Caledonia, IL (August 5, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber is gearing up for the World Equestrian Games the best way he knows how: by competing in and winning the Four-In-Hand at the Iron Horse Combined Driving Event at Sherwood Farms, in Caledonia, Illinois. Despite an issue in the marathon phase, Team Weber captured the overall championship with 152.2 points followed by Josh Rector with 170.58 points.
Weber said his team’s success at Iron Horse did include some bad luck, which occurred on the marathon. “We strive for our personal best and this was an example of being dealt lemons and making lemonade,” Weber said. “In the first obstacle in the marathon, Para my left wheel horse, somehow got his left front leg over Reno’s trace. Reno is the left leader, in front of Para. Olof, one of the two navigators on the carriage, got down and quickly resolved the problem in 25 seconds. The horses were unharmed and we proceeded to win the next three hazards.”
Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA), 1 August 2010 – After a nerve-wracking obstacle driving competition at the FEI World Single Driving Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, Germany took home both individual and team gold. Thorsten Zarembowicz is the new World Champion. Poland’s Bartolomiej Kwiatek took the silver and Italy’s Cristiano Cividini won the bronze medal.
World Championship course designer Christian Iseli is known for his challenging obstacle driving courses, and at Pratoni he built another selective course, sticking to his motto ‘Not easy, but Iseli!’ The course, which was underestimated by most of the drivers, consisted of many sharp turns and the tight time frame made it difficult, but nevertheless do-able.
31 July 2010 – Perfect conditions created a wonderful environment for the marathon of the FEI World Single Driving Championship in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy. Undulating tracks on a green meadow and the obstacle site nicely embedded in the hilly landscape ensured great sport.
The eight obstacles built by Austria’s course designer Christian Iseli offered the competitors countless route options. Two of them included extra large water elements, built and flagged in a modern and horse friendly way.
Before the start of the World Championship, the possible hot weather conditions in the summer in Italy was much talked about, but it could not have been better today. Twenty-seven degrees Celsius was the highest temperature reached. The marathon was heavy, but fair and selective, absolutely ideal for World Championship competition.
GERMANY LEADS AT WORLD SINGLE DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN PRATONI
31 July 2010 – Germany’s Thorsten Zarembowicz has set a new standard in the Single Horse Driving scene by putting down a wonderful score of 35,20 penalty points and taking the lead at the FEI World Single Driving Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy. The German Team is leading the Nations Cup after the first phase of the combined driving competition.
After two days of dressage in which the best 72 Single Horse drivers in the world showed their skills, Thorsten Zarembowicz is the new man to beat in dressage. Zarembowicz bettered the score of the title defender Jan van den Broek from the Netherlands by over six penalty points. The 31-year-old manager of the driving stable of former World Champion Michael Freund drove a wonderful test with the 8-year-old Holsteiner mare Sunrise. His test thrilled both the spectators and the judges.
Caledonia, IL (July 23, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber knows the importance of safety, which is why he and his team always wear their Charles Owen helmets during the marathon at a Combined Driving event. Weber, the reigning USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, is stepping up to encourage all drivers to wear helmets in a Drivers4Helmets campaign which is a spin on SUCCEED’s riders4helmets campaign.
During the upcoming Iron Horse Combined Driving Event at Sherwood Farms, in Caledonia, Illinois, Weber will join forces with Charles Owen and SUCCEED, two of his Team Weber sponsors, to auction off a Charles Owen helmet certificate during the competitors’ party silent auction. While one lucky person will go home with a new Charles Owen helmet certificate, which could save his or her life, all of the money raised for the helmet during the silent auction will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
“I believe it is essential for drivers and their team to wear helmets during the marathon, and hope that the silent auction for the Charles Owen helmet will be a step in the right direction for all drivers committing to wearing helmets,” Weber said, adding that he will present the silent auction winner with the helmet certificate.
