World Championship in USA

Held up from 16. to 23. May 2008 in Chicago and New York.



WM 2008

Chicago New York and New Jersey
May wood Park May wood Park Balmo ral Balmo ral Monti cello Monti cello Yon kers Yon kers Free hold Free hold Meadow lands
1.Race 2.Race 3.Race 4.Race 5.Race 6.Race 7.Race 8.Race 9.Race 10.Race 11.Race
Alle  Loman Place  6 10  3 5  4  2  9
Points  7  3  10  8  9  13  11  4
Czech Rep. Total  10  20  28  37  50  61  65
Andreu  Oliva Place 4 8 4 3 8 5 8 7
Points  9  5  9  10  5  8  5  6
Spain Total  14  23  33  38  46  51  57
Antonio Valente Place  4  5  3 7  6  7  4  5
Points  9  8  10  6  7  6  9  8
Canada Total  17  27  33  40  46  55  63
Bjørn  Steinseth Place  2  1  ns  dq  2  5  4  10
Points  11  13  7  1 11  8  9  3
Norway Total  24  31  32  43  51  60  63
Bob Mellsop Place  8  7  8  6  7  3  7  4
Points  5  6  5  7  6  10  6  9
Australia Total  11  16  23  29  39  45  54
Christian Mayr Place  2  7  6  dnf  6  ns  1  8
Points  11  6  7  1  7  7  13  5
Austria Total  17  24  25  32  39  52  57
David Siegel Place  1  1  5  3  1  4  6  12
Points  13  13  8  10  13  9  7  1
America Total  26  34  44  57  66  73  74
Fred Handelaar Place  5  6  2  4  7  8  6  3
Points  8  7  11  9  6  5  7  10
Holland Total  15  26  35  41  46  53  63
Gavin Cook Place  3  8  1  2  2  6  2  1
Points  10  5  13  11  11  7  11  13
New Zealand Total  15  28  39  50  57  68  81
Jürgen von Holdt Place  7  2  7  5  1  1  7  11
Points  6  11  6  8  13  13  6  2
Germany Total  17  23  31  44  57  63  65
Tamas Kelemen Place  3  9  9  4  5  3  5  6
Points  10  4  4  9  8  10  8  7
Hungary Total  14  18  27  35  45  53  60
Teddy Wang Place  6  4  5  1  3  2  3  2
Points  7  9  8  13  10  11  10  11
Denmark Total  16  24  37  47  58  68  79

Press Releases

Deutscher Trabrenn-Amateurfahrer-Verband e.V.

Amateur-WM USA, 5. Tag/II, Finallauf – Titel für Neuseeland

Geschrieben von Dieter Kerbaum

Donnerstag, 22. Mai 2008

The Meadowlands: Neuer Weltmeister im “World Cup of Amateur-Racing 2008″ wurde der Neuseeländer Gavin Cook. Hans-Jürgen von Holdt sah sich zum Schluss “unglücklich” auf dem 4. WM-Rang wieder.

Nachdem am Nachmittag auf Freehold zwei WM-Läufe ausgetragen wurden, ging es am Abend ins 3. Tagesrennen in Richtung The Meadowlands. Bei den Amateuren aus 12 Ländern ging es um die letzten zu erringenden WM-Punkte. Es gab noch ein paar Möglichkeiten den Titel zu erringen. Einige Hoffnungen waren schon verflogen. Es herrschte nervöse Anspannung bei den Aktiven – anders kann`s auch nicht sein. Bei gehissten Flaggen für alle teilnehmenden Nationen und dem feierlichen Anspielen der zwölf Nationalhymnen (ein Abspielen wäre zu lang gewesen) gingen die Gespanne nach der ausführlichen Vorstellung der Fahrer an den Startwagen.

