Legendary Jamaica Team Weber's Multiple Driving Champion Passes Away
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
It is with a heavy heart that #teamweber announces the passing of the one and only, Jamaica.
Jamaica’s story began in 1991 in Holland, when the bay Hackney gelding, sired by British stallion Cambridge Cole (Walton Searchlight x Cambridge Madge) out of a mare named Welkom, was destined for slaughter. Jamaica’s fate changed when he was found by Belgian driver and FEI official Mark Wenten, who brought the gelding into a service role as a tourist carriage horse in the city of Bruges, Belgium.
Jamaica's notorious impatience for standing still to allow visitors onto a carriage proved precisely the kind of get-up-and-go attitude that Wenten knew his friend Weber was seeking in a new wheel horse. Weber purchased Jamaica from Wenten in 2001.
Jamaica piloted Weber’s team as a wheeler in dressage and left leader for marathons. This placement became integral to an award-winning Team Weber, whose victory laps included nine National titles, four World FEI Championships including an individual Silver Medal at the 2008 World FEI Championships, and the USEF National Combined Driving Single Horse Championship perpetual trophy named in Jamaica's honor. He became a champion whose steel shoes were gifted to Prince Phillip by President Obama, and who was commemorated as a Breyer® horse model. His athleticism and driving honors earned him the title of 2008 USEF Horse of the Year, and made him a 2013 inductee into the EQUUS Foundation Horse Hall of Fame.
In 2008, Jamaica was recognized with the Farnam Platform Horse of the Year award from the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), and received one ton of Platform feed. Jamaica and Weber in turn paid-it-forward by donating the feed to two different horse rescue organizations.
In his role as an 'equine ambassador,’ Jamaica also participated in 'Kiss the Horse' literacy campaigns, was featured in three books (For The Love Of The Horse, Volume III; True Horse Stories; and Beloved Horses in Second Careers), and raised funds for ReRun Thoroughbreds by painting a “Moneigh” masterpiece with his muzzle. Furthermore, when President Obama was searching for the perfect gift for Prince Phillip, he requested Jamaica’s shoes from Weber, which now hang in the Royal Stables.
“Thank you Jamaica for being my partner and companion for the past nineteen years. Together, we made a name for ourselves and you helped me achieve goals I never thought possible. From slaughter’s doorstep to World Championships, you showed the world that with a little love and nurture, animals will return the favor ten times over. Thank you to all those who had a hand in creating and caring for this phenomenal animal. I am so happy I was able to give back to you a well-deserved retirement at Live Oak Stud in Ocala Florida from 2011 - 2020 living the best way you could. God speed my friend” - Chester Weber