Monday, May 10, 2010

Four-Time World Champion Four-in-Hand Driver, IJsbrand Chardon (NED)


Four-time World Champion Four-in-Hand Driver, IJsbrand Chardon (NED) blogs about his sucess in the 2010 FEI World Cup Driving Finals, and his journey to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
(Photo Credit:Rinaldo de Craen)

We completed our indoor driving season with the third place in the FEI World Cup Driving Final in Geneva, Switzerland. The World Cup season was successful for me. I bought three Lipizzaner horses of my Hungarian colleague Jozsef Dobrovitz at the end of November, especially to compete in indoor competitions. The four-in-hand team I had for indoor driving was good, but the standard nowadays is so high that I had to make a change in order to be able to win. I successfully competed in several World Cup competitions with these Lipizzaners and I qualified for the Final. Three weeks ago I completed the team with the fourth Lipizzaner horse, which I also bought from Dobrovitz. I am very pleased with the third place in Geneva and my goal is to perform even better with this grey team during the coming indoor World Cup season. The Final was a good closure of the indoor season and we are looking forward to the outdoor season with the WEG in Kentucky as highlight.

We already started the preparations for the WEG straight after I won my fourth individual World Championship title on home soil in Beesd in 2008.

I have 8 horses at my disposal, amongst which the same horses as in Beesd:

Tomasson, 1990, KWPN gelding, all-round horse and usually goes in the wheel in the dressage and cones competition.

Argus, 1995, KWPN gelding, all-round horse

Isovlas Tango, 1996, Swedish warm blood gelding, all-round horse

Isovlas Paganini, 1994, Swedish warm blood gelding, all-round horse

Zidane, 1992, KWPN gelding, all-round horse and usually one goes in the dressage and cones competition.

Whooper, 2003, KWPN gelding, all-round horse but specialized in dressage. Whooper was successfully part of my team in 2009 at several big competitions.

Victory, 2002, KWPN gelding, all-round horse

Zep, 2004, KWPN gelding, all-round horse

Kelvin, 1992, KWPN gelding, marathon horse.

Last year we invested in the accommodation of our riding school and training centre which turned out to be very useful last winter! We built a large indoor arena so I was able to train throughout the very cold winter period in The Netherlands last months. We also realized an outdoor driving arena with an all-weather footing, which allows me to train under ideal circumstances.

I believe it has been a great advantage to me that I was able to keep training in the winter. I have not lost one day of training and the horses are very fit.

I focus on dressage training and I also select new horses on their dressage skills. If you get too far behind in dressage, you have already lost the competition. My horses are all ridden regularly, this is good for their balance, bending, discipline, obedience, just good for everything really!

I also drive them in a pair regularly and since March I drive them in a team once a week.

It all looks well, we have had our first national training in March and I was very pleased with their performance. We have several highlights this season before Kentucky; Zelhem, Aachen the Dutch Championships. We will use these shows to compete against the other top drivers and to see where we stand!

To visit IJsbrand Chardon's Website, go to http://www.chardon.nl/.

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