Aug 18, 2021

Fast Facts: 2021 Great Meadow International

By Leslie Mintz - USEA Staff
Will Coleman and Off The Record are looking for their second GMI win. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

Great Meadow, a 374-acre equestrian event park in The Plains, Va., opened in 1984 as the venue for the prestigious Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase races and would go on to host hundreds of events from polo to fireworks. In 2014 Great Meadow held a prep trial for the World Equestrian Games and the following year had its first CIC3* (now CCI4*-S). From 2016-2018 Great Meadow International was a leg of the FEI Eventing Nations Cup, and in 2019 the event moved to an August date and started offering a full schedule of FEI classes. This year the MARS Great Meadow International (GMI) will be held from August 19-22 with four levels: CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S, and Preliminary. Learn more about GMI in their Events A-Z.

GMI entries broken down by division.

The Field

  • Entries are down about 20 from 2020, when it was the first CCI4*-S hosted following the COVID-19 shutdown.
  • Will Coleman and Off The Record are the only previous GMI CCI4*-S winners returning this year – the pair won in 2018 and finished second in 2020. He is looking to match Cambalda as the only horse to have won the event two times.
  • Sharon White and Claus 63 won the CCI3*-L last year and made their CCI4*-S debut in April at Chattahoochee Hills with a 13th place finish.
  • Nearly 30 percent of the four-star horses are entered in their first event at the level. It is the first four-star for both horse and rider for Isabelle Bosley aboard Night Quality and Jill Thomas with Obos Darko. Boyd Martin is debuting three horses at the four-star level: Fernhill Prezley, Penhill Celtic, and Wabanaki. Seven other horses are making their first four-star start: Belongs to Teufer, Bronte Beach Z, C Me Fly, Chin Tonic HS, Cooley Candyman, Dassett Olympus, and Quasi Cool.
The CCI4*-S ages range from 8 to 19.
  • Ema Klugman is riding the oldest horse and one of the youngest horses in the CCI4*-S – 19-year-old Bendingo and 8-year-old Bronte Beach Z.
  • Donner, Lynn Symansky’s great campaigner who twice finished second in the CCI4*-S, is entered in the Preliminary for his first competition since the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

How to Follow Along

Irish Sport Horses are dominating the four-star entries.

The Facts

  • Robert Stevenson is the president of the ground jury for the CCI4*-S and is joined by Valerie Vizcarrondo Pride. Peter Gray and Amanda Miller will judge the CCI3*-S while Helen Brettell and Sarah Leary Miller will judge the CCI2*-S.
  • Gretchen Butts is the technical delegate and will be assisted by John Williams.
  • David O’Connor is the cross-country course designer.
  • Chris Barnard is the show jumping course designer.
  • The CCI4*-S is a qualifier for the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final that will take place at the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds.

The Competition Schedule

Thursday, August 19

  • 8:00 a.m. – Dressage (CCI2*-S and Preliminary)
  • 2:00 p.m. – Dressage (CCI3*-S)

Friday, August 20

  • 8:00 a.m. – Dressage (CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S)

Saturday, August 21

  • 8:00 a.m. – Show Jumping (Preliminary)
  • 10:00 a.m. – Show Jumping (CCI2*-S)
  • 11:30 a.m. – Cross-Country (Preliminary)
  • 12:18 p.m. – Show Jumping (CCI3*-S)
  • 1:30 p.m. – Cross-Country (CCI2*-S)
  • 3:22 p.m. – Show Jumping (CCI4*-S)

Sunday, August 22

  • 9:00 a.m. – Cross-Country (CCI3*-S)
  • 1:00 p.m. – Cross-Country (CCI4*-S)

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