Nine-time U.S. national four-in-hand champion Chester Weber remains undefeated in France following his second win there in the CAI-A4 Caen August 23-25, against a field of 12 drivers and 60 horses representing seven nations.
Team Weber’s win at the CAI-A4 Caen is especially significant as the competition was the test event for the 2014 World Equestrian Games. In early June, Weber had the strongest international finish of his career when his team led all three – dressage, marathon and cones – phases of the World Cup-qualifying Saumur CAI-A4 against top whips including Dutch Team Gold medalists Ijsbrand Chardon and Theo Timmerman.
“The highlight of the show was, without a doubt, Ultra's continued development in dressage,” said Weber, whose team began with a 34.63 winning score in the dressage phase on the opening day of competition at Caen. Team Weber has been undefeated in dressage all season.
“The marathon team worked well. Again, we used Ultra with the intention of putting in another marathon with him and Boy W together before the National Championships. Both Splash and Para did a fantastic job in the wheel.
"I was very impressed with the facilities and the organization of the three days," said Weber after the awards ceremony. "I enjoyed the marathon's technical and fast path."
Weber and his four-in-hand team completed all three phases with a final score of just 108.24, winning dressage, finishing second in marathon (69.65) and incurring just 3.96 additional points after cones. Finishing a distant second (125.54) was Germany's Ludwig Weinmayer, and third (132.76) was Georgina Hunt for Great Britain.
“The goal,” added Jean-Pierre Brisou of the WEG Organizing Committee, “was to test the teams and technical choices in full-scale on the site that will host next year's events. For the first time in the Word Equestrian Games, we will use sand for dressage, obstacle cone driving and the marathon in order to provide fair conditions of transition to each team. We received very good feedback from the participating federations on this choice.”
Weber added, “Three of the six marathon obstacles were going to be the same as next year and the track in the A section and between the hazards will be the same. The team was fantastic and our depth is evident based on our continuing to drive different combinations at all of the events.”
Weber’s winning team for this European tour included his own Para, Senate, Horus du Bois, Boy W and Boris W, as well as Splash and Uniek owned by Jane Clark and Ultra owned by Koos de Ronde. The team has continued to prove the success behind Weber's conditioning and training program by delivering a wire-to-wire win at CAIO Saumur as well as top three finishes at Beekburgen and Aachen.
“These horses,” he said, “are a very consistent group and I could not be more pleased with their success this summer.”
Caen marks the final stop on the Team Weber European tour before returning to the United States to defend and likely claim an unprecedented tenth national championship title at the Kentucky Classic in September.
Follow Team Weber at www.chesterweber.com and via their link to Facebook.