Caen, France (September 10, 2014) – What has likely been the most wonderful year of Chester Weber’s life just got even better as the Ocala, Florida horseman, who went into the Alltech World Equestrian Games in Normandy standing number one in the FEI World Four-in-Hand Rankings, emerged with his 3rd Individual Silver medal from an FEI World Championship and boosted Team USA to a fourth place finish with an overall score of 298.48.
The world renowned whip and team of KWPN geldings co-owned by Weber and Jane Forbes Clark, made their intention clear to claim a medal for the United States after a 32.21 score in Dressage, the first of three phases of competition, put them in first place ahead of reigning WEG champion Boyd Exell (Australia) and Theo Timmerman (The Netherlands).
Weber’s dominance in Dressage also clinched his second Dr. Franz-Josef Vetter Prize: “It is an honor to win this prize a second time. Vetter was a big supporter of the driving sport and is greatly missed.” Poignantly, it was during the 2008 FEI World Four-in-Hand Championship in Beesd, The Netherlands, when Vetter, then-president of the Ground Jury, cited Weber and his team’s explosive extensions among the first tests “a joy to watch. It was simply a pleasure to sit in the judges box and enjoy the spectacle.”
Weber then had excellent performances in both the marathon and the cones to place him just behind Excell on a final score of 128.6. The tight race between Weber and Excell was accentuated by the impressive performance put in by both, including a Weber’s spectacular cones phase. “I am so pleased with the horses, and I wouldn’t trade them for any others,” said Weber about his feelings about the World Equestrian Games. “I honestly think I have one of the best cones teams in the world, and I couldn’t ask for more. I was able to put the pressure on on the last day, and that is what this sport is all about. I couldn’t be happier with the horses and my entire team. The suppliers, sponsors, everyone did a fantastic job, and I am just proud to be a part of it.”
In an earlier interview for Episode 10 of the FEI Channel, available now on YouTube
file://localhost/(https/::www.youtube.com:watch%3Fv=06-v1t1Y-lU), Weber told host Chez Philip, “The horses are in good form. Jane Clark’s program is about championships. We and the team put a schedule together at the start of the season and hit our benchmarks ever since.”
But even Weber confessed that neither he nor his team are immune to the electric energy emanating from a stadium like the WEG: “The first time the bell rings in the dressage stadium, it’s nice to be able to just touch the lead horses a little with the whip and say, ‘Hey, I’m here with you.”
Team Weber has proven unstoppable at home and abroad all year, with a string of achievements including becoming the first American to win the Four–in-Hand at CAIO4* Aachen (one of only 10 Americans to win there in its 90-year history), and accepting the victor’s trophy and congratulations at CAI3* Windsor from HRH Queen Elizabeth.
Follow Team Weber at http://www.chesterweber.com and via Facebook.