Fair Hill Foundation leads an exciting public private partnership aimed at revitalizing and enhancing equestrian facilities at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area (NRMA). Planned facility improvements will produce a home for the 2020 CCI5* Event, and serve a broad base of existing user groups, among them the Eventing, Steeplechase and Turf Racing communities at Fair Hill.
Construction goals, slated to start later this spring, include a realigned, resurfaced and irrigated turf racecourse, competition rings with artificial footing, and a new Eventing CCI5* Cross Country Course.
Upgrades are concentrated within a 300-acre parcel of the over 5600-acre NRMA. The 300 acres comprise the Special Events Zone, and feature a historic turf course, shed row barns, and serve several large outdoor events each year.
Keep up to date on the project by visiting us at www.fairhillfoundation.org
Readying the CCI5* Event
Fair Hill International has a proud 30-year history of excellence in Eventing and is regarded as one of the top CCI4*-L (formerly CCI3*) competitions in the world. Fair Hill partners are underway to make the shift from CCI4*-L to CCI5*.
Ian Stark has been hired to design a new, world-class cross-country course using the Saw Mill field, timber and turf courses (the former long-format Roads & Tracks land). Stark expects the inaugural course to start and finish front of the grandstand, allowing spectators commanding views of obstacles without leaving their seats. During Stark’s March 2019 working trip to Fair Hill, he noted that he is impressed with the site's undulating, natural terrain, and that there are amazing options on the new site.
The CCI5* event is being produced by the CCI5* Organizing Committee and facilitated by Maryland Sports Commission (MSC). The 5* Committee is a collaboration between MSC, Fair Hill International, Maryland Horse Industry Board, Fair Hill Foundation and other state and local partners. MSC devotes itself to developing national and international sporting events in Maryland. To-date work includes the Army Navy Games (2011, 2014 & 2016) the World Football Challenge (2009), and more. Using the strengths of each partner, Fair Hill will help domestic and international Eventing reach new heights.
Some of the changes that are underway for the CCI5*:
The competition site will move from the current CCI4*-L location on Gallaher Road to the turf course area to utilize upgraded infrastructure.
Dressage and show jumping phases will take place in a new arena in front of the existing grandstand.
Additional overlaid temporary facilities will augment permanent upgrades.
In 2017, United States Equestrian Federation recommended the Fair Hill International partnership to host the next international CCI5* event. The USEF competitive bid process yielded the recommendation. The strength of Fair Hill’s bid was due to several factors, among them:
Fair Hill International hosts many other events, clinics, and schooling opportunities throughout the year. These include 6 recognized and schooling horse trials, a sanctioned Endurance competition, a combined driving event, and up to 12 scheduled cross-country schoolings.
Please visit fairhillinternational.com for a complete listing of all events.
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.
The forecasted downpours held off until the last horse and rider crossed the finish flags during the CCI5*-L cross-country at the Maryland 5 Star today, confirming the event’s decision to move up the start. The majority of riders had sunny skies and a cool breeze as backdrop to tackle Ian Stark’s five-star course across the sprawling grounds at Fair Hill in Elkton, Md. Before cross-country there was much chatter about the testing terrain, but 11 pairs managed to make the time despite the hills. At the end of the day, the top three riders held onto their podium positions going into show jumping tomorrow with overnight leader Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class (Ramiro B x The Swallow) impressing all who watched at each and every question.
It's the day we have all been waiting for, cross-country day at the inaugural Maryland 5 Star! Both the CCI5*-L and CCI3*-L field will contest Ian Stark's terrain-filled track across the historic grounds at Fair Hill today and there is lots of chatter about how the questions, terrain, and time allowed might impact the current placings.
Chris Talley came into the Dutta Corp USEA YEH East Coast 5-year-old Championships knowing that the Corwin Sport Horse LLC’s owned 5-year-old Hanoverian mare Gina (Gentleman x Ballerina) possessed a lot of quality, but to emerge victorious out of the 42 horse field was an absolute treat for the pair.