Catch the excitement of FEI World Cup Driving
Inspired by the great success of FEI World Cup Jumping, introduced in 1978, and World Cup Dressage, introduced in 1985, the international driving community hungered for the creation of a World Cup Driving. These dreams came to fruition with the launch of an Indoor World Cup for Four-in-Hand drivers, which was first held in November 2001.
The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body of all equestrian sports, took combined driving under its wing in 1969, making the sport an official FEI discipline. Although Pairs and Singles competitions were added through the years, Four-in-Hand remains the most spectacular portion of international carriage driving. The energetic and substantial crowds which turn out for the competitions are testimony to this fact.
Special rules for FEI World Cup Driving were established, due to the space limitations of indoor arenas and exhibition areas. As a result, there is no dressage competition, and the popular marathon and obstacles (cones) portions of the competition are combined in a course which involves both marathon and cones driving obstacles.
During the initial 2001/2002 season of World Cup Driving, there were a total of eight events. Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and France each hosted two events. At each of the eight events, six Four-in-Hand drivers compete. Five of these drivers have qualified at International Driving Competitions the previous summer and the sixth is a driver from the home country. Each driver competes in no more than four World Cup events. The World Cup Champion is the driver who accumulates the most World Cup points at the conclusion of all eight competitions.
Chester Weber, whom at the time was ranked sixth among the FEI Top 10 Drivers, was the only driver to represent the United States in the 2001/2002 World Cup Driving season. When the points were tallied, German driver Michael Freund was World Cup Champion and Chester was Reserve Champion.
Chester has participated in almost all the World Cup competitions since it started with very good results. With these well-attended indoor competitions, combined driving offers even greater opportunities for sponsorship. Sponsors of Team Weber and the GLOBAL TEAM will find the longer competitive season and highly-publicized events mean increased recognition and heightened logo exposure around the world.