Live Oak International starts Thursday

Published: Mar. 6, 2019 at 10:22 PM EST
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The horses will be rocking in Ocala this weekend as the 28th Annual Live Oak International gets underway Thursday.

The event involves several equestrian competitions in combined driving and shows jumping.

Here's what you can expect from one of the largest horse shows all year in the horse capital of the world.

It's 3 days of horses in their prime showing off their show jumping and combined driving skills. Set up as a family-friendly event it's a weekend fit for horse lovers and people who barely know anything about horses.

The competitions start on Thursday but the main show starts on Saturday at 9 am with a cross country carriage driving marathon.

Chester Weber is an event co-organizer who said, "you don't have to be a huge horse enthusiast if you've seen Ben Hur and you like to see horses run as fast as they can, through water, bridges, some you know natural elements it's really spectator friendly."

Chester Weber has won 15 four-in-hand horse driving championships. Although he gets the trophies, it's the horses who are the real athletes you'll want to see.

"I wouldn't be anything without my horses. I am such a lucky guy who gets to work with such a wonderful group of horses and we've amassed a lot of titles but without great horse flesh in front of you, it wouldn't go well. It'd be like you taking a Chevette to Daytona it wouldn't work."

The best of the best come to compete including Olympic gold medalists and of course their horses whether they be seasoned veterans or just learning the ropes.

" A typical horse in my program has an 8 to a 10-year career at the championship sports level. My horse, "Governor," this will be his second US national championship, he's a little bit young and inexperienced but we have high hopes for him."

This year's Live Oak international will feature two "US equestrian" national championships in the advanced four-in-hand horse and the advanced pair horse categories.

There will also be a "display of breeds" tent where spectators can learn more about and meet all kinds of different horses from a Shetland pony to the towering Clydesdale.