|Le Pin-au-Haras, FRA, Sept. 17, 2022 – On the third day of competition at the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Driving World Championships for singles held from Sept. 15 – 18 in Le Pin-au-Haras, FRA, 75 athlete and horse combinations competed in the marathon stage, with 71 moving forward to the cones tomorrow after four drivers were eliminated. |
Similar to the cross-country in Eventing, the marathon phase of the combined Driving event has the combinations navigate obstacles out on the field in an allotted time. On the agenda for the day in the French countryside was an initial course over 6,225 m to be completed in an optimal time of 28.44. Then, after a short break an additional 7,910 m with eight obstacles including two through water, in a time of 33.54.
Entering the day in second place after Dressage, Kelly Houtappels-Bruder, originally from Ariss, ON, residing in Steensel, NED, and her partner Flip (Fidertanz x Carprilli), a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding whom she co-owns with her husband Frank Houtappels.
“Flip was super in the marathon,” said Houtappels-Bruder. “Unfortunately he pulled a shoe, which had an impact on our performance. Luckily, he is okay and we were able to finish the course without too much damage. We are sitting in third with less than a point to second. We will try to put pressure on tomorrow in cones… still anything can happen!”
Supported by their navigator and groom Meike Paridaans, Houtappels-Bruder finished with a score of 95.15 to hold in 12th place. The pair enters the final day of cones sitting in third place in the overall standings with a score of 136.74, aiming for their second finish on the podium in the past two years. Before 2020, when Houtappels-Bruder and Flip won the silver medal, Canada had never placed on the podium in a World Championships for Driving singles.