Topoľčianky – Slovakia, August 27, 2013: The FEI World Pair Driving Championships at Topoľčianky, Slovakia, which begin tomorrow 28 August and will end on Sunday 1 September, are set to break the participation record having attracted no less than 73 competitors from 23 nations. There will be 21 teams consisting of either two or three drivers each.
The wonderful site of the national stud farm at Topoľčianky will welcome top drivers from Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Denmark, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the USA.
Defending world champion Carola Diener (GER) and 2011 bronze medallist Tom Engbers (NED) have confirmed their attendance. The reigning team gold medallists from the Netherlands can expect strong competition for the top honours from such leading Driving nations as Hungary and Germany.
The Topoľčianky stud farm has a long tradition in carriage driving. It has hosted numerous international and national competitions since 2003, including the Slovak national championships on several occasions. Slovak top drivers Pavol Gaspar and Miroslav Matuska, who are based there, have successfully represented their country at FEI World Four-in-hand, Pair and Single Driving Championships.
Slovakia’s national horse breeding centre at Topoľčianky is one of Europe’s best renowned and important stud farms. It has been approved for keeping registries for the Lipizzaner, Hucul, Shagya Arab and Arab breeds. It maintains the central records for horses in Slovakia and is the only institution allowed to issue certificates on the origin of all accepted horse breeds in the country. The national stud farm is an active member of all major European and international breeding organisations.
The site offers excellent conditions for successful world championships. The Dressage and obstacle driving competitions will take place in the main stadium on a grass arena. The eight spectacular marathon obstacles are located near one another at the centre of the racecourse so that the spectators can fully enjoy the spectacular event.
The FEI World Pair Driving Championships start on Wednesday, 28 August with the horse inspection. The dressage will take place on Thursday, 29 August and Friday, 30 August. The marathon will follow on Saturday 31 August. The design of the marathon obstacles is in the capable and experienced hands of international O-course designer Gábor Fintha (HUN). The final obstacle driving competition and medal ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, 1 September.
The Ground Jury is chaired by Andrew Counsell (GBR) and has Klaus Peppersack (GER), Hanspeter Rüschlin (SUI), Attila Kelemen (ROU), Martha Hanks-Nicoll (USA) and Mia Allo (BEL) as members. —- By Cindy Timmer