Jamaica Named 2008 FARNAM® / PLATFORM® • USEF Horse of the Year

Monday, January 19, 2009
Posted by Christy

Honor Recognizes the Nation’s Most Exceptional Horse

Amid  the splendor of the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) annual  Horse of the Year awards black tie gala, Combined Driving Champion,  Jamaica was named the 2008 Farnam® / Platform® • USEF Horse of the  Year.  Jamaica was selected from among all USEF breeds and disciplines  as the nation’s most exceptional horse for 2008.

Owned  by Chester C. Weber, Jamaica has been described as a quirky but  talented horse whose story is unique in the world of high performance  horses.  The Dutch Warmblood was rescued from a European slaughterhouse  and put to work as a tourist carriage horse.  This career was cut short  however, because he wouldn’t stand still, making it difficult for the  tourists to enter and leave the carriage.  It was just that desire to  be on the move that served him well after being purchased by Weber and  retrained as a Four-in-Hand combined driving horse – a sport   with three phases; dressage, marathon and cones – similar to the mounted   equestrian sport of eventing.

“More  than a decade ago when Jamaica was on his way to the slaughterhouse no  one could have predicted he would be named the 2008 Farnam® / Platform®  • USEF Horse of the Year,” said Chester Weber, Jamaica’s owner and  driver.  “He was instrumental in helping me win a Silver Medal in the  Four-in-Hand Combined Driving competition at the 2008 FEI World  Championships in The Netherlands.  With this honor Jamaica has earned  his place in history.”

“Jamaica  has truly shown the world what he can do when given the right chance,”  said Chris Jacobi, senior vice president of Farnam Horse Products,  sponsor of the awards program. “It is just that “can do” spirit for  which this award was established.”

As  winner of the 2008 Farnam® / Platform® • USEF Horse of the Year,  Combined Driving Champion Jamaica joins a very exclusive club of  previous winners: Brentina, the 2005 dressage superstar; Authentic, the  2006 jumping superstar and the late Theodore O’Connor, the 2007  eventing great.

At 17 years of age, Jamaica is a very athletic horse with lots of  energy and fabulous gaits. He is used in the wheel in dressage and in  the left lead in marathon and cones. His finicky personality and bold  nature gives him the key to be a top horse in the sport. He has a lot  of international experience, including six U.S. National Championships,  two FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) and a total of four world  championships (from 2002 to 2008).

Jamaica  was sent at a young age to the slaughterhouse, possibly because of his  strong personality.  Belgian driver and FEI official Mark Wentein  bought Jamaica from a meat dealer for almost nothing.  At the time,  Wentein ran a horse and carriage business in the city of Bruges and  Jamaica was put to work there.

After  being sold to Chester Weber, Jamaica became one of the most respected  driving horses in the world, and in 2010, Jamaica is expected to be the  lynchpin in Weber’s team at the WEG.

The  2008 accomplishments (in the team) for Jamaica include:  Individual  Silver Medal, World Four-In-Hand Championships, winner of dressage at  World Four-In-Hand Championships, winner of CAI-A Riesenbeck, winner of  dressage at CIA-A Riesenbeck and winner of International Driving Derby,  3rd at CAIO Aachen and USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion.

USEF  Members, media and the USEF Board of Directors voted to select Jamaica  for the prestigious honor – presented at the Horse of the Year gala at  the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza in Cincinnati, Ohio, on January  16, 2009. The trophy – a 39-inch bronze sculpture on permanent display  at the USEF headquarters in Kentucky – was commissioned by well-known  equine artist Alexa King.  Bronze replicas of the trophy were presented  to the owners of the winning horse and crystal trophies were presented  to the finalists. Other finalists for the award were: Adams Fire, a  Half-Arabian owned by Starline Arabians, LLC and ridden by Nicole  Lawrence; Dante FQ, a Friesian owned by Friesian Quest, LLC and ridden  by Berndt Von Hassler; Flexible, a Jumper owned by Harry and Mollie  Chapman and ridden by Rich Fellers and Tiziano, a Hunter owned by Stone  Hill Farm and ridden by Jessica Springsteen.

Farnam's  line of Platform® horse feeds and equine health supplements sponsors  the Horse of the Year program in an exclusive partnership that propels  the ever-popular USEF awards program to a new level of excellence.

Farnam’s  Platform® Feeding System products are formulated by expert equine  nutritionists using the latest, up-to-date research. The Platform®  Feeding System allows horse owners to select an appropriate premium  feed and, if needed, targeted supplements to address specific problems  without the possible harmful effects and waste of over-supplementation.  With the Platform® Feeding System, horse owners can design a feeding  program to meet their horse’s individual needs. For more information  about the Platform® Feeding System, visit www.platformfeed.com.

Over  the past six decades, Farnam Companies, Inc., has grown to one of the  most widely recognized names in the animal health products industry and  has become one of the largest marketers of equine products in the  country. No one knows horses better than Farnam. That’s why no one  offers a more complete selection of horse care products. Farnam’s Horse  Products serve both the pleasure horse and the performance horse  markets with products for fly control, hoof and leg care, grooming,  wound treatment, leather care supplies, plus feed and nutritional  supplements. For information about Farnam Horse Products in the U.S.  call toll free at (800) 234-2269 or visit www.farnamhorse.com.