Michael Freund a winner in Stuttgart

Michael Freund a winner in Stuttgart

Germany’s Michael Freund has won the second leg of the FEI World Cup Driving competition in Stuttgart. After two sensational rounds, in which Freund was supported by over 8500 enthusiastic spectators, the reigning World Champion won the first World Cup competition in which he competed this season. It is the 12th consecutive time that Freund is awarded with the Stuttgart title ‘German Master’. ‘No one can win from Freund, he has to retire from the sport in order to get a different winner in Stuttgart!’ stated organiser Gotthilf Riexinger, who was very pleased with the Driving Entertainment in the Schleyer Halle. Freund mentioned that he does not have a special secret for his high performance: ‘I do a lot of dressage training with my horses and that is one of the reasons why they turn so nicely.’

Swiss four-in-hand driver Stefan Kläy, who currently trains with Freund, assisted Freund on the carriage. ‘It was good to have a fellow driver on the carriage,’ Freund says. ‘I had yesterday’s drive off course in my head during the first round and Stefan saved me from taking the wrong route.’ Freund plans to end his career as an active four-in-hand driver after the FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen 2006 (‘unless I find a sponsor’) and is looking forward to watch someone else win in Stuttgart. For now, Freund is determined to add another World Cup title to his name but his colleague-drivers are trying their very best to get closer to the Indoor Master.

Although Freund led the competition in Stuttgart by far, the battle for the remaining placings went on as never before. Wild card driver Max Dangel put down an extraordinary performance from the Baden-Württemberg region. Dangel managed to stay clear in both rounds and drove his team to a well-deserved second place. ‘It is like a dream to start in Stuttgart in front of this amazing crowd. I knew that Stuttgart had a very strong field of competitors and I decided that I had nothing to loose,’ explains Dangel.

Hungary’s Zoltan Lazar, who knocked three balls down in his attempt to beat Freund’s time in the second, took the third place in the World Cup competition round. It is Lazar’s second indoor season and he feels that he is getting more experience every time.

Results (19.11.05)
CAI-W Stuttgart

1. Michael Freund (Ger) 280,52
2. Max Dangel (Ger) 298,66
3. Zoltan Lazar (Hun) 310,39
4. Daniël Würgler (Sui) 161,57
5. Christoph Sandmann (Ger) 164,07
6. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 165,92

Classification after 2 of 7 events

1. Zoltan Lazar (Hun) 12
2. Tomas Eriksson (Swe) 10
2. Michael Freund (Ger) 10
4. Max Dangel (Ger) 7
5. Jozsef Dobrovitz (Hun) 6
6. Koos de Ronde (Ned) 3
6. Daniël Würgler (Sui) 3

Categories: Driving, News