The FEI World Single Driving Championships return to Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA) from 28 July to 1 August. Pratoni hosted the Single Horse Driving Championships very successfully in 2006 and the Italian Equestrian Federation is now welcoming the competitors on their site for the sixth edition of these Championships.
It was just 12 years ago that the first official FEI Single Championships took place at Ebbs (AUT). The next Championship was due to take place in 2000 in Gladstone (USA), but was cancelled at the last minute because of the West Nile Virus. The Championship made a return to the FEI calendar in 2002 in the picturesque village of Conty (FRA), which organises an international driving event every year. Conty will also host the 2011 FEI World Pair Driving Championships.
As one of the world’s leading single driving nations, Sweden had the honour to host the 2004 World Single Championships, followed by Pratoni in 2006 and Jarantów (POL) in 2008.
17 July 2010 – Boyd Exell (AUS) today notched up his third individual victory at Aachen, the most prestigious international Four-in-Hand Driving competition, to add to his wins in 2003 and 2009. The Australian had a head start in the dressage and held onto his lead throughout.
Four times World Champion IJsbrand Chardon (NED) finished second, ahead of Christoph Sandmann (GER), and it was the Netherlands that won the Nations Cup ahead of hosts Germany, with Switzerland in third.
The CAIO and World Cup Qualifying competition in Aachen was run in a different format. The Four-in-Hand drivers drove the regular dressage test on Thursday, followed by the obstacle driving competition on Friday. The marathon, broadcast live on television, was run as the final phase to bring the combined driving competition to a dramatic finish.
Morton, IL (July 12, 2010) – Small equines and fans from throughout the nation are preparing to attend one of the biggest events in their industry. This year the 122nd Shetland Pony Congress Show will be held in Ardmore, Oklahoma on August 2-6th at the Hardy Murphy Coliseum. Participants will have the opportunity to compete in classes for driving, halter, jumping, youth, and costume. Competitors will be looking to win not only National Championship titles and show off their versatile ponies to the world!
The Shetland Pony Congress spectators can enjoy a diverse array of Shetland Pony classes. Admission is free to everyone at the show and spectators will have the chance to learn more about the American Shetland Ponies.
“We are excited to bring the American Shetland Ponies to Ardmore. Each time we come to a new show venue we are able to share our ponies with a new local audience. Since admission is free and classes run all day and into the evening, the Shetland Pony Congress is perfect entertainment for families, horse lovers and children of all ages,” says Johnny Robb, Director of Marketing for the American Shetland Pony Club.
Bromont, Quebec, Canada (July 1, 2010) – American Combined Driver Chester Weber continued his winning streak – this time on Canadian soil – when he won the FEI Four-In-Hand division at the Bromont International Driving Competition at the Bromont Olympic Equestrian Park in Quebec. Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion, captured the title with a 45-point lead over second place winner Josh Rector, also of the USA.
Weber was pleased with his win, and said that the marathon and cones courses at Bromont proved to be very challenging. “I had my less experienced team of horses and I am really proud of them because the marathon course was on the level of a world championship course,” Weber said, adding that he really felt that Reno stood out. “My young horse is coming together and proving to be consistent.”
Weber took Grumus, Para, Boy W, Reno W and Horus Du Bois to the Canadian competition, considered the most important driving show in Canada. “I am very proud of Reno as it was his best show yet,” Weber said. “Reno is really showing that he can be a valuable asset to my team.”
17 June 2010 – Alex McLin, FEI Secretary General, marks the 100-day countdown to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with a specially extended video message today, expressing his confidence that the FEI’s flagship event will be an incredible celebration of equestrian sport when it opens in the 1,200 acre Kentucky Horse Park on 25 September.
“Spectators can expect to see the best equestrian sport can offer,” Alex McLin says. “The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are 100 days away so we’re in the final stretches of preparation. It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since the award of the bid because everything that’s been achieved since then is absolutely incredible.
“All the infrastructure has been delivered on time, the teams are working well together on the ground and we have every reason to be confident that we’ll have a fantastic Games.”