Ocala, FL – The 2012 Live Oak International, the premier Combined Driving event in North America that attracts competitors from around the world, has added Show Jumping to their exciting weekend of competition, which will also include the USEF National Championships for Four-In-Hand horses. Celebrating their 20th Anniversary, Live Oak International will be held at the 4,500-acre picturesque Live Oak Plantation in Ocala, Florida, from March 22nd to the 25th.
Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time United States National Four-In-Hand Champion and three time Silver Medalist, is based out of Live Oak and will compete at the prestigious event. “Its hard to believe that this is the show’s 20th year, but I am proud to say that each year the event gets better and better. My sister, Juliet W. Reid, has worked hard to develop show jumping at the event, and we are pleased to once again donate proceeds to the Marion Therapeutic Riding Association.”
Reid, who serves as the President of the Washington International Horse Show, brings a great deal of show jumping knowledge to the table. “Live Oak International is already recognized as a fun, well-managed show for the driving community with a strong focus on its competitors. We are excited to offer world class jumping at Live Oak’s 20th anniversary and we consulted with Spruce Meadows with respect to technical coordination for the jumping competition. We expect an excellent turnout for the show jumping, and riders like Olympian Eric Lamaze and Chester’s wife My Weber are expected to compete,” Reid said. “Chester and I share a passion for Live Oak Plantation and are enjoying working together and building a fabulous tournament of multiple equestrian sports.”
Reid and Weber’s mother is Charlotte Weber. She purchased Live Oak more than four decades ago and the farm is a leading thoroughbred racing operation focused on breeding, foaling, training and racing. “Our family’s multigenerational love for equestrian sports, and this farm, takes another logical step forward in 2012 and even dreams of additional disciplines in later years. Live Oak International 2012 will feature jumping competitions including Friday’s $15,000 Eye D Welcome Stake and Saturday afternoon’s $50,000 Grand Prix,” Reid said.
The $15,000 Eye D Welcome Stake will run Friday at 4:30 pm. “The $50,000 Grand Prix will take place at 2 pm on Saturday and we will also offer a $10,000 leading rider award. Both classes will be held on the grass and are FEI CSI**,” Reid said, adding that her 15-year-old daughter, Chloe, who competes in the junior hunters and junior jumpers, came up with the idea of adding show jumping to the 2012 Live Oak International calendar. “Live Oak always has a large turnout of spectators, especially for Saturdays Driving Marathon. Last year we had 5,000 people attend.”
The 2012 Live Oak International will take place on the same weekend as the Olympic trials in Wellington, but Reid is confident that Live Oak will provide a great alternative for International and American riders not taking part in the trials. “We chose 2 pm on Saturday because the Driving Marathon attracts a large audience and our jumpers will have a built in audience,” Reid said. “We also recognize that there are riders and owners who would like to be in Wellington for the trials. It is a 55 minute flight from the Ocala airport to Wellington on the PC-12, and we are excited to announce a partnership with Plane Sense, who has arranged a special friends and family rate for our riders, owners, and sponsors traveling to and from equestrian events in the southeastern regions of the US. Plane Sense offers fractional ownership of a PC-12. The short runway capability and low operating cost give it more efficient access to the places where competitive equestrian events take place, and we are thrilled to have them as a partner at Live Oak International.”
Live Oak International will also host the second Horse Fever Auction on Friday. Proceeds from the auction go toward art supplies for all Marion County schools, as well as a portion of the funds will purchase communication equipment for non-verbal students at Hillcrest.
The 2012 Live Oak schedule includes: FEI Driven Dressage on Thursday, March 22 at 8 am; Preliminary and Intermediate Driven Dressage on Friday, March 23 at 8am; $15,000 Eye D Welcome Stake on Friday, March 23 at 4:30pm; Driving Cross Country Marathon on Saturday, March 24 at 8am; Live Oak International CSI** $50,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, March 24 at 2pm; The Driving Obstacle Class Sunday, March 25 at 9am; Classic Car Show and a Coaching Demonstration all day Sunday March 25.
Admission 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 during the entire competition. Tailgating is available for the Driving Marathon Saturday. To reserve a tailgating space contact 352-207-3615.
For more information on Live Oak International, visit their website at www.liveoakinternational.com
Photo 1: Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time United States Four-in-Hand National Champion, will compete at Live Oak International’s 20th Anniversary. (Photo courtesy of My Weber)
Photo 2: The prestigious combined driving competition has added Show Jumping to their schedule this year and riders such as Olympian Eric Lamaze and Chester’s wife My Weber are expected to compete. (Photo courtesy of Samuel S Reid)