High-performance eventing and the Great Meadow International (GMI) was brought to Northern Virginia through a partnership between the Great Meadow Foundation and Five Rings Eventing. Moving forward, Five Rings Eventing, founded by Darrin Mollett and David O’Connor, will be assuming complete management of GMI and bringing many changes for 2019.
New Date and More Levels
For 2019, the event moves dates from early July to August 22–25, 2019. Moreover, GMI will run not only as an FEI four-star competition (CCI4*-S) but also offer three-star and two-star levels (CCI3*-S and CCI2*-S). Adding these additional levels will increase the event to over 200 horses and four days of competition.
“This new date puts the Great Meadow International at the start of the autumn season, making it a launching point for FEI competitors preparing for the CCI-L season,” said David O’Connor. “Also for 2019, competitors will see the results of significant investments made in the footing that began in the summer of 2018.”
Fall Festival Experience
Increasing to four days of competition enhances the spectator experience and opportunities for the trade fair and sponsors of the event. “We are planning a fall festival experience,” said Darrin Mollett. “We want to bring the community a fun fall festival with dog agility competitions, polo exhibitions, live entertainment, and a beer garden. There will just happen to be a high-performance eventing competition happening at the same time.”
The same committee of local community patrons will come together again to plan and execute the event. The GMI committee has been together since 2014 and each member brings each of their respective talents to this growing event.
Focusing on the Community
The FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ is not returning in 2019. Although running a leg of this prestigious series has been extremely successful for the past three years, shipping teams from Europe has proven to be too much of a burden for this small event.
“Hosting a leg of the FEI [Eventing] Nations Cup of Eventing at GMI definitely increased the bar for this level of competition in the mid-Atlantic region,” said David O’Connor.
Being on the world stage brought huge improvements in the form of a state-of-the-art all-weather arena and a cross-country course designed by Michael Etherington-Smith. Now, these improvements can be enjoyed by not only elite competitors, but those developing horse and rider athletes at the lower FEI levels. By opening the event to larger numbers of competitors, GMI is able to service those riders in the community and showcase more of the local talent.
Corporate Presence and Partnership Opportunities
The larger event will allow companies the opportunity for an increased corporate presence, benefitting their clients while supporting GMI. “We are already working with existing partners to exceed their expectations as well as developing relationships with new partners for the event,” said O’Connor.
GMI will continue to offer live streaming of CCI4*-S competition, thereby creating increased exposure for partners. Additional partnership opportunities can be viewed by following this link.
For more information about the Great Meadow International, please visit greatmeadowinternational.com.
About the Great Meadow International
Established in 2014, the Great Meadow International is a three-day eventing competition held annually at the Great Meadow Foundation in The Plains, Virginia. In addition to the elite equestrian competition, the event features VIP hospitality, a trade fair, beer garden, and entertainment for the whole family. The 2019 Great Meadow International will take place on August 22 to August 25.
About Five Rings Eventing
Five Rings Eventing is a high-performance event organizer and management company founded by Darrin Mollett and David O’Connor. Five Rings Eventing managed the competition side of the Great Meadow International since the event's inception in 2014. Beginning in 2019, Five Rings Eventing will organize all aspects of the Great Meadow International.
The 2018 defending champions, Auburn University, sent three teams with 12 riders to the 2019 USEA Intercollegiate Championship at Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials in Fairburn, Georgia. The University has riders competing in the Beginner Novice, Novice, Training and Preliminary levels this weekend, and they have returned this year to defend their title.
The first Hylofit USEA Classic Series Three-Day Event of the 2019 season took place last month at the Fresno County Horse Park (FCHP) Horse Trials in Fresno, California. While five-star riders were busy galloping over the bluegrass at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, riders at FCHP were experiencing the thrill of endurance day, complete with the roads and tracks and steeplechase phases of the old long format three-day events.
The fourth annual USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championship kicks off tomorrow morning at the Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials in Fairburn, Georgia. There are a total of 22 teams from 16 schools entered to compete for the 2019 Championship title.
First up on the show this week is Fylicia Barr, winner of the Jersey Fresh International Three-Day Event CCI4*-L with her longtime partner Galloway Sunrise. Next, past USEA President Denny Emerson comes on the show to talk about the time he spent at the helm of the USEA.