Chester Weber Admits to Challenges When Competing on Home Turf
Thursday, March 7, 2019
Ocala, Fla. - The stage was set for the National Four-In-Hand and Pairs Championships after a beautiful day at Live Oak, with world class competition. One step closer to a 16th USEF national championship title after Thursday’s dressage, Chester Weber currently leads the USEF Advanced Four-in-Hand Combined Driving National Championship, while James Miller tops the USEF Advanced Pairs Combined Driving National Championship at the Live Oak International.
Weber (Ocala, Fla.) sits first with his team of Armaeus, his 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding; Boris W, his 12-year-old KWPN gelding; First Edition, his 10-year-old KWPN gelding, and Gouveneur, his eight-year-old KWPN. The FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018 individual silver and team gold medalist completes the first phase of competition on a score of 38.26.
“It’s always a challenge to compete at home. My horses stay in their own stables, so they come up here and it’s a different atmosphere,” Weber said. “They’re used to coming up here and seeing nothing but grass and maybe a cow or two, and now there’s spectators and white tents and a big jumbotron. Frankly, they were really good.”
Misdee Wrigley-Miller (Paris, Ky.), Weber’s WEG teammate, currently sits in second place. She and her four geldings Bolino D, her 13-year-old KWPN; Bravour 54, her 13-year-old KWPN; Calipso 86, her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood, and Daan 8, her 14-year-old KNHS, earned a score of 43.45.
“Today my leaders were spot on. Driving a team of four horses—to get everyone just right at the right time—is like finding a unicorn. I had one get a little nervous in the atmosphere, but we’re all super pleased with the test today,” Miller said.
Lisa Stroud (Kennett Square, Pa.) currently holds third place with Willow Star, LLC’s Dutch Warmblood gelding team of 14-year-old Anesco 4, ten-year-old Enzo, eight-year-old George W, and 18-year-old Ulco on a score of 57.77.
James Miller Leads After Dressage in the National Pairs Championships
James Miller (Paris, Ky.) rocked his dressage test Thursday morning, driving to the lead of the USEF Advanced Pairs Combined Driving National Championship with Wrigley-Miller’s Agussto’s Armoei, a 14-year-old KPWN gelding and Frank, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding. This is a new pair for Miller, but his duo’s performance looked anything but inexperienced as they earned a score of 53.91.
“They felt good. They felt sometimes a little too good, but we get that out of horses in a performance ring like Live Oak’s. It’s always a challenge to go from quieter shows to a show with more atmosphere like this,” Miller said.
Steve Wilson’s (Louisville, Ky.) pair of Tuzes, his 13-year-old Lippizaner gelding, and Favory Fáraó, his 17-year-old Lippizaner gelding, earned a dressage score of 58.77, which puts them in second place.
“I always get anxious about dressage. There’s never a perfect day, but I’m happy with how I drove, and I’m looking forward to marathon and cones. In this sport, it usually boils down to the last day,” Wilson said.