Articles: Press Release
United States Drivers Make History With Team Silver Medal Win at 2002 World Equestrian Games
Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810,
Jerez de la Frontera, Spain - September 21, 2002 - The United States
Drivers made history winning the team Silver Medal in the Four-In-Hand
Driving World Championship on Saturday at the 2002 World Equestrian
Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Until now the best finish for a
U.S. Four-In-Hand team at a World Championship was fourth in 1984 and
All three drivers on the U.S. team went clear in Saturday's concluding
Cones phase finishing with a three-phase score of 286.52 penalties. The
Netherlands won the Gold scoring 275.01 and the Bronze went to Germany
James Fairclough of Newton, NJ, driving a team owned by Jane Forbes
Clark, was the first to go for the U.S. team and set the tone by having
a double clear. Fairclough had bad luck in the first two phases and
really wanted to go clear to help the team.
"It was nice to go clear and take the pressure off the other guys," said
Fairclough. "I had a little bad luck the first two days and was the
drop score. I'm really glad I was able to do this for them. I have
been trying for twenty two years to get a Four-In-Hand medal. It's nice
to finally have one to hang on the wall."
By the time Chester Weber of Ocala, FL drove his team in the
cones phase, the Gold Medal was already won. A clear go by Weber would
clinch the Silver for the U.S., but Weber also wanted the U.S.E.T.
Four-In-Hand Championship title which was to go to the top U.S. finisher
at these World Championships.
"I knew I could go clear," said Weber. "I wanted to do well
for the team, but I also wanted to win the National title. It was
between Tucker and me and although we are friends on the ground, we
fight in the carriage. It was great to be on this team though we are
all such good friends."
Weber finished fifth with a score of 143.33.
Tucker Johnson of Hobe Sound, FL, driving a team he co-owns with Mr. and
Mrs. James L. Johnson was the final driver for the U.S. The team medal
had already been won, but in fourth place and with the top three yet to
go, an individual medal was still a possibility as was an unprecedented
sixth USET Four-In-Hand Championship. Unfortunately, the order stayed
the same and Johnson finished fourth, clinching the USET title with a
score of 143,19, but the team medal was still very special.
"This medal was very meaningful for us and for driving in the States,"
said Johnson. "The United States Equestrian Team (USET) made a huge
effort to support driving and that made a difference. I was a little
disappointed in my performance in Dressage and Cross Country. I know I
have a better World Championship performance in me."
Ijsbrand Chardon of the Netherlands won his third World Championship
Four-In-Hand title with a score of 134.30. Christoph Sandmann of
Germany had half a time fault, but his score of 136.07 was still good
enough for the Silver. The defending World Champion Tomas Eriksson of
Sweden dropped a ball and incurred five penalties, but stayed in third
for the Bronze with 140.67.
Comprehensive coverage of all World Equestrian Games competition is
available on the USET website at
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects,
trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to
represent our country in major international competition, including the
Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this the USET seeks
out and nurtures the development of talented athletes - riders, drivers and
horses - and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain
their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call
(908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.