Im 12er-Feld starteten A. Valente (Kanada) und Christian Mayr aus der zweiten Reihe. Das Rennen ging in einem Höllentempo los. Die Uhren zeigten bei der ersten Zwischenzeit 27,4 an! Doch v. Holdt`s Libra Vita (Startpllatz 4) verlor bereits in der Startphase das Geläuf nach Behinderung, lag nach dem ersten Viertel bereits auf Platz 10, danach ging aussichtslos auf Platz 11 zurück – damit war für das Gespann das Rennen praktisch gelaufen. Schade, denn am Toto stand das Gespann auf Platz 3. Ähnlich aber auch erging es dem amerikanischen Hoffnungsträger David Siegel und dem Norweger Björn Steinseth.

Vorne sah es aber ganz anders aus. Das im Eilauf kompakte, zäh um jeden Meter kämpfende Feld sah am Ende Gavin Cook (Neuseeland) mit Kinetic Kid  als Sieger, dann eine Länge zurück Teddy Wang (Dänemark) mit Punk Man und danach Fred Handelaar (Niederlande) mit dem Totofavoriten Armbro Doug und Bob Melsop (Australien) mit Near the Limit. Der Neuseeländer Gavin Cook fühlte sich beim Interview und Siegerehrung mit Jo Ferraldo (USA) und Freddy Moder (Schweiz) sichtlich wohl.

Nach dem vierten Rennen versammelten sich alle an der WM-Teilnehmer noch einmal gemeinsam im Winnercircle und wurden dort für ihren Leistungen bei der nun endenden Weltmeisterschaft geehrt. Die Ehrungen nahm FEGAT-Präsident Lljung (Schweden) und der Präsident der USA-Amateure Jo Ferraldo vor.

Auf`s  WM-Treppchen stiegen die drei Amateurfahrer mit den höchsten WM-Punktzahlen:

  1.    Gavin Cook (Neuseeland) Neuer Weltmeister
  2.    Teddy Wang (Dänemark) Neuer Vizeweltmeister
  3.    David Siegel (USA)

4. wurde Hans-Jürgen vom Holdt. Vor dem Finaltag lag er auf Platz 3. Am letzten Tag verlor er in beiden Rennen, in denen er noch punkten konnte, den Punkteanschluss  durch Behinderungen mit Spaniens und Ungarns Vertretern.

Der DTAV gratuliert dem Trio zu den besten Gesamtleistungen bei dieser WM. Besonderer Dank gilt Hans-Jürgen vom Holdt, unserem deutschen WM-Teilnehmer, der für uns mit seinen tollen Leistungen den Spannungslevel sehr hoch schraubte, doch zum Schluss vom Pech verfolgt wurde.

Sunday Star Times – NZ

Canterbury amateur reinsman whips the world Barry Lichter – Sunday Star Times | Saturday, 24 May 2008

When Canterbury amateur driver Gavin Cook left for the world championships in the United States, he knew he had little chance against competitors with daunting records and vowed just to enjoy himself and learn as much as he could.

But last Thursday, at the home of harness racing, The Meadowlands in New Jersey, after a dramatic home stretch duel, the humble Kiwi found himself on the winner’s podium, accepting the World Cup. And with it, Cook has provided what administrators here say is a brilliant catalyst for the next phase in the growth of amateur driving, one which will hopefully convince harness bosses to support staging the international event.

Cook, 51, had reason to rate his chances at virtually nil in the event. As just New Zealand’s fourth entrant, his experience paled alongside his rivals, some of whom drive in more races in a single month than Cook racks up in a year.

And with only 17 wins in less than five years in the cart, he figured he had a lot to learn from the 11 other drivers, like the Dutch and Germans who had more than 500 winners behind them.

But the man who once hocked pizzas for a living, overcame the odds, a sequence of terrible draws and breaking horses, to claim the prize that literally went down to the wire.

Cook was lying second equal with Danish driver Teddy Wang when he lined up for the $25,000 trotting race at The Meadowlands, the climax of the six-day, six track competition.

And when the competition leader, the United States’ David Siegel, went back to last with a mid-race gallop, it was down to Cook and Wang, who had their charges second and third in the running.

“I turned to Teddy on the top bend and said: `It’s just you and me, here we go son’,” Cook said.

But the only one going anywhere was Wang, who immediately moved his horse Punk Man outside Cook to block him in, taking advantage of the absence of a passing lane.

