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After being the center of the pair driving sport for the past days, the Grandorse in Kronenberg organised the concluding part of the World Championships on Sunday. Martin Hölle kept a cool head and may call himself World Champion for the third time in a row. Together with his team they also placed first in the team championships.

Jeroen Houterman designed a challenging obstacle course. No driver could complete the course within the time limit and without any penalties. Nevertheless, the course designer was satisfied: “The marathon yesterday was both technical and fast and offered plenty options for the drivers. They could choose right or left, long or short line, but a mistake resulted in many penalties. That was also the idea behind the obstacle cone course. The lines were challenging. To keep the speed in the competition, the time limit must be strict, otherwise everyone will drive slowly. There is no fun in that for the spectators. Now, it was exciting till the last moment. A few drivers dropped down the ranking because they misjudged the course and made multiple errors.” In the end, you could have heard a pin drop!

Nervous

The Hungarians prolonged the Nation title in an effortless manner. They have the reputation of being speedy and after living up to their image in the marathon, they did not disappoint in the obstacle cone run either. Martin was the last man to start. He seemed completely calm, but appearances can be deceptive, because he was in fact very nervous: “As the competition progressed and the performances got better and better, while even the best drivers exited the ring with a few faults, I got nervous after all. So, not everything went smoothly in the ring. Fortunately, I could afford a mistake. To win once again, I must thank my horses, they do everything for me and go the extra mile.” Martin chose his KWPN-horses Dior (s.Vulcano, bred by M.N. Breugem in Bodegraven) and Jason (s.Aron HBC, bornd at the Muilwijk family in Groot-Ammers) for the obstacle cone phase. 

Balls stayed put

The silver was taken by Franck Grimonprez and his KWPN-horses Da Vinci (s.Santano, bred by H.R. Pap-van der Velde in Nunspeet) and James Bond J (s.Inspekteur, bred by A. de Jong in Ophemert). Especially the latter has little experience at this level as he only moved to the stables of Franck last May. What a top mentality this horse has! Just one ball fell off the cones. The bronze medal went to Anna Sandmann. The daughter of the famous four-in-hand driver Christoph Sandmann put on a strong overall performance. For the obstacle cone course, she chose Edmonda, the daughter of Makari Jetsetter and born in the stables of A.A.M. van Iperen in Ameide and Fantast (s.Vaandrager), that was bred by J. Knol in Genemuiden. The pair incurred some time penalties, but all the balls stayed put. 

Best Dutch driver

The best Dutch driver was Theo Timmerman, that placed fifth in the final rankings. His pair of Fensterjaeger Franz (s.For Romance) and Gydo (s.Zhivago, bred by W. Luyten from Ysselsteyn) has little competition experience. “Gydo arrived last winter, and Franz is only seven years old. To then place fifth at a World Championships is pretty special. Elvis, bred by D.J. Roefs from Loosbroek, is also part of this pair. It is an Apache out of a Jazz-mare. Though the pedigree may suggest otherwise, it is an incredibly sweet and level-headed horse. Pair driving is fun, but my heart is in four-in-hand driving. So yes, that’s the plan. These horses are owned by two different owners. They are proud of their horses and want to continue. We have the right click. When it comes to sport, they are serious, but they also love to have a good time and that suits us well.”

Compliments to Limburg 2021

After a good marathon, the drivers of Team NL climbed up the rankings and today they finished strong. Stan van Eijk gave it his all. Just one dropped ball and a fast time in the last phase, secured a third place. Individually, Stan ended in sixth place in the overall rankings. The obstacle cone course also proved to be a strong suit of Antonie ter Harmsel and Enola (s.Victory, of breeder T.M. Mittendorff from Coeverden) and Foppe (s.Zepplin, bred by L. Hollander in Gieten): one ball hit the ground. The performance of the orange drivers procured a bronze medal in the team championships. Limburg 2021 has organised a brilliant event with fantastic facilities and seems to be in the race for the four-in-hand driving World Championships in 2026. 

Success for KWPN

This world championships proved to be a successful one for the KWPN, as all three podium positions were taken by drivers with horses of this studbook. In addition, the start list featured five horses bred by H. Verschuur from Velp. An astonishing achievement! All five were closely related, among them were sons by two full sisters. This Ipad (s.Colonist) and Iphone (s.Colonist) are in the pair of the Belgian driver Gert Vervaet. Also W. Vierhouten from Nunspeet and W. Veneklaas Slots from Zeijerveld were presented by a breeding product of theirs. The breeders with two horses on the participation list are Natasja Garritsen-Berkelaar, Peter and Marjan Stevens and Ronald Wekema.

Overview page with participating KWPN-horses

Photos: GJ for KWPN

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