Lipica, 7. 7. 2017

Slovenian Team Preparing for the World Championships under the Direction of Well-renowned French Coach Benjamin Aillaud

The power of Lipizzaners, the courage of Slovenian drivers, and a top coach – everything needed for success in the World Championships

The Slovenian team of drivers, which will take part in the World Driving Championships for Pairs in Lipica in September, is these days intensively preparing for its biggest and most important competitive challenge this year. Miha Tavčar, Mitja Mahorčič, and Klemen Turk are enhancing their readiness, team connection, and positive atmosphere under the direction of the official coach of the Slovenian team – a well-renowned French coach and competitor in four-in-hand carriage driving.

From the 4th to the 6th of July, the team gathered at Lipica Stud Farm for their third intensive joint training session. According to the set programme, the team will continue with monthly training until the 20th of September, when the largest and the most important equestrian competition of all time in Slovenia will begin in Lipica – the World Driving Championships for Pairs 2017.

The training, similar to what is expected in the World Championships will proceed in September. “On the first day, a dressage drive is on the programme. The second day is the most intensive with a marathon drive among challenging obstacles, and on the third day an obstacle drive among cones will take place,” explained Benjamin Aillaud.

Training takes place under a very precise schedule and with great attention to the psychological preparation of both drivers and horses.

All three competitors perform with top Lipizzaners of Slovenian breeding, a breed that Aillaud knows very well, since he achieved the best competitive results with horses of the Lipizzaner breed. “Lipizzaners are great competitive horses for carriage driving. They really are exceptional, their greatest virtue is their extraordinary power. At the same time, they are intelligent, quick to learn, and sufficiently fast and flexible. At the beginning of the training, you need some time to gain their trust. Once they trust you, they become your best friends for a lifetime,” explains Aillaud.

The quality of the Lipizzaner horses, the experience of Benjamin Aillaud (who won the FEI CAI3* Nebanice in four-in-hand carriage driving in the beginning of July and, before that, up until 2011, he trained horses for the world-known equestrian spectacle Cavalia – Odysseo) will be a great foundation for the preparations for the World Championships.

Additionally the experience of the Slovenian competitors from previous World Championships will be of benefit. The best individual result to date was 11th place, won by Miha Tavčar in 2013. The best team result for Slovenia was 15th place, won by Miha Tavčar and Mitja Mahorčič in 2015. Together with Klemen Turk and coach Benjamin Aillaud, Slovenia will be represented by the strongest team of drivers in the history of Slovenian equestrian sport.


Photo: Gabriele Boiselle, Milan Malovrh, Kobilarna Lipica