Reisenbeck, Germany- Heading into the 2012 FEI Four-in-Hand Driving World Championships the United States was looking to be amongst the leaders following the dressage and they have done just that. The U.S. currently stands in Bronze medal position less than a point behind the Germans in second. Reigning World Champions, The Netherlands, currently lead the Team Championship. The U.S. leads the Individual Championship as no one was able to top Chester Weber's remarkable score of 33.41 from Thursday.
Friday witnessed the conclusion of the first phase with 20 competitors performing their dressage tests. Jimmy Fairclough was the sole representative for the U.S. Friday driving into 17th place.
Fairclough (Newtown, NJ), who has two FEI Four-in-Hand Driving World Championship Team Silver medals to his name, utilized his vast experience scoring 53.12. Driving his own Coletto, Kavango von Falkenstein, Levin and Patsy Wooten's Valentino, Fairclough scored three 9s and two 10s for his presentation. Additionally, he received high marks for his leader's shoulder-in but a mistake in the walk at the end of the test meant Fairclough would not crack the top 15.
At the conclusion of the dressage, Weber (Ocala, FL) leads reigning World Champion Boyd Exell of Australia by 3/10s of a point, with The Netherlands' Theo Timmerman in third on a score of 36.22. The third U.S. driver Joe Yoder (Zwartewaal, The Netherlands) stands 32nd in his Four-in-Hand World Championship debut with a score of 61.70.
U.S. Chef d'Equipe Ed Young was very pleased with the team's effort and is looking forward to tomorrow's marathon.
"Things went very well today; Chester was able to hold his lead, Jimmy drove to 53 and is in 17th and our new young man, Joe Yoder, is 32nd out of 50," said Young. "We've got our fingers crossed for a great day tomorrow."
Weber will be the third starter on tomorrow's marathon, he starts on A at 10:12am local time, Yoder will start at 11:48am and Fairclough at 1:42pm.