Combined Driving Horse Inspection Kicks Off 2018 Live Oak International
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Ocala, Florida - Combined driving and show jumping join forces this week at Live Oak International, March 14-18, 2018, for one of Ocala, Florida's most anticipated competitions of the year. Held beneath Live Oak Plantation's iconic Oak trees, Live Oak International is hosting five USEF Combined Driving National Championships as well as the final leg of the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.
The USEF Championship for the Advanced Four-in-Hand is being held at Live Oak International for the third consecutive year, alongside the inaugural USEF Intermediate Pair Horse, Single Horse, Single Pony and Pair Pony Championship divisions.
A total of 118 horses, groomed to perfection, were presented at Wednesday's FEI Horse Inspection. Three were held, and all but one were accepted leaving 61 entries to continue onto the Dressage phase.
The Combined Driving competition begins with Dressage on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and continues through the afternoon with the USEF Four-in-Hand Championship closing out the day. Dressage will continue Friday, followed by the exhilarating Marathon on Saturday and concluding with Obstacles on Sunday.
Live Oak International is also the last opportunity for show jumping riders to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Final , April 11-15, in Paris, France.
Hopeful riders will give it all they've got in Sunday's $100,000 CSI 3*-W Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Qualifier Grand Prix, presented by Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. Other classes held this week include the $10,000 Waldron Private Wealth 1.40m Power and Speed Stake on Friday and the $35,000 CSI3* Longines World Ranking Class Qualifiers on Friday and Saturday. These classes give riders opportunities to earn valuable points in the FEI World Rider Rankings.
This year's riders and drivers will compete across brand new sand-fiber footing, a new addition to Live Oak International installed after the effects of Hurricane Irma disrupted the integrity and safety of the original grass arena. The grass arena will be restored with a sand-fiber base for the 2019 Live Oak International.
Live Oak International is the only show in the United States that offers both combined driving and show jumping, attracting some of the country's most talented riders and drivers. General admission tickets are available online and at the gate for $10. Children under 12 receive free admission. Parking for the competition is also free. For those who cannot attend this year's event, all competition can be seen live at www.liveoakinternational.com.
Spectators can guarantee a front row seat to the Marathon phase of the combined driving event by purchasing a tailgating spot at one of the many exciting hazards. Tailgating passes are still available and can be purchased at www.liveoakinternational.com.
Live Oak International will also virtually host The Flanders Foal Auction. The bidding will start on Friday, March 16, in the VIP tent. This is the first time the Belgian-founded sporthorse auction will take place in the United States and will auction 20 embryos out of top European bloodlines.
About Live Oak International
Started in 1992 by Chester Weber when he was only 18-years-old, the Live Oak International has grown each year. Now run by Co-Presidents Chester Weber and his sister, Juliet W. Reid, the show is a world-class equestrian event and is the only show in the United States that offers both Combined Driving and Show Jumping. The show is home to seven USEF National Driving Championships and is the final leg of the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League. Live Oak Plantation is also home to Chester Weber's training program.
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