December 6, 2022

FOUR USEF NATIONAL CHAMPIONS

Live Oak Driving #ocala #liveoak #eliteequestrian

FOUR USEF NATIONAL CHAMPIONS WERE DETERMINED ON THE FINAL DAY OF COMPETITION AT LIVE OAK INTERNATIONAL

Driving continued at Live Oak International with competitors chasing top honors for USEF National Champion titles. Winning the USEF National Champion Advanced Single Pony was Jennifer Keeler with her pony Zeppo. Taking the USEF National Champion award for Advanced Pair Pony was Katie Whaley, with Mary Phelps winning the USEF National Champion for Four-in-Hand pony. The USEF National Champion Advanced Horse Pair went to Jacob Arnold. Live Oak Driving #ocala #liveoak #eliteequestrian

The cones phase started the morning at Live Oak International and was impressive once again. Jennifer Keeler’s Zeppo stepped up to the challenge and secured the championship spot.
“It’s a remarkable story with Zeppo. He is only 11 but was diagnosed with a metabolic condition. He had a flare up three months ago, and even coming to Florida let alone competing at this National Championship which of course was the goal, was very much in doubt. So, the fact that he has rebounded to be here today, to win this, is just an incredible testimonial to the heart of this pony. We did two competitions to prepare for this, we felt confident, but it was an incredible field of competitors,” said Jennifer Keeler.

Katie Whaley was thrilled with her result today in the cones phase which finalized her USEF Championship for Advanced Pair Pony.

“Driving down the road to come to Live Oak International is like Christmas morning. They make you feel special here. My young pony, Timmy this was only his third show in his life. To bump him up here for him to go FEI, and for him to do the dressage and the cones with this atmosphere I was so thrilled. I am really excited about this young pony,” said Katie Whaley.

Familiar Live Oak International competitor, Mary Phelps stepped into a different category this year competing in the Four-in-Hand Pony for the first time at the tournament and only the second time in the division ever.

“My first Live Oak International with a four in hand. When I started driving Four-in-Hand, I thought we can do this, and we also only had one event before here, and I was blessed to have my trainer here, and he coached me through the week. It was a big step, four in hand at live oak and we did it!” Said Mary Phelps.

Jacob Arnold brought a younger team to Live Oak International this year, but the inexperience didn’t hinder his results.

“I was super pleased; with the dressage, I used a horse that had only done one test before. He honestly performed better than my more seasoned horse. To run three seven-year-olds at an FEI show, and to have this result I was really pleased,” said Jacob Arnold.

In addition to the USEF National Championships, 14 additional driving awards were presented. Chester Weber 18-time USEF Champion Four-in-Hand was among those for his win at Live Oak International in the FEI 3*.

For full Live Oak International driving results, visit here.

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