It wasn’t until the final competitor on Thursday, Sept 28, the first day of competition of the FEI Driving World Championship – Pairs at the Pôle International de Sports Equestres (PISE), that the name of the leader was known at the end of this first group of competitors. Erik Evers (NED) sits comfortably in the lead, ahead of Switzerland’s Michael Barbey and Germany’s Carola SlaterDiener. The French suffered, the best of them this evening being the local, Raphaël Berrard, who lies 19th.
After the first carriages competing individually had passed through in the morning, the first team drivers performed their dressage tests on the large main track at PISE. Rocco Cordera (ITA) got the ball rolling for the nations vying for one of the three medals at stake. The Italian left the arena with a score of 63.35 pts, placing him 18th. Later in the afternoon, Switzerland’s Michael Barbey took first place (56.12 pts), narrowly edging out the German-Austrian duo of Carola Slater-Diener and Markus Fleischmann.
Italy and Austria are the only two nations to have two drivers who have already performed their test, while the other countries will have to wait until the second day of dressage on Friday. However, it appears that the Netherlands remain candidates for a place on the provisional podium.
Dressage continues on Friday, when 46 more carriages will appear before the judges, including world No. 1 Martin Hölle of Hungary and French No. 1 Franck Grimonprez.
Friday September 29
Saturday September 30
Sunday October 1
To follow: Medal ceremony
Provisional ranking (individual)
1. Erik Evers (NED) / 52.84 pts
2. Michael Barbey (SUI) / 56.12 pts
3. Carola Slater-Diener (GER) / 57.22 pts
The event can be viewed live on Facebook here.
~ with files from Haras National du Pin press office