Ocala, FL - October 19, 2011 - On Thursday, October 20th HRTV will air the 2011 CHIO Aachen Marathon Driving followed by a re-airing of “Holding the Reins,” which showcases Chester Weber, America’s most decorated competitor in the sport of Combined Driving. The show will air at 9:30pm Eastern and Pacific, in addition to a 1:30am air on Friday morning, 10:30pm Pacific. The two shows highlight the sport of Combined Driving at its most competitive.
HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, will run the CHIO Aachen Marathon, the most demanding phase of Combined Driving that combines agility, teamwork, and stamina. “Holding the Reins” is a 24-minute look at the exciting world of combined driving – which is considered one of the fastest growing sports in the industry – and features the story of how Weber grew up on a Thoroughbred racehorse farm to become one of our country’s leading drivers.
Weber has had great success both nationally and internationally, bringing home numerous wins under the American flag. At the 2011 CHIO Aachen, Weber won the dressage phase and finished third individually at the prestigious competition. On the same European tour Weber won the CAI Vecses, CAI Altenfelden, and the CAI Riesenbeck. Most recently, the decorated driver served as Chef d’ Equipe to the Pony and Pony Pairs Teams at the 2011 World Pony Driving Championships in Lipica, Slovenia, where Pony Team USA took home the Team Bronze Medal and Suzy Stafford, competing as an individual for Team USA, took home the Individual Bronze Medal. The goal-oriented Weber has his sights set on being the best in the world and during the HRTV show the United States Driving Chef d’Equipe, Ed Young, discussed Weber’s ambitions. “I think we will see Chester become the World Champion,” Young said.
“Holding the Reins” not only highlights Weber’s success, but also brings to light the intriguing and challenging sport of combined driving. The sport features speed, power, agility, grace, beauty and teamwork. “There are three phases in combined driving -- dressage, the cross-country marathon and the cones. The cross-country is the real showstopper. You don’t have to like horses to appreciate the marathon,” Weber said.
Weber added that he was pleased that HRTV is going to air the show again. “I thought the show was great and really showcased the sport that I am so passionate about,” Weber said. “The addition of the marathon from the CHIO Aachen brings to light how very competitive and demanding the sport is. I think if someone didn’t really get a feel for the sport before watching ‘Holding the Reins,’ they would afterward.”
Weber also did a radio interview on Race Day America, HRTV’s radio show on Wednesday October 19 to promote the sport that he has come to embody. The interview will be available at HRTVLive.com as a freeview. Weber has been a long-time supporter of increasing the presence of combined driving in the world of equestrian sports. Weber and his horse Jamaica brought the sport front and center in 2008 when Weber was named a USEF Equestrian of Honor and Jamaica won the USEF Horse of the Year Award. “It was highly unusual for a horse that is part of team to be signaled out. Then to go on to win the Horse of the Year honor was pretty amazing,” Weber said. “Jamaica has an unusual story that drew a lot of attention, and I think the HRTV show did a great job of telling Jamaica’s story, from his near death at a feed lot in Belgium to the fact that he was part of so many winning championships. They even touched on the fact that Jamaica is now a Breyer Horse Model and even has his own Facebook fan page.”
Weber continues to compete in the US and internationally and to promote Combined Driving across the United States. He encourages viewers to tune in to HRTV’s airing of the marathon phase of the CHIO Aachen to learn more about the sport.
Photo: Chester Weber competing at the CHIO Aachen. The marathon phase of the Aachen competition will be aired on HRTV on October 20at 9:30, followed by an episode “Holding the Reins,” featuring Chester Weber and the sport of Combined Driving. (Photo courtesy of Franz Steindl)