Gaithersburg, Maryland - Popular for their excellent footing and galloping tracks, CDCTA is excited to make some changes that will be introduced in the spring of 2015. Mike Mendell is CDCTA’s new organizer who brings not only experience at the upper-levels of eventing, but also a level of professionalism that has allowed him excel as a trainer and instructor. Mike has competed through the CCI4* level (long format) and spent two years riding, training and competing overseas.
“I was delighted to hear that Mike Mendell had assumed the role of organizer of the CDCTA Horse Trials,” said Jo Whitehouse, USEA CEO. “I have known Mike for many years, and he brings a vast amount of knowledge and expertise in eventing to the role. Mike is as passionate about the sport at the lower-levels as he is at the upper-levels. With his wife, Lisa, he breeds and trains young horses and will ensure that the event meets the needs of both the entry level horse and rider, as well as those moving up.”
Lisa has a long list of accomplishments as well. She has competed at the Advanced level, was a member of the 1999 CCI1* long format Young Rider team, was the 2006 Area II Preliminary Champion and in 2011 she won her USDF Bronze Medal. Both Mike and Lisa bring a depth of eventing expertise that will continue to make CDCTA’s horse trials one of the best in Area II.
Jon Wells is a well-known course designer who has been responsible for the building and designing of courses at the Foxhall Cup, the Virginia Horse Trials and the Maui Jim Horse Trials. He has also been the designer for the American Eventing Championships, the Middle Tennessee Pony Club Horse Trials, Windridge Horse Trials, Indiana Eventing Association Classic 3-Day and Horse Trials, the Penny Oaks Horse Trials and the FENCE Horse Trials.
“Jon brings years of experience as a designer and builder and has worked on events all over the U.S.,” said Jo Whitehouse. “He has a very good understanding and sympathy for providing a welcoming and educational experience for everyone.” His vast resume shows tremendous knowledge of the sport that CDCTA is thrilled to have showcased in the spring.
The new spring competition dates for 2015 are back-to-back: Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, April 19th. The purpose is to have a CDCTA I and CDCTA II for horses and riders planning to move up a level. There will be open divisions offered on both weekends with cross-country courses guaranteed to be suitable for each level.
CDCTA is a Northern Virginia-based, dressage and eventing, volunteer driven 501(c)(3), non-profit member organization. They have recently been notified that their dressage and eventing programs will be participating the Virginia Horse Industry Board “Virginia Bred” program. Their purpose is to promote and encourage a high standard of horsemanship and sportsmanship with particular emphasis on dressage and combined training throughout the Virginia area, primarily through educational programs. The horse trials are volunteer run with all profits used to underwrite team competitions, scholarships, clinics and a year-end awards program.
Following yesterday’s downpour, the temperatures for the final jog this morning were brisk but the CCI5*-L horses remained professional for the last horse inspection leading into show jumping later today. Of the 35 pairs set to move forward with the final phase of competition, only 34 presented to judges Angela Tucker (GBR), Martin Plewa (GER), and Mark Weissbecker after Lisa Marie Fergusson opted not to bring forward her own 15-year-old Welsh/Thoroughbred gelding (Brynarian Brennin x Dream Contessa) Honor Me.
After a jam-packed week, the final day of competition at the Maryland 5 Star is upon us. Riders have shown off their style in the horse inspection, danced their way down the centerline in dressage, and contested some serious obstacles in cross-country up until this point. Now it's time to demonstrate the fitness and accuracy that each horse possesses in the final phase: show jumping.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.