Chester Weber Wins Opening Dressage Test at Live Oak International
Photo courtesy of Classic Communications
Chester Weber got off to a strong start in his quest for an unprecedented 13th USEF Four-in-Hand National Championship with a win in the opening dressage phase of the 25th annual Live Oak International combined driving event.
Weber brought out his team of KWPN Dutch Warmbloods; Boris W, Danzer, Para and Ultra for a score of 45.25 in the driving dressage test on Thursday. “I was very pleased with them,” Weber said of his team. “I think the horses did a nice job. It wasn’t perfect, but it’s early in the season. It was certainly good enough to win today. There are little pieces here and there that I can say I’d certainly like to see better, but in general I was pleased.”
With Thursday’s win, Weber has set the stage for a 13th national championship. He needs to do well in Saturday’s marathon competition and then Sunday’s final phase in the obstacle course. “Thirteen is a lucky number in my family,” he said. “We try our hardest. It’s not just me driving. There is a wonderful support team behind me. Everybody is working as hard as they can to try to get it done. We’ll see how it shakes out on Sunday, but certainly to start off the weekend on top is a good place.”
Misdee Wright-Miller was second on the day with a score of 49.49 with her team of Beau, Calipso, Diplomaat and Saco.
Suzy Stafford Had Top Score During Dressage Phase
Suzy Stafford and her super Morgan PVF Peace of Mind continued their winning ways with the top score during the Dressage phase of the FEI Single Horse Driving. The duo scored 43.58. Peace of Mind, known as “Hunny,” was the 2015 USEF International Horse of the Year and was named to the Horse Stars Hall of Fame for 2016. Stafford is seeking a third straight USEF Single Horse Driving Championship. Leslie Berndl was second with a score of 49.71.
Steve Wilson leads after the dressage phase of the 2016 Pair division with a score of 53.15. Wilson won the USEF Pair Horse Driving National Championship during the 2015 Live Oak International. Joan Fernandez is second with a score of 63.30.
Katie Whaley was first in the FEI Pair Pony dressage with a score of 66.18. She was driving her Welsh pony cross duo Tommy and Tanner. Whaley was reserve USEF Pair Pony Driving Champion in 2015 during the Live Oak International. Kari Harmon was just behind Whaley with a score of 67.97.
Tracy Morgan got off to a great start in the FEI Single Pony competition with a score of 52.33 with her German riding pony Fuego. Morgan won the 2015 USEF Single Pony Championship during the Live Oak International. Miranda Cadwell was second with her Welsh Pony Cannon’s Majestic Leyla with a score of 61.18.
Friday continues with preliminary class driving dressage and is also the first day of show jumping with the $10,000 Waldron Private Wealth 1.40m Power and Speed and the $35,000 Sovaro CSI3* Longines World Ranking Competition. The competition continues through Sunday, Feb. 28.