Ocala, FL - The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has announced that CAI Live Oak in Ocala, FL will host the 2004 USEF National Four-in-Hand Driving Championship, March 25-28, 2004. The location was chosen by the United States Equestrian Federation’s International High Performance Driving Committee, and later made official after approval by the USEF Executive Committee. This marks the first time that the National Four-in-Hand Championships is being held at Live Oak. Show Organizer Susan Gilliland and her committee have established a reputation for producing one of the world’s best run and most exciting driving events.
This year’s Four-in-Hand Championship promises to be particularly exciting as the country’s top drivers compete with an eye on the 2004 Four-in-Hand World Championship, scheduled for August 4-8 in Kecskemet, Hungary. At the last Four-in-Hand World Championship in 2002, the U.S. squad of Chester Weber of Ocala, Tucker Johnson of Hobe Sound, FL and James Fairclough of Newton, NJ turned in this country’s best finish ever, winning the team Silver Medal. The competition at Live Oak this March may give an indication of the U.S.’s chances for Gold at the year’s World Championship.
The Live Oak Combined Driving Event is one of the most prestigious events in the sport of combined driving. It was held for the first time in 1993 and it quickly established an outstanding reputation. In 1995, Live Oak hosted selection trials for the United States and Canadian Equestrian Teams and in 1998, was granted international sanctioning by the Federation Equestre Internationale.
This year’s competition will begin on Thursday, March 27 at 8:00 a.m. with Advanced presentation and dressage, and Preliminary four-in-hand presentation and dressage. Friday, March 26 will feature the Preliminary presentation and dressage for the other divisions. Saturday, March 27 will feature the exciting marathon, providing an exhilarating day for spectators and competitors alike. The competition culminates when winners are named following the cones competition on Sunday, March 28. Competition on Sunday begins at 9:00 a.m.
In addition to the culmination of the National Four-in-Hand Championship and other competitions, Sunday will also feature the annual Classic Car Show. The show will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. and is sponsored by Kingdom Under the Sun AACA. Also on Sunday, the coaches will be on display after the coach run. This exhibition will take be held ringside.