Chester Weber Wins the Dressage and Culminates With a Silver Medal at the World Four-In-Hand Driving Championships

Thursday, September 11, 2008
Posted by bossmare

Beesd, The Netherlands-
U.S. Four-in-Hand Driving Champion, Chester Weber, has finished an extraordinary strong summer campaign in Europe by winning the dressage phase of the World Driving Championships in Beesd, The Netherlands. With a win and a strong marathon behind him, Weber attacked the last phase and won the Individual Silver Medal. This is the first time an American driver has won an Individual Medal with a Four-in-Hand at a World Championship.

“Winning the dressage was very special to me as I broke a world record in Riesenbeck and then broke my own record at the World Championship,” said a broadly smiling Weber. “It was great, I am so privileged to be able to work with such a spectacular team of horses and people.”

His fired up team of KWPN geldings hit their stride in the dressage performance scoring a record breaking 32.13 penalty points. In spite of two heart-stopping moments when a Dutch military jet flew very low over the arena twice, Weber’s team never broke concentration. “It surely added impulsion and engagement to the performance,” said Weber shaking his head. The USEF National Champion clearly impressed the judges and was firmly in the lead of the provisional standings after the first dressage day.

An elated Weber signaled out two of his horses, “Jamaica, my lead horse, and Para, a wheel horse, worked hard all three days. My 17 year-old Jamaica gets the MVP from me. He has been in dressage at four World Championships and has two wins, one second and one third to show for it. And there he was, fresh and bucking before the prize ceremony on Friday!”

Navigators Olof Larsson and Taren Lester were with Weber turn for turn and step for step throughout the entire competition. Their dreams were on the line as they steadied the carriage through hazard 2, the treacherous C turn and the deep-water hazards at 3 and 7.  But once again Team Weber proved itself a synergetic engine when the clock started.

Preparing for the Marathon has become a major part of Team Weber’s training. Koos de Ronde has been an invaluable source of help in conjunction with Michael Freund’s coaching and mentoring.

Weber has clear goals for the future;
Two gold medals in Kentucky in 2010, team and individual. He has two strapping four year olds ready to take over the responsibilities of joining the Weber Team. Will Jamaica be able to compete at 19? “Time will tell,” Weber smiled. “I wouldn’t put it past him.”

This 2008 World Four-in-Hand Driving Championship was highly significant in the history of the sport of combined driving. 90,000 spectators surveyed the perfectly organized venue during the five days of intense competition. Weber has represented the USA in seven Word Pair and Four-in-Hand Championships enthused, “The atmosphere in Beesd was fantastic, it was like the World Equestrian Games or even better!”

Driving is the oldest known competitive equestrian sport and became an FEI discipline in 1970. The Four-in-Hand World Championships are held every two years, with every second edition coinciding with the FEI World Equestrian Games.

The last World Driving Championship was held in Aachen, Germany during the 2006 World Equestrian Games. Beesd proved a wonderful venue for the 2008 World Driving Championships, but Chester Weber is already looking forward to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

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