Altenfelden – The Driving Competition With Heart

Altenfelden, Austria - The 20th anniversary of the CAI Altenfelden is history. It was an event with top sport performances by competitors from 18 nations. Chester Weber, the American driving sport star and winner of the king class (the four-in-hand horse class) said, "I like the nice atmosphere of the Altenfelden competition. The people are all very friendly and try to support the competitors the best they can. During this competition I have the opportunity to meet and compete against drivers from the Eastern part of Europe more than I usually do in the other competitions. This is a great and different experience for me."

The marathon test is in every driving competition one of the action high points. It is also drawing the crowds. During the 2011 Altenfelden marathon the competitors had to complete eight obstacles two of which were built new this year, the others were remodeled. Different weather conditions from sun to heavy rain were made the test even more damding fort he competitors, but the international top drivers mastered them without accident. Wins for Tomas Eriksson (SWE), Reinhard Burggraf (GER) and Henrik Hper (DEN) in the horse classes.

The wins in the pony classes went to Daniel Schneiders and Birgit Kohlweiss from Germany, as well as the Austrian Stefan Gratz.

Single — close decision

It was really exciting and suspenseful in the final of the Single competition. Only one point was between the winner of the Dressage – Bartolmiej Kwiatek from Poland – and the Marathon winner Henrik Hper from Denmark. Both drove clear rounds and therefore Bartlomiej Kwiatek, the reining Vice World Champion, defended his lead.

Georg Moser — For the fifth time

And then after intermittent rainfall the sun shone in Altenfelden for the red-white-red win at the pairs, where the competitors are all in their preparation for this year’s world championship in Conty, France. The Austrian Driving sport Champ, Georg Moser, who was competing with new horses at his reins, was unbeatable for the strong participant field of the pairs. A win in the dressage, second place in the marathon and without faults and only a very little overtime at the cone driving: Georg Moser won his seventh time in Altenfelden and had a great performance ahead of the Championship.

Teams — Stars and Stripes in Altenfelden

The four-in-hand class the king discipine and the highlight of each driving competition had a special guest at the 20th CAI Altenfelden. The American Driving Sport super star, Chester Weber, showed already during the dressage a class of his own. He drove a dressage test FEI No 8B “right from the school book”; the dressage specialist showed super sections with his movement-strong horses and won the dressage with a lead of 12 points. “Mr. Marathon” Tomas Eriksson, SWE, was unbeatable during his parade discipline. Two double-clear rounds in the final cone driving decided the final in Altenfelden. Koos de Ronde, NEL, was the fastest and won first place in the final part of the competition, the cones parcours.

However, the combined competition win went with an 8-point lead to the favorite: Chester Weber, USA. A remarkable statistic so far: two starts in Europe in the 2011 season and two wins for Chester Weber: Beginning of June in CAIO in Vesces (HUN) and now in Altenfelden in Austria. Second place for the 2010 CAIAltenfelden winner, Tomas Eriksson, before Mark Weusthof, NEL, who came in third.

The winner of the pony competitions

The first final of the CAI Altenfelden 2011 went to Rebecca Kristiansen, and also at the pairs class a Lady driver won: Birgit Kohlweiss. With her win in the cone driving she took over the lead ahead of the Italian competitor, Johann Weitlaner, who was in the lead after the dressage and the Marathon. Daniel Schneiders started with a relaxing 30 point lead into the cones parcours. It was a clear win in at the end with more than 50 points ahead of the second place driver, Michael Broger, Austria. The third place in the final combined listing achieved Steffen Brauchle, GER, who had bad luck in the marathon.