Boyd Exell has taken the lead at the end of the driving dressage at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The British-based Australian scored 30.08, putting him more than 5pen ahead of yesterday’s joint leaders, America’s Chester Weber and the Netherlands Ijsbrand Chardon.
“They are a relatively new team, being in their second season, but the big atmosphere suits them and me,” said Boyd. “This year the horses have been going on rails and I was a bit of a passenger in there. In places I was chuckling to myself because they were helping me so much.”
With Chester and Ijsbrand now second equal, there is also a tie for fourth place — and the Netherlands and America are equal first in the team competition, each boasting a competitor placed second and one placed fourth. With six judges, to have exact ties is a very unusual situation in driving competitions.
Today America’s Tucker Johnson equalled Dutch driver Theo Timmerman’s score of 40.19 from yesterday so they hold fourth place together.
“I was pleased for Chester yesterday and also impressed with Ijsbrand, who has a different style,” said Tucker. “I thought I’d be able to get a little closer to them, but I’m happy with the score I got and the performance.”
Tucker predicted that the open marathon course will lead to speedy times tomorrow: “I think we’re going to see some really fast driving — the hazards are challenging, but more open than we see sometimes. The challenge for me will be to drive fast without making a mistake.”
Boyd confirmed Isjbrand and Chester’s opinion that the most technical obstacle is the final one, number eight.
Log back on tomorrow for an update on the marathon, full report on the driving from WEG in H&H next week, out 14 October.