Live Oak International event begins next week
Live Oak Plantation just around the corner from Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club opens its gates to the public to host the prestigious Live Oak International event March 9 – 12, offering guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the stunning 5,000-acre Live Oak Plantation.
The farm, owned by Charlotte Weber, is open to the public for just one week every year, exclusively for this world-class event.
The plantation’s backdrop provides a beautiful setting for the competition, including exciting hospitality amenities and tailgating opportunities along the challenging driving course.
This Combined Driving event celebrates its 26th year, starting from humble beginnings to now the most popular equine event in Ocala, and the largest Combined Driving and Show Jumping equine event of its kind in the country. Live Oak International features the best drivers, show jumpers, trainers and coaches from around the world competing amongst the rolling fields and stately oaks of this exquisite plantation.
Combined Driving is an equestrian sport involving carriage driving whereby drivers sit on a vehicle drawn by a single horse, a pair or a team of four. The sport has three phases:
- Similar to dressage under saddle class, Dressage is the art of driving and training horses in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility and balance. Horses are judged on ability to move in harmony and similar conformation, action and movement.
- The goal is to make this look effortless and obedient. The horses, carriage and driver are judged on their turnout, safety, cleanliness, general condition and impression of the horses, tack and vehicle.
- The drivers, grooms and passengers should be clean and smartly dressed and conform to the standards of the competition, including brown gloves worn by the driver and groom. Horses should be clean and well-conditioned and similar size and type and matching color, sometimes.
Cross Country Marathon
- The Marathon is measured on the speed and endurance of the team. It tests the fitness and stamina of the horses as well as the driver’s knowledge of the pace.
- This can be a 10- to 22-kilometer course and is the most thrilling phase to watch, often drawing the largest crowds, particularly near the water hazard.
- This ideal location will be where Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club’s tent will be positioned during the event.
Obstacle Cone Driving
- The obstacle cone-driving phase is a test of accuracy, speed and obedience.
- The horse and driver team negotiates a course of up to 20 pairs of cones, each cone having a balanced ball on top.
- The cones section is timed and going over the time set for the driver’s class will result in penalties.
Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier
This jumping event attracts the top riders, including Olympic gold medalists and thousands of spectators competing for qualifying points to the World Cup Show Jumping finals featured in Omaha, Nebraska, this month.
Finally, for those who like to challenge themselves, Live Oak International offers a 5K for run/walk on Sunday, March 12, beginning at 8 a.m.
Live Oak International is spectator friendly and offers variety and scenery for everyone, from the professional horsemen to the horse novice. For more information and tickets, visit LiveOakInternational.com.
Live Oak International Complimentary Tickets
As a proud sponsor of Live Oak International, Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club is giving away general admission tickets for the events available on a first-come, first-served basis to Golden Ocala members. Due to high demand and the limited amount of VIP Tickets, there is a lottery drawing. Just call (352) 629-6229 or send an email to Kindel Carpenter to request up to two complimentary tickets per person for one day during the March 9 – 12 tournament.
Better hurry though because you have just one week — until Monday, March 6 — to enter the lottery. VIP Tickets are non-transferable to other members or non-members. Winners will be notified on March 7 and advised as to where and when to pick up their tickets. Good luck!