There were originally 16 events scheduled at the CCI4*-S level for 2020, but only a total of seven remain on the U.S. calendar now. The Red Hills CCI4*-S took place in early March, but all CCI4*-S events were canceled since then. The Mars Great Meadow International (GMI) CCI4*-S is the first event back at this level and all eyes will be on The Plains, Va. from August 19-23. This is the second year that GMI will take place in August after running for three years in July as a leg of the FEI Nations Cup. Learn more about GMI in their Events A-Z and be sure to listen to the USEA Official Podcast’s preview show.
There are 223 entries this year – up 77 from 2019. The biggest division is the CCI4*-S with 69 entries followed by the CCI2*-S with 55 and the CCI3*-S with 46.
GMI added two new levels this year to its offerings. The CCI3*-L has 12 entered and the Preliminary will see 41 competitors.
Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda, Nina Gardner’s 18-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Balda Beau x Cathys Lady) are the only pair to have ever won the GMI CCI4*-S twice – taking home top honors in 2015 and 2017. Cambalda is returning this year in the CCI2*-S with current rider Maddie McElduff, and Brannigan has four mounts entered in the CCI4*-S: I Bella, Twilightslastgleam, Bliss III, and Stella Artois. The 2018 GMI CCI4*-S champions William Coleman and Off The Record (VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay), the Off the Record Syndicate’s 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding are entered, so are looking to match Brannigan’s title.
Covert Rights is the only horse from last year’s top five returning this year. Colleen Rutledge’s 14-year-old Thoroughbred-cross (BFF Incognito x Let's Get It Right) is making his third appearance at GMI – he finished third in 2015 and second in 2019. They won their last two CCI4*-S starts; can they win GMI in 2020?
Phillip Dutton will be the busiest rider in the CCI4*-S with a whopping five entries. He has his usual rides of Fernhill Singapore, Sea of Clouds, and Z and is also piloting two of Boyd Martin’s: Luke 140 (who is making his debut at the level) and Blackfoot Mystery (who is back at the level for the first time since the 2016 Olympics)
There are 13 horses making their debut at the CCI4*-S level: Ally KGO, Cashmere, CharmKing, Deal With It, Diamond Duette, Fantastique, FE Capricino, FE Coldplay, Flash Cooley, Luke 140, Mama’s Magic Way, R-Perfect Storm, and Tilikum.
The age of the horses in the CCI4*-S spans 10 years with three 18-year-olds in the field: Bendigo, Mistralou, and Veronica and four 8-year-olds: FE Coldplay, Flash Cooley, Miks Master C, and R-Perfect Storm.
Team horses from all of the last four major championships are competing at GMI: RF Cool Play (2019 Pan American Games), Z and Vermiculus (2018 WEG), Veronica and Blackfoot Mystery (2016 Olympics), and RF Scandalous (2015 Pan American Games)
CCI4*-S judges: Peter Gray (CAN) and Valerie Vizcarrando (USA); CCI3*-S, CCI3*-L, and Preliminary judges: Amanda Miller (USA) and Helen Brettel (GBR); CCI2*-S judges: Mark Weissbecker (USA) and Sara Leary Miller (USA).
Gretchen Butts (USA) and Mark Weissbecker (USA) are the technical delegates.
David O’Connor is the cross-country course designer and Chris Barnard is designing the show jumping course.
Great Meadow is organized by David O’Connor and Darrin Mollett (co-organizers) with Steve Symansky, Max Corcoran, Donna Devadas, Karen O’Connor, and Punkin Lee.
Strict COVID-19 policies will be in place at GMI with no spectators allowed and masks required at all times while on-site.
Horse & Country TV will provide a livestream of all three phases of the CCI4*-S and the show jumping and cross-country of the CCI3*-L, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, and Preliminary, with all covered rides available to watch on demand.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce two additional competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors to host CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle under the new Eventing Calendar Process. The Florida Horse Park has been allocated the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced levels on Week 16 and the Advanced level on Week 40.
If you take one look at Jim Moyer’s Facebook page, you will see it is filled with sweet sentiments from the lives he has touched through his work in the equine industry. Moyer’s involvement with horses began when he met his future wife Jean 50 years ago. As Jean went on to become a prominent instructor in eventing, Moyer found that their friend circle was full of horse people, so it was only natural that he should find his place in the community.
Horses and riders in 12 divisions, from Starter to CCI4*-S, tackled the show jumping phase of competition Sunday at The Event at TerraNova, over a track designed by Nick Granat in the world-class setting of the main arena. Prize money was awarded in all divisions.
USEA Official Podcast Host Nicole Brown looks back on a brilliant Maryland 5 Star with Jennie Brannigan, reflecting on her fourth-place finish and highlights of the inaugural running of the event. USEA CEO Rob Burk and USEA President Max Corcoran then join Nicole to look forward to the 2021 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention which takes place in December.
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