Ocala, FL - Never has the drive to win been more evident than as the action continued on Friday at the Live Oak International, where equal parts elegance and power merged as some of the best whips in the world brought their A-game for the Yellowframe Farm Intermediate Driven Dressage. Continuing to prove they are the drivers to beat in their Intermediate classes, Suzi Dixon of Vashon, WA and Ellen Epstein of Ocala, FL lead after Friday morning, creating Ocala’s own competitive heat wave. Ocala local Ellen Epstein and her KWPN Elaine top the Intermediate Single Horse class to second-place U.S. driver, Debbie Egan. In Intermediate Pair Pony, Boots Wright of Ocala’s German Riding Ponies are holding onto the lead over West Coast contender Carina Crawford of Redding, also with a German Riding pony.
Already known for more than two decades as one of the finest combined driving venues in the world, the drivers and horses moving into top slots on Friday firmly represented the quality of such historic competition. Coming all the way from Washington has proven worth the trip for Dixon and her Welsh Franny, who are holding first place in Intermediate Single Pony, sponsored by Wayne Humphreys. Pixie Keting and her Paint horse, of Aiken, SC, are their closest contenders going into Saturday’s Marathon. Friday’s impressive classes have whetted horse sport fans’ appetites for more, and more is to come, starting with Saturday’s action-packed Driving Marathon. Following the marathon will be a second show by the Budweiser Clydesdales. At 2pm, the $50,000 Live Oak International CSI**W Grand Prix will jump to the fore, followed by the Lugano Diamonds Competitor Party at 6pm. Tickets are required to attend the Competitors Party.
General admission for Live Oak is $10 at the gate for adults and $5 for seniors and children under 12. It is strongly recommended that spectators bring lawn chairs. Concessions and a Vendor Village will be open throughout. To reserve a tailgating space contact 352-207-3615. For more about Live Oak International, including schedule of events, click www.liveoakinternational.com.