Driving is always one of the most anticipated competitions at the FEI World Equestrian Games, as much for the excitement of the marathon as for the tradition and majesty the sport evokes. The four powerful sport horses must work together perfectly in tune over the course of three vastly diverse phases guided only by the drivers voice, reins, and a touch of the whip.
At the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, both Team and Individual medals will be up for grabs as the best drivers in the world try to secure top honors for their nations and add a World Championship title to their resumes. This event, as with all the others, will be even more fun to watch when you know the team.
Ranked first on the USA Driving squad is Chester Weber—three weeks ago he made history as the first American to ever win the Four-in-Hand division at the CAI4* Aachen (July 16, 2014) and has so far gone undefeated this year. He is an 11-time US National Champion, and a Team Silver and 2-time Individual Silver Medalist at previous World Equestrian Games.
According to his website, Weber’s success in combined driving started early. At 18 years old, he was the youngest driver to be named to the United States Equestrian Team (USET) and to qualify for the World Pairs Driving Championship. By 1999, Weber had won 12 consecutive Advanced combined driving events and then transitioned to Four-in-Hand driving, where he has made a name for himself internationally. At the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games, Weber helped the U.S. Driving Team earn a Silver Medal and placed fifth individually in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. The next year he claimed his first, of now eight, consecutive USEF Four-In-Hand National Championship titles. In July 2004, Weber became the first American to win the prestigious German Fahrderby held at CAI-A Riesenbeck, an achievement he handily repeated in 2008. And during the 2010 World Equestrian Games, he brilliantly won the cones phase of the Combined Driving event with a lightning fast time of 200.42 to help the U.S. team clinch the Silver Medal.
Here’s a video of Chester competing at the 2014 Live Oak International in March. The control he has in guiding his horse through the obstacles is remarkable.