Wednesday, October 6, 2010
WEG Driving: Americans Sweep Presentation To Start Driving World Championships At Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
Lexington, KY—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.