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Dutch Claim Double Gold - FEI European Driving Championships 2017


European Championships Driving. Cones competition. Edouard Simonet (BEL) drives his team of 4 horses. (Photo FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Ijsbrand Chardon (NED) drives his team of 4 horses. (Photo FEI/Richard Juilliart)

Theo Timmerman (NED) produced a flawless dressage display to top the individual placings after dressage, August 25, 2017, at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg (SWE) (FEI/Claes Jakobsson)

Ijsbrand Chardon (NED) put in a season’s best performance to move into the individual gold medal position after the Marathon at the Longines FEI European Championships 2017 in Gothenburg, (SWE). (FEI/ Claes Jakobsson)
By Luke Norman

In one of the closest finishes in recent history, the Netherlands narrowly held off a resurgent German trio and a Belgian challenge to claim their fourth successive European team gold after a captivating final day of competition at the Longines FEI European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, August 25-27, 2017.

Driven on by their irrepressible individual gold medalist IJsbrand Chardon, the Dutch maintained their air of invincibility, but they certainly had to work for it.

Spurred on by world number one Boyd Exell (AUS), the Germans came hard through the cones test, but with both individual bronze medalist Christoph Sandmann and Georg von Stein picking up late time penalties, they fell just short.

With all three Dutch drivers finishing inside the top six individual positions, the Netherlands took team honors with a total of 299.73 to the Germans’ 308.94.

The Belgians showed their emerging strength, claiming team bronze after holding off a spirited last-day challenge from the French team, for whom Anthony Horde went double clear, one of six individual drivers to achieve the feat.

Individual Final Results:
1.     Ijsbrand Chardon (NED) 150.37
2.     Edouard Simonet (BEL) 151.8
3.     Christoph Sandmann (GER) 153.33

Team Final Results:
1.     NED (Koos de Ronde, Ijsbrand Chardon, Theo Timmerman) 299.73
2.     GER (Mareike Harm, Georg von Stein, Christoph Sandmann) 308.94
3.     BEL (Edouard Simonet, Dries Degrieck, Glenn Geerts) 320.04

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