March 23, 2006 -- Chester Weber of Ocala, Fla., bested a field of five international drivers to win the CAI-A Live Oak CDE held March 16-19.
Weber was named the U.S. Equestrian Federation National Four-in-Hand Champion for 2006 and won his fourth consecutive Vanderbilt Trophy from the USET Foundation. Reserve champion was Tucker S. Johnson of Hobe Sound, Fla.
When asked about his fourth consecutive national championship win Weber said, "I am fortunate enough to have a superb group of horses and a wonderful crew."
Thursday's dressage score of 40.96 gave Weber the early lead which he never relinquished. Weber extended his lead with a 107.18 posted on Saturday's marathon and a 6.88 posted on Sunday's cones course. He secured his win with a final score of 155.02.
Johnson received the USEF silver medal with a total score of 191.56. The USEF bronze medal winner was James Fairclough of Newton, Vt., with a score of 200.72. Fourth place went to James Richards of Atlanta, Ga., with a score of 244.59, and fifth place was awarded to Gary Stover of Southern Pines, N.C., with a score of 263.51.
CAI-A Ocala was the first of four North American Selection Trials for the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games to be held this August in Aachen, Germany.
Single-horse driver Fred Merriam of Newfane, Vt., driving Connie and Bill Willey's Gaitwood Lightwing, scored the only double clear cones round of the FEI competition. By acing the cones competition, Fred moved from fifth place after the marathon to win the first USEF Selection Trial for the 2006 World Singles Championship. That championship will be held in Patroni del Vivaro, Italy this September.
Complete results for the CAI-A Live Oak CDE are at www.cailiveoak.com.