Dec 14, 2020

Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Confirms Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Official CCI5*-L Status

By Maryland 5 Star - Edited Press Release
Tim Bourke and Quality Time compete in Dressage at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill’s test event in August. Amy Dragoo Photo.

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill has been granted official CCI5*-L status following support from the Board and the Eventing Committee of the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI), the international governing body for equestrian sport. The inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill CCI5*-L is entered in the FEI Calendar for October 14-17, 2021. The formal ratification was received following the FEI’s evaluation of the host venue at a test event in August 2020 held at the newly constructed Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.

FEI officials were on-site at Fair Hill in August where competitors utilized the new Special Event Zone for the first time since construction was completed in February 2020. The CCI3*-S level event served as the test event for the Maryland 5 Star after the original test event planned for April was canceled because of the pandemic.

“The [CCI5*-L] designation is the top level of our sport and in turn, there is an extensive evaluation process that takes place in order to host such an event,” said Catrin Norinder, FEI Director of Eventing and Olympic. “Despite the challenges 2020 has presented, the organizers have made tremendous strides and met the necessary requirements to date, and the FEI Eventing Committee supported its inclusion in the FEI Calendar.”

In 2017, the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) board of directors selected Fair Hill as a potential host site for the newest CCI5*-L competition on the international eventing circuit. Last year, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved funding for the construction of the Fair Hill Special Event Zone to serve as the annual host site for the Maryland 5 Star. Phase One of the project was completed this year including the construction of a new cross-country course designed by renowned course designer Ian Stark (GBR), as well as new dressage and show jumping arenas located within the infield of the refurbished Turf Course at Fair Hill.

“On behalf of The Fair Hill Organizing Committee and our partner Fair Hill International, we want to thank the FEI for their continued support,” said Jeff Newman, FHOC President and CEO. “This validation of the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone to host a five-star level event is yet another exciting step forward as we gear up for the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill next fall.”

There are currently just six locations in the world hosting CCI5*-L rated events which are the pinnacle of the sport of eventing. Next year, the Fair Hill Special Event Zone will become the seventh venue to host a CCI5*-L and Maryland will join Kentucky as the second location in the United States.

“The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill will be a significant addition to our country’s eventing calendar and is the result of a major, multi-year initiative to bring a second CCI5*-L to the U.S.,” said Bill Moroney, Chief Executive Officer of US Equestrian. “This event is the culmination of that vision and we’re looking forward to working with the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill team to support a successful event in 2021 and beyond.”

The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill recently hosted a virtual event as part of Governor Larry Hogan’s proclamation of October as Maryland Horse Month. Exclusive content showcasing the Fair Hill Special Event Zone can still be viewed on the event’s website: https://maryland5star.us/gallery

About the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill

One of only two five-star events in the United States, and seventh worldwide, the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill will continue the storied legacy of Eventing at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Elkton, Maryland, located in Cecil County. The prestigious CCI5*-L designation is the pinnacle of the sport of eventing, also known as the equestrian triathlon. The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is produced by The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), and in partnership with Fair Hill International (FHI).

About the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.)

The Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland is a 501(c)(3) established in 2019 to further, promote, and move the State of Maryland forward through sports.

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