Live Oak International Slam Dunks!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to cover Live Oak International. From Wednesday to Sunday they had major events in combined driving and international show jumping. Teams & riders from all over the US and world came to Ocala to bask in the sunshine and compete for some huge prizes and major money.

Competitors in the combined driving stated in the press conference that the courses were of international par. The courses asked good questions of the teams & their horses & despite it being challenging, their 5 days at LOI were extremely enjoyable. Marty Bauman spoke for many competitors when he said that if they came here and nothing went right for them at all, that they still would have had an incredible experience.

This satisfaction is partly due to a wonderful host, Chester Weber along with a wonderful Live Oak International team. Chester won the FEI Four in Hand Horse. Pictured below from left to right are the Live Oak International Combined Driving winners; Chester Weber (FEI Four in Hand Horse), Steve Wilson (FEI Pair Horse), Katie Whaley, US Equestrian team member and winner of the FEI Pair Pony and last but certainly not least, the winner of the FEI Single Pony, Tracey Morgan.

Weber, Wilson, Whaley & Morgan – winners of the combined driving at Live Oak International 2017. 

Moving on to show jumping; the next major event of the week was the  $35,000 Sovaro International Show Jumping Competition (1.50m).

This was probably one of the biggest classes I have seen in a long time with 59 riders. Of those 59 riders, there were 14 clears that moved on to the jump off. There were riders from everywhere from New Zealand & Australia, to Ireland, France, Germany, Venezuela, Columbia and, of course, the USA & Canada.

Crowd favourite from Ireland, Cian O’Connor rode a perfectly clear round in 81.88 seconds.

Cian O’Connor of Ireland jumping in the $35,000 Sovaro Int’l Jumping 1.50m

It was an intense round of jumping during the jump off between the 14 riders fighting for the $35,000. Top notch riders, top notch horses. In the end it came down to Andrew Ramsay of the USA & his horse, Stranger winning the $35,000 Sovaro International Jumping Competition.

Hosts Chloe Reid & Chester Weber standing with winner Andrew Ramsay & Stranger. 

Fellow US rider, Devin Ryan, came in as Reserve Champion. Both Ramsay & Ryan showed incredible skill throughout the course so please join me in congratulating them both on their success during the $35,000 Sovaro International Jumping Competition.

LOI 4.jpg
Andrew Ramsay (left) & Reserve Champion, Devin Ryan (right). 

If you would like to hear & see the full press conference from the combined driving and show jumping, head on over to International Cowgirl | Facebook to see the videos. Don’t forget to like our page as you will get to see a lot of behind the scenes & more video interviews at all of the events we cover this year from rodeo to international shows such as Live Oak International.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Live Oak International which includes combined driving cones and the $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Qualifier! Exciting stuff!

As always, thanks for stopping by & God Bless!

~~International Cowgirl 

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