Ocala, FL (March 29, 2013) – As the adage goes, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Chester Weber opted for the same KWPN team that helped him clinch an earlier Dressage Test 11 world record and win at Little Everglades Ranch and it proved a winning decision as Team Weber wrested a turbulent win away from the weather at the Live Oak International, March 20-24, in Ocala, Florida.
It wasn’t easy. Every mythological comparison that could be made between horses and the furies of wind and weather was appropriate as gusts and lashing rain led to ceding the FEI Horse Team Cones Phase to Mother Nature. With the decision of judges always final, Weber and his team were awarded first place on the strength of their Dressage and Marathon scores.
Weber had a 37.22 in the opening Dressage phase to put him soundly ahead in the FEI Horse Teams division ahead of fellow American whip, Casey Zubek (53.98) and Canadian contender, Darryl Billing (71.84). Weber and his team maintained their lead over Zubek in Marathon, collecting a lean 90.20 points to Zubek’s 115.51. Following the conclusion of the first two phases, Weber’s overall score of 127.84, to Zubek’s 169.49 or Billing’s 234.83, was determined significant enough to cancel the cones phase in the best interests of the horses and safety to the event.
“The team worked very well,” said Weber. “Under the guidance of our US team coach, Michael Freund, he suggested that I use the same group as at Little Everglades, as they went well and you should always second-guess splitting a winning team.” And rightly so: the team bested its own Test 11 world record score set at Little Everglades Ranch earlier this season.
Speaking of superb relationships, fans of Weber’s Boris will be happy to hear the seven year-old KWPN gelding was on this record-setting team. “Yet again,” Weber grinned, “Boris did a fantastic job in the left wheel.” The next goal is to keep things rolling for CHIO Aachen.
As for the international ambience to Live Oak’s rich roster of driving and show jumping, Weber could not be more pleased: “The synergy of the jumping and driving proves to be a winning concept for participants, spectators and sponsors.” Must be something about that ‘Outside of a horse being good for the inside of a man (or woman).’
Find full results from both disciplines at www.liveoakinternational.com, or follow Team Weber at www.chesterweber.com and via the link to Facebook.
Photo: Team Weber wrested a turbulent win away from the weather at the Live Oak International, March 20-24, in Ocala, Florida. (Photo courtesy of PicsofYou.com)