As equestrian events pick up after a delayed 2020 season, the MARS Great Meadow International (MARSGMI) is pleased to announce a new CCI 3*-L division at its event, pending final approval from the USEF and FEI. The event is scheduled for August 20-23, 2020.
The CCI3*-L will run alongside GMI’s CCI2*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI4*-S. Event organizer Five Rings Eventing made the decision to add a CCI3*-L this year to give athletes an additional opportunity to obtain qualifications in light of the many event cancellations this year.
”We’re looking forward to welcoming the eventing community back to Northern Virginia’s horse country this August for the 2020 MARSGMI,” says David O’Connor of Five Rings Eventing. “This year has been challenging for everyone, and we’re excited to be able to offer a new CCI 3*-L to provide eventing athletes with an opportunity to earn their qualifications for the fall season, along with a safe and welcoming competition experience at Great Meadow.”
Also new for 2020, a national Preliminary division was added to open this one-of-a-kind event to more competitors.
MARSGMI will be run in compliance with all state and local health regulations as well as FEI regulation and the USEF COVID-19 Competition Action Plan. This compliance includes limiting spectators to people associated with the event, such as competitors and their connections and sponsors. Fortunately, there are a variety of socially distanced tailgating sponsorships at all price points to allow people to get involved and come to the event. Find out more about tailgating sponsorship opportunities by clicking here.
Volunteer opportunities are still available for the 2020 MARSGMI. Learn more and sign up here.
“We are grateful to the team at Great Meadow for stepping up to add a CCI3*-L to their existing competition,” said Jenni Autry, USEF Managing Director of Eventing. “Following cancellations due to COVID-19, this will be the first CCI3*-L that runs in North America in 2020. From a High Performance standpoint, it is critical for our younger, up-and-coming horses to have the opportunity to gain qualifications at the CCI3*-L level. This also creates the option for horses to compete at Great Meadow and go on to the Ocala Jockey Club in the fall."
Established in 2015, the MARS Great Meadow International is a three-day eventing competition held annually at the Great Meadow Foundation in The Plains, Virginia. The 2020 Great Meadow International will take place on August 20 to August 23. For information at MARS Great Meadow International, please visit www.greatmeadowinternational.com.
Five Rings Eventing is a high-performance event organizer and management company founded by Darrin Mollett and David O’Connor to enhance the sport of eventing in Northern Virginia and beyond. FRE’s mission is to provide exceptional competition opportunities for athletes and their equine partners to help them reach their individual goals, whether they are at the entry level to international competition or the highest level of team competition.
MARS Equestrian™ Sponsorship by Mars, Incorporated is the link between our iconic brands and the equestrian community. For generations, Mars has celebrated a rich equestrian heritage, and through purposeful partnerships, MARS Equestrian™ is committed to the sport and building an enduring legacy. From world-class competitions across all equestrian disciplines, to stewarding the power of horses on society and sustainability, MARS Equestrian™ is dedicated to our purpose to improve the lives of horses, pets, and the people who love them. For more information about MARS Equestrian, please visit www.marsequestrian.com.
All the major contenders passed the eventing final horse inspection at the Tokyo Olympics and will carry on to contest the show jumping phase in a few hours’ time.
The ground jury (Nick Burton, GBR, Christina Klingspor, SWE, and the U.S.A.’s Jane Hamlin) and vets only failed to accept one horse - Fantastic Frieda, ridden by Poland’s Joanna Pawlak, who had completed the cross-country in 41st place with a refusal and 25.2 time-faults.
The FEI has announced that the Swiss horse Jet Set, ridden by Robin Godel has had to be euthanized after pulling up extremely lame on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course during Equestrian Eventing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on August 1, 2021.
In 2002, at the age of 15, I was at my Aunt and Uncle’s farm in Maine while Tremaine Cooper was there building some cross-country jumps. I helped him build a trakehner, not realizing that this day would set the course for my future. A few weeks later he called asking if I could help him at Millbrook Horse Trials. From there I helped Tremaine during most of my school vacations and throughout the summers. After graduating high school I kept at it never looking back. I lived the gypsy lifestyle for about six years going from coast to coast and event to event. In 2013 my wife Kathryn and I settled down in Lexington, Kentucky. These days I spend roughly 60-75 percent of my time on the road preparing events or building private schooling areas. I’ve had the privilege of being involved with some really great events around the states and have cultivated many friendships all over the country. In 2019 I was asked to be a part of Team Evans Olympic cross-country building crew. As I write this I am on my third trip to Tokyo. Here’s a day in Tokyo . . .
The British team cemented their gold medal position at the Tokyo Olympics with three magnificent cross-country performances, all clear inside the time. Added to that, their first rider, Oliver Townend, holds pole position individually after the dressage leader, Germany’s Michael Jung, picked up 11 penalties for triggering a frangible device.