Four-in-hand combined driver Chester Weber made American four-in-hand driving history at the at the Kentucky Classic CDE, October 4-6, at Lexington's Kentucky Horse Park. Team Weber set a new milestone for the sport by winning an unprecedented 10th national championship.
Weber held a 16-penalty lead heading into Sunday's cones phase and, despite drenching rains, orchestrated a 9.06-penalty performance from the quartet of Dutch Warmbloods he co-owns with Jane Clark to secure the win and his place in USEF Four-in-Hand National Championship history. Weber finished on a total score of 141.20, reserve went to U.S. driving squads veteran, Jimmy Fairclough, of Newtown, NJ (173.95).
Weber said of his team, “They operated like a dream. I was especially happy with the dressage and cones phases.” In dressage, Weber put Boris and Para in the wheel, and Ultra and Splash in the lead. For marathon and cones, it was Boris and Splash in the wheel, and Boy and Ultra to lead.
“Boris,” he said of the popular wheel horse, “continues to improve.” What also continues to improve is Team Weber's record as the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy next summer draw closer. “Without a doubt, our European experience was invaluable, as it always proves to be, across all disciplines. We finished the season with a record of two wins and two third-place finishes, and I feel that has to leave us as a favorite for a medal next summer. With that said, winners train and losers complain, so back to training we go.”
Training led to a string of success in Europe including wins at the 2014 WEG test event at CAI-Caen, and the CAI-A Saumur, and top three finishes at Beekbergen and Aachen. Add this landmark 10th consecutive national title and Weber's 2013 campaign is sure to go down as one of the greatest ever.
“Our immediate plans include tackling the Florida shows and spending the next season bringing along more depth to the team with Ringo and Zeppelin,” he said. But first, four-in-hand's newly-minted 'perfect 10' is judging, October 10-13 at the Shady Oaks CDE in Lodi, CA.
Follow Team Weber and the official Cosequin® Marathon Carriage at www.chesterweber.com and via a link to Facebook.