The last ever CCI4*-L at the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event is set to begin this afternoon in Elkton, Md. with the first horse inspection. After 31 years of hosting a CCI4*-L (previously CCI3*), Fair Hill says farewell to the level and hello to the CCI5*. In 2020 Fair Hill will host the Maryland Five-Star and will also run the CCI3*-L. So who will be the final CCI4*-L winner?
49 horses are entered in the CCI4*-L – eight more than in 2018 and the largest CCI4*-L by far in North America. The CCI3*-L will see 63 horses start – just three less than less year.
The highest placing returning pair from last year is Jenny Caras and Fernhill Fortitude, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Courage II x Misty Matilda), finished fourth in 2018. This will also be their sixth year in a row competing at Fair Hill (CCI3*-L in 2014 and 2015, CCI4*-L in 2016, 2017, and 2018).
The 2015 Fair Hill CCI3* winner – Jennifer Brannigan is returning to try and win the title again. This time with Twilightslastgleam, Nina Gardner’s 9-year-old Thoroughbred gelding (National Anthem x Royal Child), who finished second in the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships as a 4-year-old and seventh as a 5-year-old.
Fylicia Barr and Galloway Sunrise are looking for their second CCI4*-L victory this year – Shannon Barr’s 11-year-old American Warmblood mare (Duty Officer x Coco Chanel) won the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event in May. They are the only 2019 CCI4*-L winning pair entered in the field.
While Boyd Martin is sitting out Fair Hill this year due to an injury he sustained at Plantation Field last month, two of his old partners are returning to the CCI4*-L with riders making their debut at the level. Steady Eddie finished fourth in the 2015 CCI3* and is competing this year with Mike Pendleton and Master Frisky finished second in the CCI3* in 2014 and is now being ridden by Emma Lomangino.
Phillip Dutton is back in the CCI4*-L at Fair Hill after a two-year absence. He has two horses entered including his 2018 World Equestrian Games partner, Z, who is coming off a win at the Stable View CCI4*-S. Dutton has won Fair Hill two times (2004 and 2007) and both wins came with the same horse – The Foreman.
There are 12 horses making their CCI4*-L debut: Watson GS, Dondante, Twilightslastgleam, Anakin, Early Review C, Serendipity, Clarissa Purisima, Newmarket Jack, QC Diamantaire, BGS Firecracker, Regiment, and Princess B.
Nine riders are entered in their first CCI4*-L: McKenzie Cumbea, Mia Farley, Mallory Hogan, Megan Kepferle, Emma Lomangino, Alexandra McLeod, Brooke Massie, Mike Pendleton, and Sydney Solomon.
The CCI4*-L President of the Ground Jury is Martin Plewa (GER) and he will be joined by Angela Tucker (GBR) and Robert Stevenson (USA). The CCI3*-L President is Helen Brettell (GBR) and she will be joined by Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride (USA).
The cross-country course will be designed by Derek di Grazia.
The show jumping course designer is Marc Donovan.
Riders will perform FEI Four-Star Test B and FEI Three-Star Test B.
$50,000 in prize money is on offer with $35,000 for the CCI4*-L and $15,000 for the CCI3*-L.
The event also serves as the USEF National Four-Star Championship with a trophy and ribbons for the highest-placed U.S. riders.
Fair Hill also is the venue for the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships which will run on Thursday and Friday.
Wednesday, October 16
1:00 p.m. – First horse inspection (CCI3*-L and then CCI4*-L)
The University of Findlay’s Three-Day Eventing Team was established in 2013, the same year USEA voted and approved the USEA intercollegiate program. The UF team has over 30 members encompassing a variety of majors at the university. The team has access to two indoor arenas, a large outdoor arena, and 70 acres of on-site cross-country fences.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.
The US Equestrian Federation is accepting bid applications to host the 2021 and 2022 North American Youth Championships (NAYC) for Eventing. US Equestrian must receive completed bids on or before Friday, March 27, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. EDT for consideration.
Pan Am Games team gold medalist Tamra Smith and Mai Baum and five-star pairs Andrea Baxter and Indy 500 and Frankie Thieriot Stutes and Chatwin headline a strong Advanced field when Twin Rivers begins an exciting season of eventing competition this weekend.
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