Horse Rescued from Slaughter Named 2008 Farnam® / Platform® USEF Horse of the Year.

Chester Weber driving his award-winning four-in-hand team, including Jamaica
Chester Weber driving his award-winning four-in-hand team, including Jamaica

Jamaica, a 17-year old Dutch Warmblood, nearly ended up on a dinner plate in Belgium. Instead, he flourished as one horse in Chester Weber’s four-in-hand combined driving team and has now received the ultimate honor. Selected from among all USEF breeds and disciplines, he was named the nation’s most exceptional horse for 2008.

Jamaica’s story is so amazing because he came so close to being slaughtered. Owned by a butcher, he was spared from his intended fate because he developed a skin infection. Afraid that Jamaica would infect other horses or contaminate his workplace, the butcher sold Jamaica as a carriage horse destined to give tourists city tours.

Jamaica proved unsuited to the leisurely pace required for carriage tours and too restless to stand while people climbed in and out of his carriage. Luckily for him, word filtered back to champion driver Chester Weber who was in Europe on a horse buying trip. Weber drove seven hours to Belgium and arranged to take the horse on trial to assess his suitability in a four-in-hand team. Jamaica had finally found his calling: just three weeks later Weber took him to his first competition.

Combined driving is exciting, one of the fastest growing contemporary equestrian sports, as well as it’s oldest. Similar to eventing, it has three phases: dressage, cross country and cones. It became an FEI discipline in 1970.

To give you a sense of the excitement, watch this video of Chester Weber competing at an indoor event in Toronto. Hold onto your hats!

Other articles:

Once destined for slaughter, Weber’s Jamaica now on equestrian pedestal

JAMAICA NAMED 2008 FARNAM® / PLATFORM® • USEF HORSE OF THE YEAR: Honor Recognizes the Nation’s Most Exceptional Horse

Chester Weber’s Jamaica: A real life rags-to-riches “Black Beauty”

3 thoughts on “Horse Rescued from Slaughter Named 2008 Farnam® / Platform® USEF Horse of the Year.

  1. Holy cow! Now I want to do combined driving! My current trainer came up that way, driving Morgans. Maybe that’s the way to go if my back does not allow anything else. I’m a sucker for the adrenaline rush! How exciting!
    I’m so glad for Jamaica. Horse slaughter is just plain WRONG.

  2. Our mission is to rescue and rehabilitate animals, particularly horses, that have been injured, abused, neglected, abandoned or orphaned. We carry out this mission by providing good nutrition, medical care and emotional support in a safe and nurturing environment.

    It takes a lot of time, work and financial resources to operate any type of rescue. Animals that find their way to your door often need a lot in the way of physical care, emotional support and medical treatment. They also need shelter and room to exercise. Shelters and exercise areas need to be erected and maintained.

    Together we can make big difference.

    For more details on Help Equin Rescue



Leave a Reply