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Chester Weber Wins the 2024 USEF Combined Driving National Championship for Advanced Four-in-Hand Horses

by Leslie Potter/US Equestrian | Mar 17, 2024, 8:00 PM

Ocala, Fla. – Chester Weber added another title to his long list of accomplishments, taking home his 21st USEF Combined Driving National Championship for Advanced Four-in-Hand Horses this week at Live Oak International.

Chester Weber competing in the cones phase at Live Oak International
Chester Weber. ©Avery Wallace/US Equestrian

Weber was the wire-to-wire leader in the class, posting a commanding lead after Thursday’s dressage test where he scored a 39.59. Weber and his team continued their winning ways into Saturday’s marathon phase, posting the best time on all seven of the obstacles. He secured the win on Sunday with the fastest cones round and only six faults, finishing on a score of 167.45.

“The horses were in really good form,” said Weber. “They showed up with a nice, solid dressage test on the first day. For the cross-country, we drove a combination that I thought would be very fast. It was a super challenging course, but the team handled it very well and took all of the questions and challenges in hand and did a great job with it.”

Weber drove his striking team of bay KWPN geldings: Amadeus, Gouveneur, Julius V, Kadora, and Nico Teusje C. The team is composed of a group of well-established equine athletes and one newcomer to the CAI3* level. At just 6 years old, Nico Teusje C (Cizandro x Adjudante Teusje C) is one to watch.

“He’s sort of just hit the top team this season,” said Weber. “He’s only 6, but he’s done the first two events of the season, and I think he’s going to really prove to be a star—or maybe he is already a star. Six is sort of young for them to be doing the FEI three-star level, and he definitely wasn’t just a member of the team. He was a real asset to all three days.”

Jimmy Fairclough (Newton, N.J.) and his KWPN geldings Bento V, Dapper, Hendrik, Jake, and Lotario I&S earned the reserve champion title in the division, and Paul Maye (Fairfield, Va.) with Harmony Amateur Sports Foundation’s Harmony’s Domonic, Harmony’s Jagwire, Harmony’s Java, Harmony’s Nifty Shades of Grey, and Harmony’s Ziezo finished in third place.

Live Oak International has been a cornerstone of Florida’s vibrant combined driving community over its 33 years. The Weber family first hosted a driving competition on the grounds of their Live Oak Stud, a Thoroughbred breeding farm and commercial cattle operation, in 1990. From that local-level competition in the first year, the competition grew into the world-class event it is today, drawing the top drivers from North America every year.

Famous for its scenic beauty and excellent hospitality, Live Oak International earned its place as a must-see spectator event, bringing members of the community and equestrian fans from around the world to enjoy horses and the Ocala sunshine each year in March. With the addition of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup qualifier in 2012, Live Oak further anchored its status as a one-of-a-kind equestrian event.

“It’s really grown organically,” Weber said of the enthusiastic crowds that come out to the event each year. “It’s been 33 years in the making. The event has really become a part of Ocala. It’s where the city meets the country. You see it all, from people who live in downtown Ocala and just like to look at horses to people who have jumping or driving horses and people who are involved in other breeds as well.”

Live Oak remains a family business and passion, with Weber, his sister Juliet Reid, and her daughter, jumping athlete Chloe Reid, serving as co-presidents of the tournament which is still held on the ground of the farm owned and operated by Chester and Juliet’s mother, Charlotte Weber. Earning a 21st national championship title on home turf makes the win extra meaningful for Chester.

“It’s added pressure, but it’s also really fun to actually get it done here,” he said.

How to Watch

US Equestrian subscribers and members can watch the replay of the driving competition from Live Oak International on USEF Network. Not a member? Join today.

Event Website | Results

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