“I was thinking I might have to take a hold and get on to Teddy’s back but I’d seen the Hungarian driver in front drifting out down the back straight and I was reasonably confident the same would happen again.

“My horse’s trainer had told me it took gaps really well so I did the old Kiwi trick, stuck my legs in there and hoped the gap would get wider.”

Cook, hard up against the inside, knew he’d be fined if he hit the markers, and disqualified if he went inside them, but he managed to squeeze through for a three-quarter length victory.

The win gave Cook an unlikely two point margin, one which looked a real longshot at the outset when he drew the eight hole in his first two drives.

Cook’s position on the points list looked a bit grim when he had to pull up in the second race after both his horse’s knee boots slipped down and started flapping dangerously under her feet – “I knew she could trip herself up.”

It looked more of the same when the series moved to Balmoral Park and Cook was checked at the start, crashed into the Australian’s wheel and settled last.

But Western Jet rallied late and with Cook whistling dixie, flew home to win in 1:54.2, 5.5 seconds faster than Cook had been before, making him the fastest Kiwi amateur.

Cook’s rollercoaster ride continued the next day at Yonkers when the trotter he drove lost 100 metres in a gallop but came with a big finish to run sixth and earn vital points.

“But I was lucky I managed to sit behind the leader a number of times and had some nice horses to drive,” said Cook, a hobby trainer at Ladrokes outside Christchurch.

Cook was able to semi-retire in 2000 when he sold his 53-strong Eagle Boys pizza chain to Pizza Hut in a multi-million dollar deal.

A long-time worker in harness stables, his decision to buy land and train a few horses in 2003 coincided with the start of amateur driving and he has been one of the driving forces in the movement since.

“We’ve made great progress in the last five years and this result shows we’re not that far behind the drivers over here.”

Aucklander Steve Phillips, the godfather of amateur racing, and a member of Harness Racing New Zealand’s executive, said having the world champion for the next two years would encourage new participants and inspire existing amateurs to get out there and try even harder.

Phillips said New Zealand was coming under increasing pressure from the world amateur body to host the next event here in 2010.

“But to do so we need to provide eight drives each for 12 drivers over a period of a week and under our present amateur set up that is not possible.

“Overseas amateurs, especially the Europeans, drive mostly in totalisator races and would expect to do the same if they travelled to New Zealand so trying to run the series here is unrealistic unless they are full betting races.”

Even then, Phillips said it would be a major undertaking. Organisers here struggled to card full fields for the professional world driving championship held last year.

Canterbury amateur administrator and driver Richard Sissons said he was sure the topic would be discussed at a review of amateur driving being conducted by HRNZ next month.


The following 12 countries are qualyfied to start on the WC-2008: 1. USA, 2. CANADA, 3. NZ, 4. AUSTRALIA, 5. Austria, 6. Denmark, 7. Norway, 8. Czech. Rep., 9. Hungary, 10. Holland, 11. Spain, 12. Germany

Country Name Born Occup. Lic. since Wins this Y last Y
USA USA David Siegel 06.05.58 Administrator 2004 58 28 2
Canada Canada Antonio Valente 22.10.42 Manager 21 4 0
Australia Australia Bob Mellsop


Farmer 1990 118 22 4
New Zealand New Zealand Gavin Cook 09.04.57 Restaurateur 2003 17 5 4
Denmark Denmark Teddy Wang 28.11.69 1988 42 5 6
Netherlands Netherlands Fred Handelaar 02.08.56 Businessman 1981 525 35 1
Norway Norway Bjørn Steinseth 26.12.75 Advisor 1994 61 26 0
Germany Germany Jürgen von Holdt 21.08.70 Blacksmith 1992 500 35 ?
Austria Austria Christian Mayr 22.11.62 Engineer 1981 448 24 1
Hungary Hungary Tamas Kelemen 22.08.54 Manager 1991 150 18 7
Czech Republic Czech.rep. Alle Loman 08.09.51 Businessman 1996 73 8 4
Spain Spain Andreu Oliva Suau 11.06.68 1986 12 2