The Americans who will be contesting the Driving World Championships wish today’s presentation competition counted toward the medal scores, but they don’t. It was just for fun and beauty—and a bottle of champagne presented to each of the 17 drivers who took part.
The three judges declared Chester Weber the winner, awarding him 49.5 of a possible 50 points. James Fairclough (48.33) and Tucker Johnson (48.17), who’ve been Weber’s championship teammates for most of the last two decades, finished second and third.
The grooms and drivers spent about 10 hours polishing the horses, harnesses and vehicles, before putting on their finest driving livery. Not all drivers in these World Championships took part in this presentation.
Weber, 35, drove his four bay warmblood geldings put to a black dog cart presentation vehicle, finished with maroon-and-white pinstripes, with his wife sitting beside him.
Fairclough, 52, also drove four warmbloods (the wheelers being full sisters), put to a formal black Kuhnle presentation vehicle. Owner Jane F. Clark sat beside him.
Johnson, 46, drove a shooting brake.
Medal competition begins tomorrow (Oct. 6), with the first of two days of dressage. The challenging and exciting marathon will be a feature of the World Games on Saturday, and Sunday’s obstacles phase will climax the Driving World Championships and be the final competition of these World Games.
Total attendance through Day 11 of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is 323,145.
About the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The Games are held every four years and this will be the first occurrence in the United States. Tickets to the 2010 Games are still available and can be purchased at www.alltechfeigames.com/tickets, at www.ticketmaster.com, through the Ticketmaster hotline at 1-800-745-3000, or at your local Ticketmaster outlet.
The Games are being broadcast on NBC Sports, which marks the largest commitment to network coverage of equestrian sport in U.S. television history. The 2010 Games are expected to have a statewide economic impact of $167 million, and current sponsors include Alltech, Rolex, John Deere, Ariat International, Inc., Meydan, Kentucky Ale, and Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. For more information on the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games please visit, www.alltechfeigames.com.