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.”
Vecsés (HUN), 13 JUNE 2010 – Dutch four-in-hand driver Koos de Ronde took the victory at the international combined driving event in Vecsés, Hungary. De Ronde stayed ahead of home driver Zoltán Lázár in this FEI World Cup Qualifying competition, where the horse teams also battled in the nations competition. Switzerland’s Werner Ulrich came third, improving every event with his Lusitano team of horses.
Heat hit Hungary
The temperature in Vecsés, the home base of the sympathetic Hungarian four-in-hand driver József Dobrovitz and his family, rose to around 30 degrees Celsius throughout the weekend. The organising committee had taken the necessary precautions to ensure the welfare of the horses and shortened the A-section of the marathon to 1,2 kilometres and lowered the pace of the walk section. All competitors got fifteen minutes instead the usual ten minutes rest at the obligatory halt in the marathon before the obstacle phase. This turned out to be a wise decision and none of the competing horses had any problems at the finish of the marathon.
Allentown, NJ (June 11, 2010) – Chester Weber continued his long running winning streak in New Jersey, capturing the 2010 Four-In-Hand Garden State Driving Event Championship. As the eight-time United States National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving Champion, Team Weber cruised to victory in all three phases of the Garden State event, a selection trial for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall.
“The event went really well and the entire team, both people and horses, seems to be in top form leading up to WEG,” Weber said, adding that the heat and humidity did play a factor, especially for Reno, his six-year-old leader who seemed to have a hard time with it.
Despite the weather, and footing that wasn’t ideal, Team Weber triumphed over 10 other four-in-hand teams, finishing with a score of 116.64 penalties while runner-up Josh Rector finished with a score of 140.67. Jimmy Fairclough, who has long been Weber’s top competition, went off course in the cones phase and was eliminated.
Ocala, FL (May 12, 2010) – Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time USEF National Four In Hand Champion, recently shared the secret to his success with students in an Exercise Physiology class in the Equine Studies program at Central Florida Community College (CFCC). The community college is the only two-year institution in Florida that offers an equine program, and Equine Studies is the college’s most popular Associate in Science degree program.
“Chester gave a wonderful talk to my Exercise Physiology students during their last class of the semester,” said Dr. Judy Downer, Associate Professor of Equine Studies. “Chester summarized his training and conditioning program that he is using that will lead him up to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky this fall. It was a great review of the subjects we covered all semester.”
Ocala, FL (May 4, 2010) – Four-In-Hand Combined Driver Deb Laderoute, who will represent Canada in the 2010 World Equestrian Games, drove away with Arenus’s EQUILITE Performance & Conditioning Award during the recent Live Oak International Competition in Ocala, Florida. Laderoute and her team were awarded EQUILITE brand products from award sponsor Arenus, makers of animal health products and supplement blends including STEADFAST joint health, ASSURE digestive aid and SORE NO-MORE liniment.
“All of the teams competing at Live Oak were amazing, but our team of judges picked Deb because they thought her team was exceptional,” said Arenus representative Stacey Small, creator of the EQUILITE line of products. “It was a very exciting competition, and awarding Deb with a tote bag filled with our award-winning natural animal health and herbal blend products was just the icing on the cake.”