Ocala, FL - February 10, 2012 - Chester Weber kicked off his 2012 show season in familiar style – by winning the Advanced Horse Team division at the Sunshine State FEI Combined Driving Event at the Florida Horse Park. Weber, the eight-time United States National Four-In-Hand Champion, competed Splash, Boris W, Para and Uniek as a team to handily win the Four-In-Hand division by a margin of 85 points over second place.
“I was very pleased with our entire team’s performance. I competed in the Four-In-Hand with great success and Olof Larsson, my barn manager, competed Reno W in the Advanced Single Horse and won his class,” Weber said.
Weber added that Boris W, a new horse on his team that he refers to as “the youngster,” proved he has international star power during the Sunshine State CDE. “Boris W did a great job all three days in the left lead and is now qualified for the WC in Riesenbeck should we need him,” Weber said. Boris W’s teammates gained great success during 2011, when Splash and Uniek, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, and Para, owned by Weber, won the National Combined Driving Four-In-Hand Horse Of The Year title.
Weber said the highlight of the show was driving a successful dressage test that was on par with a winning test on the international stage. Team Weber turned in a stunning dressage test to earn a score of 35.41, drove away with a marathon score of 86.81 and a flawless cones score that resulted in an overall winning score of 122.22.
“Competing in front of FEI judges in the dressage phase and knowing that we would have held our own if we had been showing at an international venue made me very happy,” Weber said. “I am also very proud of Olof and Thorsten for how they have developed Reno W as a Singles Champion. They are in a winning mood, which is always great.”
Weber, who was named an Equestrian of Honor in 2011 by the United States Equestrian Federation and presented with the Becky Grand Hart Trophy, is now looking forward to competing in the Live Oak International Driving Event in March. Live Oak will host the USEF National Championships for Four-In-Hand horses, giving Weber the chance to win a ninth title as the United States National Four-In-Hand Champion. Live Oak, one of the country’s most prestigious Combined Driving Events will celebrate their 20th Anniversary this year. Following Live Oak, Weber will have his sights set on the 2012 World Championship in Riesenbeck, Germany.
The Sunshine State Combined Driving Event took place at The Florida Horse Park, a world-class facility and the centerpiece of Florida’s equestrian lifestyle community. Located in Ocala, The Park offers international caliber competition courses, an exciting schedule of world-class events that draws top competitors and spectators from every horse sport discipline, and offers local and global educational opportunities for the horse enthusiast.
For more information on Weber and his combined driving team, visit their website at www.chesterweber.com.
Photo: Combined Driver Chester Weber during the cones phase at the Sunshine State CDE. Weber won the Advanced Horse Team class at Sunshine State, held at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala during his first 2012 competition. (Photo courtesy of PicsofYou.com)