U.S. Off to Strong Start as Weber Gains the Early Lead at 2012 FEI Four-in-Hand World Driving Championships

The U.S. produced the strong start they were looking to make on Thursday at the FEI Four-in-Hand World Driving Championships, with two of the three American entries performing their dressage tests. Chester Weber led the charge for the U.S. driving a spectacular test scoring 33.41 to hold the lead after day one in Germany.

Weber (Ocala, FL) has long been known for his ability to produce a winning dressage test and did not disappoint today in Germany. Driving his own Para and Boy W as well as Jane Clark’s Splash and Uniek, Weber received 10s across the board for Presentation as well as four 9s for his driving. The ultimate competitor, Weber produced his best on the world stage.

“I’m extremely pleased with Chester’s test; he drove very, very well and his horse’s went beautifully,” said U.S. Chef d’ Equipe Ed Young.

Weber was a member of the Silver Medal winning teams at the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. In 2008, he claimed his first Individual medal, a Silver, at the 2008 FEI Four-in-Hand World Driving Championships in Beesd, The Netherlands.

He leads reigning World Champion Boyd Exell of Australia by 3/10s of a point in Reisenbeck with 20 more horses scheduled to perform their dressage tests tomorrow.

“I’m pretty confident we’ll remain on top individually with Chester after tomorrow,” said Young. “I will be at the prize giving for the dressage tomorrow and I expect to hear our National Anthem.”

The second driver for the U.S. on Thursday was Joe Yoder; driving in his first Four-in-Hand World Championship he scored 61.70. Yoder’s performance built throughout the test and saw scores go up as his drive progressed. He capped off his test by earning 7s across the board for his final extended trot to salute. He also received one 9, three 8s and one 7 for his Presentation driving the de Ronde’s Caletta, Celena 6, and Majoor and  Misdee Wrigley Miller’s Sarasko.

He currently stands in 21st place.

“Joe had a very, very respectable test in his first time at a Four-In-Hand World Championships,” said Young. “I’m extremely proud of him.”

Jimmy Fairclough will be the final driver for the U.S. tomorrow. He will perform his dressage test at 1pm local time.

Young was very impressed with the U.S. drivers Thursday and has high hopes for the remainder of the dressage phase.

“It’s a tough, tough competition and I’m very proud of our two drivers (Weber and Yoder). Things went very well for us today and we are hoping for a good test for Jimmy.”

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