the world cup series — Mechelen (26-30 December) and Leipzig (15-18 January 2015) — before the final in Bordeaux (6-8 February 2015)

For full report don’t miss 1 January issue of H&H.