The Live Oak International combined driving and show jumping competition is renowned for attracting the best drivers and riders in the world. This year, the 32nd annual event, set for March 16-19, is expected to draw even more top-caliber competitors.
The tournament is the last leg before the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final in April and marks the return of the USEF Combined Driving National Championship for Advanced Four-in-Hand Horses, in which Live Oak International co-president Chester Weber will be competing for his 20th title.
The family’s competitive spirit may also be seen in top-ranked U.S. Show Jumping Team member Chloe D. Reid, who is Weber’s niece and co-president of the event. Reid recently returned from a summer in Europe with the U.S. team.
“I’m excited to come to Live Oak International and be able to compete on home ground and hopefully do really well in front of my family and friends,” Reid shares.
As for what competitors and spectators can expect, she says, “Chester is very much a visionary, and he always wants the event to be bigger and better.”
“For the sport side, we have increased the show jumping prize money, which will be attractive to the best international riders. Leading up to the World Cup Final on US soil, I know good riders who still need solid points from LOI to qualify, which will give us some top show jumping,” she shares.
With the return of the combined driving national championship, Reid notes that, “Chester is going for his 20th title, and it will be exciting for everyone to watch and cheer him on. The National Championship was held elsewhere last year, but the title has returned and we’re very excited and hope to do an amazing job in growing the sport.”
Live Oak International also will include a CSI1* division for young and upcoming show jumpers as well as a LOI youth driving division for the next generation of driving equestrians.
A big draw for spectators is sure to be the popular Budweiser Clydesdales, who “will be stabling at the show, performing in presentations and joining parties for photo-ops the whole weekend so people can see them up close,” Reid shares. “They are amazing!”
A great day for spectator viewing is Saturday, with the driving marathon, Budweiser Clydesdales presentation and show jumping.
“It’s a really good day to capture everything,” Reid offers.
“Sunday is the biggest day for show jumping, with the grand prix. And we’ll also have the Clydesdales again that day,” she adds.
The event, which takes place at Live Oak Stud, just west of Ocala, will include family-friendly activities, vendors, food trucks and VIP opportunities. General admission is $10 (free ages 6 and under), with free parking.
For more details and ticket options, including tailgating and VIP experiences, visit liveoakinternational.com