The Live Oak International Combined Driving Event began 20 years ago, and has grown to be one of the most prestigious horse events in the U.S. The Event began this weekend starting Thursday and will last until Sunday. Not like HITS (Horseshow In The Sun) that just concluded last week, that ran for 2 months, the Live Oak Event is only for one weekend each year. The 4,500-acre Live Oak Plantation is owned by Campbell’s Soup Billionaire heiress Charlotte Weber.
Traveling from all over America, as well as Internationally, over 80 competitors come for their chance of winning. The event features horse drawn carriages and their drivers as they compete through various obstacles. The carriages are driven through a cross-country course with water hazards, fences, tight twists and turns and other obstacles. They are being judged along the way, and must go as quickly as they can.
The event also features show jumping competitions this year. Since I just watched the Jumpers at HITS, I opted to stay focused on the Driving Events, and did not attend the Jumpers. However, I’m sure they were spectacular.
To read more information about the owner of the Live Oak Plantation, Charlotte Weber, click here.
On Friday night Live Oak Plantation had the Horse Fever II Auction, and raised over $200,000. The highest bid at the auction was for the Horse “Clock Fury” by Mark Hersshberger that sold for $13,000. The next highest bid was for $12,600, “World Champ” by Sharon Crute. And the third highest bid was for $11,800, ” Freedom Is Not Free” by Linda Happel. There were about 350 people that attended the Auction. The cost to attend the event was $75 per person. I was so surprised to see them today one last time as a group, before heading out to the buyers. I thought they were not open to the public there. The good thing is that most of the horses will remain in our county and the monies raised will also go to local charities.
As a new person attending this event for the first time, I found myself stopping and asking questions along the way. One the spectators I spoke with, Kelly Moutsatsos of Melbourne told me that her and her daughter were also involved in this sport. I was quite surprised how young her daughter was, since it’s a pretty tough sport. I guess when you start at a young age you become a professional early on (see them on the slide show).
Another person I met, Richard Moss with Equipment of Culture (European Style Artists) was a vendor in one of the tents. He and his partner Clark had some of the most beautiful artwork pieces I’ve seen of its kind. In business since 1990, the company has created functional art for clients ranging from luxury hotels to sophisticated homeowners, from Manhattan to Laguna Beach. To see more of their Art click here.
So, if you plan to go, be sure to wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared to do a lot of walking. At least you will get lots of good excerise.
Looking to purchase a home… I can sell any home in Marion County… call me today for more information regarding all your Real Estate needs.
Teresa Fikaris, (Realtor) Buyer’s Agent
Website click here
Visit me on Facebook click here
Going the extra mile with a smile!