August 18, 2012 -- The U.S. team were men on a mission Saturday as they set out on the marathon at the 2012 FEI Four-in-Hand Driving World Championships in Reisenbeck, Germany. The United States have twice claimed the Team Silver medal at the FEI Four-in-Hand Driving World Championships (2002 and 2012) and are looking to add more hardware in Reisenbeck. They are within striking distance heading to the final cones phase on Sunday; currently standing fourth in the team standings just seven points behind Sweden. Chester Weber has also positioned himself for Individual honors as he will drive into the final phase in second place.
Reigning World Champions, The Netherlands, continue to head the field on a score of 253.74, with the Germans lying in Silver medal position on 261.05. Third placed Sweden heads into the cones with a score of 277.89, the U.S. is knocking on the door with 284.82. In the Individual standings, Australia's Boyd Exell is poised to repeat as World Champion as he leads the field on an overall score of 116.51. Lying in Silver medal position is Weber on a score of 127.80, followed by Georg von Stein of Germany on a score 132.83 in third.
Weber (Ocala, Fla.) was the first man out for the U.S. and drove his own Boy W, Para, and Horus du Bois and Jane Clark's Splash to an eighth place finish on the marathon. Weber, the leader following the dressage, completed the marathon with a score of 94.39.
Joe Yoder is making his debut for the U.S. at a Four-in-Hand World Championship and completed the marathon with a score of 145.90. Yoder, who has been training in Zwartewaal, The Netherlands, drove the de Ronde's Celena 6, Majoor, and Ruby as well as Misdee Wrigley Miller's Sarasko to a 42nd place marathon finish. He also stands 42nd individually with a score of 207.59.
The third and final driver for the U.S. was veteran Jimmy Fairclough (Newtown, N.J.) driving his own Charlie Brown, Coletto, and Kavango von Falkenstein as well as Patsy Wooten's Valentino. Fairclough scored 103.90 for a 17th place finish on the marathon. He now stands on an overall score of 157.02 to stand 16th overall.
Team and Individual Champions will be crowned Sunday at the conclusion of the cones phase, which gets underway at 10:30am local time.