The Horse Capital of America Gears Up for 2015 Live Oak International This Week

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
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Ocala FL - This week Ocala is gearing up for the 2015 Live Oak International equestrian event highlighted by world-class show jumpers and drivers as they compete for top titles. Between competitions spectators gather in the thousands to enjoy excellent shopping, family fun, food, gala parties and thrilling course-side tailgating parties. The 2015 Live Oak International will take place in Ocala, Florida - known as the “Horse Capital of America” - on March 19-22 at Live Oak Plantation. The one-of-a-kind driving and show jumping competition Live Oak International has awed spectators and challenged competitors for over twenty years. Each year seems more exciting than the last. This year Live Oak International is sure to impress and NBC Sports Radio will be broadcasting live.

Last year, NBC Sports Radio and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Network covered history-making moments such as FEI’s number one four-in-hand driver Chester Weber setting a new record by claiming his 11th FEI Four-in-Hand National Championship title and two-time National Football League Superbowl linebacker Max Montoya showing us that football payers can drive horses - as he won the Intermediate Pair Horse Division National Championship. On the jump course, Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher set the standards high in the show jumping divisions, as well, by winning the $50,000 CSI2*W in a race close enough to keep everyone at the edge of their saddles.

The 2015 Live Oak International will continue bringing together the most talented equestrians in the sport, as it is the richest CDE driving competition in prize money in the United States. The Live Oak International CDE/CSI2*W this March 19-22 is also a World Cup Qualifier for the 2015 FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Las Vegas in April. The 2015 Live Oak International will have more than 100,000 reasons to ride and drive to Ocala as prizes, purses, and awards top a hundred thousand dollars. The 2015 event also hosts the USEF National Pair Horse Championship and the USEF National Pony Driving Championships.

Chester Weber set the pace in the Marathon at the 2014 Live Oak International (Photo: PicsofYou.com)
Chester Weber set the pace in the Marathon at the 2014 Live Oak International (Photo: PicsofYou.com)

Among more than fifteen special awards to be presented will be the Florida Triple Crown. The award will be earned by the lowest-scoring Intermediate and FEI drivers from its three jewels - The Sunshine State CDE, The Kingdom of the Sun CDE, and The Live Oak International— and a $10,000 Leading Rider Award. The Show jumping portion of Live Oak International has drawn such CSI2* Grand Prix-winning duos as Todd Minikus and Quality Girl (who put in three consecutive victories during their 2013 appearance), and defending champion Ben Maher of Great Britain on Jane Clark's Aristo Z.

Since Live Oak International’s beginnings as a combined driving competition, the event has become a staple for those working toward being placed on the United States Combined Driving Team. The event first welcomed show jumpers in 2012, becoming the first U.S. competition to ever host world-class jumping and driving competitions at the same time. Currently, the annual Live Oak International is looked forward to as both an elite competition and an amazing celebration of the equestrian sports.

Live Oak International presidents Chester C. Weber, Charlotte C. Weber, and Juliet W. Reid are eager to present the 2015 Live Oak International at their Live Oak Plantation. “The Live Oak International was born out of our family’s passion, strength, and commitment to excellence in equestrian sport, and continues to strive for the highest standards in sport and sportsmanship,” explains Chester Weber. “The event offers the chance to see two very unique events at the one location. While recognized as a fun and well-managed show, it is important to know that horsemanship and sportsmanship come first. Live Oak International again has committed more than $100,000 in prize money spread over its jumping classes plus a rider bonus of $10,000 for the leading rider with the most points. Live Oak International is leading the way in Combined Driving events by providing prize money in all divisions. We hope that you will join us.”

Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher and Aristo Z were the champions of the show jumping portion of 2014 Live Oak International
Olympic Gold Medalist Ben Maher and Aristo Z were the champions of the show jumping portion of 2014 Live Oak International

“We appreciate our Ocala horse community coming out to show their support,” continues Weber, who won an Individual Silver Medal with his four-in-hand team at the World Equestrian Games in 2014. Weber strives to bring such international experiences back to The Live Oak International's own drawing boards. He envisions the event - traditionally hosted for more than two decades on the Weber family's 5,000-acre equestrian and Thoroughbred breeding estate - as “an American Aachen. It's important to see a horse show spectator as a customer.”

Elegant marathon tailgating, trend-setting boutiques at the Vendor Village, and lots of family fun including the a children’s horseless jumping course competition with Breyer horse prizes, live Miniature Horses, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship demonstrations assure that guests of all ages will enjoy the event.

For a unique experience in the worlds of show jumping, combined driving and equestrian-themed family fun, the 2015 Live Oak International is the place to be. So mark your calendars for March 19-22, and immerse yourself in Ocala’s equestrian excitement - Live Oak International style! For more information on The 2015 Live Oak International, including schedules, directions and more visit www.liveoakinternational.com.