Ocala, FL (March 31, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber continued his title as “record-breaking champion” during the Live Oak International competition, breaking his own record by winning the USEF National Four-In-Hand Championship for a record eight years in a row. Weber’s win took place at the prestigious Live Oak event in Ocala, Florida, during a weekend filled with thousands of fans, bad weather and an incident on course that required Weber to utilize his nerves of steel and vast driving experience.
Weber and his team turned in flawless dressage and cones performances, but Weber faced an incident on the marathon that he described as the longest 45 seconds of the year. “We had a very competitive marathon, winning four of the first five hazards and finishing second in number four by tenths of a second,” Weber said. “Then came the ‘Gulch,’ a signature hazard for Live Oak. We split the two lead horses on a post and it took us 45 seconds to get them going again. It was bad luck to split them on a post but good luck to get them free without needing a navigator to get down to get them free, because that costs additional penalties. The horses remained calm the entire time awaiting the direction to move, but it was the longest 45 seconds of the last year for me, and some slight confusion for them.”
Wellington, FL (March 18, 2010) – Each week at the Top Shelf Dressage under the Stars competition at the Player’s Club & Restaurant the dressage community is treated to world-class riders, judges and entertainment, including a recent demonstration by the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Esmeralda and Kuchi, two Gypsy Vanners owned by Bill and Wendy Ricci of WR Ranch in Oxford, Florida, wowed the crowd with their beauty, color and grace.
Esmeralda, who was born in England, was one of the first Gypsy Vanners imported to the United States. Esmeralda has a long list of accomplishments to her name, including being named the Number One Tandem Driving team in 2001 with her partner Jasmine. Esmeralda and Jasmine continued their winning ways last month, winning the Pair Championship at the Florida Carriage Festival.
Esmeralda, the current centerfold in the March 2010 issue of Horse Illustrated, was driven at Dressage under the Stars by owner Bill Ricci, the current President of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Heather Caudill, of Olympus Sport Horse, rode Kuchi, the first Gypsy Vanner born in America. Kuchi’s sire, The Gypsy King, was immortalized as the first Gypsy Vanner Horse Breyer model. Last year Kuchi, who currently competes at second level in dressage, followed in her sire’s hoof steps to become Breyer’s second Gypsy Vanner Horse model.
Wellington, FL (March 18, 2010) – World-renowned trainer and clinician Monty Roberts is returning to West Palm Beach, Florida to host a clinic March 26th at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Monty Roberts is known the “Man Who Listens to Horses,” an award-winning trainer of championship horses, best-selling author, and creator of the revolutionary equine training technique, Join-Up.
Roberts has won countless awards and received worldwide press coverage. He is the author of three books on the New York Times best-seller list. He trained horses for Queen Elizabeth’s equestrian team and been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.
Wellington Classic Dressage, Inc., which hosts horse shows and events for the equestrian community, organized the Monty Roberts clinic after the famed clinician was featured at the USET Holiday Fund Raiser last December held in conjunction with the Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Horse Show. “It is definitely a case of back by popular demand,” said Wellington Classic Dressage Sponsorship and Events Director, John Flanagan. “When Monty was here in December, people just kept coming up and asking us when we could have him back.” So Flanagan went to work to schedule the March Monty Roberts event. “He has universal appeal across the disciplines,” Flanagan stated. “Monty’s proven training methods have helped show horses, race horses, and riding horses of all disciplines.”
West Palm Beach, FL (March 11, 2010) – Tina Konyot proved just how special her Danish Warmblood stallion Calecto V was during the 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI, riding away the winner of the Grand Prix Special. Konyot’s class was sponsored by Classic Equine Equipment, a nationally recognized leader in quality horse stall systems and stable accessories, and their South Florida distributors, Idlewild Furnishing.
“Tina and Calecto turned in a beautiful ride,” said Adam Busse, owner of Classic Equine, who along with John Grimes, owner of Idlewild Furnishing, presented Tina with a teak braiding stool for her win. “It is always great to see a friend win. I could not be happier for Tina and her successful ride. The Palm Beach Dressage Derby is a fantastic show, and Tina and Calecto certainly raised the performance bar.” Grimes added.
It was Calecto’s third time to compete in the Grand Prix Special, and the stallion, by Comeback II, earned a score of 71.958%. The winning score was the highest non-freestyle score to date for the 12-year-old stallion.
Konyot suffered a back injury prior to the Derby, but followed the old adage that the “show must go on” and competed, although in pain. Despite her bad back, Konyot was pleased with her stallion and gave much of the credit for the pair’s advancing success to trainer Lars Petersen.
