Fair Hill, MD - October 15, 2015 - Competitors and spectators were greeted to a full day of competition and beautiful autumn weather at the opening of The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International CCI3* and CCI2* Championships at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area on Thursday.
Following the first day of dressage competition, Kim Severson of Charlottesville, Va. and Cooley Cross Border, owned by The Cross Syndicate, lead the CCI3* with a score of 45.8 penalties. Buck Davidson of Ocala, Fla. on Wiley Post, owned by Lisa Darden, is currently second scoring 49.0 penalties and Marilyn Little of Frederick, Md. is third on Raylyn Farm's RF West Indie with 52.4.
In the CCI2* Peter Barry, Quebec, CAN, riding his own Long Island T, is on top of the leaderboard with 44.5 penalties. While Barry had mixed emotions about his test, he valued the experience that his horse will gain.
"It was a nice test. He was good and relaxed. I maybe had warmed him up a little bit too long. At the end he felt a little bit more subdued that I wanted him, but he worked very well," said Barry. "This is a very important show on the calendar. I walked the [cross country] course and feel that my horse will grow up and feel like a bigger horse. It is a very nice course, the footing is very nice. I feel it is an important step in his education going forward."
Phillip Dutton of West Grove, PA and Z are second in the CCI2* with 45.3 penalties and Doug Payne on his own Lysander is third scoring 46.6. Dutton agreed that Fair Hill was valuable.
"I think this is a championship course and a great education for the horses and riders. We are fortunate to have in this country a real proper two-star and three-star [competition] to finish the year on."
Dressage competition resumes at 8:00 a.m. Friday, with the second half of the CCI2* and CCI3* competitors performing their tests for their respective international Ground Juries. Competition officials this year for the CCI*** include President Nick Burton (GBR), and members Christina Klingspor (SWE) and Gretchen Butts (USA). Judging the CCI** are President Angela Tucker (GBR) and Mark Weissbecker (USA). Rounding out the international panels are Technical Delegate Jonathan Clissold (GBR) and Assistant Technical Delegate Andrew Temkin (USA).
Visitors to the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country can once again look forward to the fashionable Country Shops, which feature over 40 vendors selling tack, jewelry, artwork, pet needs, exceptional apparel and fine gifts for the approaching holiday seasons. The VIP Tent offers fine dining, while visitors seeking a more casual snack or meal will find pubs around the Fair Hill grounds serving classic Maryland crab cakes and other treats. Local band John & Friends will be appearing at the food court during lunch on Saturday, sharing a taste of old-time Appalachian music. On Sunday, the Riverside Carnival Band, one of the mid-Atlantic's leading New Orleans jazz bands, will be performing throughout the day.
The always popular Kid's Corner is located just inside the main gate, offering a variety of activities for the younger set. Mike Depuy returns with his Art and Sport of Falconry demonstration on Saturday, including several live birds of prey. Miniature horses will be performing on Saturday, courtesy of the DelMarva Miniature Horse Club.
The crowd-favorite canine demonstrations will be highlighted with some new and exciting opportunities for dog owners. Dog Agility demonstrations and free mini-lessons will be offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Frisbee dogs are returning this year. The Appalachian Air Canines Frisbee dog club will run three games on Saturday up by the VIP tent.
The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital of Cecil County, in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.
For more information on this year's Fair Hill, including how to purchase tickets and complete schedule information, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.