Ocala, FL (January 22, 2010) – World-renowned equestrian photographer Gabriele Boiselle has captured the bond between Combined Driver Chester Weber and his animals, and the tender moment is being preserved in one of Boiselle’s 2010 calendars. The photo captures Chester Weber holding his wife’s Miniature Schnauzer, Steffi, standing with his equine partner Jamaica. The expressive photo appears in Boiselle’s 2010 Combined Driving (or Fahren, German for ‘four-in-hand’) calendar.
Boiselle has spent almost three decades traveling and photographing horses around the globe, sharing her images with her fans through calendars, books, DVDs, an online photo archive and live photoseminars. Her company, Edition Boiselle, is based in Speyer, Germany, near Frankfurt.
For 2010, Boiselle has created 24 different wall calendars, including the calendar featuring Weber and other combined drivers. “For many years I have personally been so fascinated by carriage driving and in particular by the four-in-hands that I actually traveled to the USA to take photographs at the special Live Oak competition,” Boiselle said, adding that each of the breathtaking pictures tells an individual story. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9969
My New Years resolution is to improve my riding. If you share a similar goal or resolution, I can recommend an incredible tool that I have been using, Program Your Position. This is an amazingly effective “program”, and I can honestly say it has helped my position immensely.
The program, developed by Ruth Hogan-Poulsen and Jane Savoie, has three components. These include 5 DVDs, 3 audio CDs and an illustrated pocket guide.
No matter how you absorb information most effectively, Program Your Position has you covered. Personally, I like all the audios and illustrated pocket guide the best. But I must add that the DVD segments are like attending a clinic.
For me, Program Your Position is better than a clinic because the series teaches you to use a simple set of buzz words to “program” your position corrections. I ride around saying the buzzwords and correct my riding position almost effortlessly. The buzzwords are easy to remember and effective and the program also encourages you to add your personal buzzwords too. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9632
Ocala, FL (November 16, 2009) – Jamaica, Chester Weber’s combined driving horse, captured the nation’s attention last year when he won the most prestigious horse title in the country and became the 2008 USEF Farnam Platform Horse of the Year. As the Horse of the Year, Jamaica served as an ambassador for the USEF, making public appearances, promoting rescue organizations and horse adoption and taking part in a variety of charities.
Jamaica’s rags to riches story began in Belgium when he was rescued from a slaughterhouse. He then famously became part of Weber’s record-breaking international Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team. Now 18 years old, Jamaica has been a member of all seven of Weber’s National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving National Championship teams.
While Jamaica’s story captivated the nation, his role as USEF ambassador also earned him a fan following. “Jamaica’s story really meant a lot to a lot of people, and whether we were at shows or at home, fans would bring him presents and carrots and place them in front of his stall and ask to pose for photos with him,” Weber said. “His journey has been pretty unbelievable and I am certainly glad to have been part of it.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8874
Ocala, FL (October 26, 2009) – Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year and member of Chester Weber’s seven-time National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team, has taken his role as an equine ambassador seriously throughout the past year. Jamaica recently received his most colorful request ever, when the ReRun Thoroughbred charity asked Jamaica and his teammate Rolex to help raise money for charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.”
Never ones to say neigh, Jamaica and Rolex painted their works of art for ReRun’s Moneigh collection, which will be auctioned off on eBay to raise money for ReRun. The name Moneigh is derived from the name of the famous artist and the sound a horse makes.
ReRun’s Mary Simons visited Live Oak Stud in Ocala to assist Jamaica and Rolex with their paintings and was thrilled with the beautiful bay Dutch Warmbloods. “They were stunning animals and my favorites so far,” Simons said. “I had heard that sometimes Jamaica wasn’t so friendly, but he was very warm, kind and professional. He and Rolex both did their paintings with red and white paint and signed them with a black hoof print.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8642
Photo: Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year, is featured in a new horse book called For The Love Of The Horse, Volume III by Ann Jamieson. The story describes Jamaica’s adventure from being rescued from a slaughterhouse to being part of Chester Weber’s world class Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team. (Photo courtesy of JRPR, no credit necessary)
Ocala, FL (October 14, 2009) – Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year and the most valuable player on Chester Weber’s Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team, is being featured in a new book called For The Love Of The Horse, Volume III. Written by Ann Jamieson, the book features a chapter on Jamaica’s rags to riches story that captivated the equestrian nation when Jamaica was nominated for his Horse of the Year title.
Jamaica, now 18 years old, may be a highly decorated member of Team Weber, but his career as a world-class four-in-hand horse almost didn’t come to pass. In the book, Jamieson recounts how Jamaica ended up at a slaughterhouse before being sold to a carriage company.