The Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) is pleased to announce the creation of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland 501 (c)(3) established in 2019 to support the efforts of Maryland Sports, the State’s sports commission. The newly formed Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland’s (The Sport Corp.) first action was developing The Fair Hill Organizing Committee to successfully manage all aspects of the new Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L). The prestigious CCI5*-L is the pinnacle of the sport of eventing, also known as the equestrian triathlon, and will be only the second such event in the U.S. and seventh worldwide.
“In its first action, The Sport Corp., an affiliated foundation of Maryland Sports and MSA, developed The Fair Hill Organizing Committee to organize, provide fiscal oversight and lead the efforts to host the Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L),” said Tom Kelso, Chairman of the Maryland Stadium Authority. “The Sport Corp. is a non-profit moving Maryland forward through sports. Sports events like the CCI5*-L elevate the image of Maryland while enhancing the economic health and well-being of our state and its citizens.”
In addition to supporting the efforts of Maryland Sports by promoting regional, national, and international sporting events in the State of Maryland, The Sport Corp. can solicit and receive contributions from businesses, governmental, and non-profit entities, plus individuals interested in the promotion of sports in the state. This fundraising mechanism is a game-changer for Maryland Sports as it actively and successfully recruits and retains sporting events to the state.
At the 2019 Maryland Horse Forum, The Fair Hill Organizing Committee co-chairs Mike Hankin and Mike Gill introduced its new President and CEO, Jeff Newman. In his new role, Newman will build and lead a team to deliver, plan, manage, and oversee all aspects of the activities that take place at the CCI5*-L at Fair Hill. Newman will work in tandem with Terry Hasseltine, the Executive Director of Maryland Sports.
“The launch of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland is great news as we continue to aggressively promote the state as a destination for world-class sporting events," said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. "We are also thrilled to welcome the new President and CEO of the Fair Hill Organizing Committee and look forward to working closely with him as we work to grow Fair Hill as a premier location for international competitions."
Most recently, Newman served as Vice President of Global Partnerships at Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) where he worked to secure, activate, and foster partnerships within the MSE ecosystem, including the Washington Capitals (NHL), Wizards (NBA), Mystics (WNBA), Capital One Arena, and more. Prior to his role at MSE, Newman served as Vice President of Events & Experiential Sales for iHeartMedia’s Washington, D.C./ Baltimore market. He brings more than two decades of experience in event planning/management and corporate partnership development highlighted by his tenure as Senior Vice President of Events at Lagardère Sports and Entertainment having overseen many high-profile events, including his role as Tournament Director of the Citi Open professional tennis tournament for over 17 years.
"We are excited to announce the hiring of Jeff Newman as the President and CEO of The Fair Hill Organizing Committee that is responsible for producing the Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill starting in October 2020. This event is a tremendous opportunity for the region and the entire state. Bringing on a leader like Jeff will allow the Fair Hill Special Event Zone to maximize its opportunities and evolve into a world-class venue for equestrian related activities and more,” stated Michael Hankin and Mike Gill, co-chairs of The Fair Hill Organizing Committee. “In an outstanding public-private partnership, the Governor and the state of Maryland have made a significant commitment to the site through $20 million in improvements from both public and private sources. The Maryland Five-Star will be an important and significant international sporting event which will bring recognition and welcomed attention to equestrian and agricultural activities at Fair Hill and Maryland at large. These activities will have a tremendous economic impact annually once the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone is complete and fully operational."
Fair Hill International’s successful bid for the prestigious CCI5*-L three-day equestrian eventing competition resulted from a multi-year, state-wide public and private sector collaboration. The CCI5*-L event elevates Maryland’s rich equestrian tradition and leverages its current industry strength. The CCI5*-L event will attract participants and spectators from around the country and across the globe, providing Maryland with a significant economic impact.
At the request of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), MSA is providing design and engineering services for $20 million in site improvements at the Fair Hill Special Event Zone in preparation of hosting the CCI5*-L. The project includes upgrades to the turf equestrian course and turf timber course, installing three new equine arenas, infrastructure improvements required to support cross-country/trail development, and installing an irrigation system to support the turf course maintenance of the enhanced facilities.
“The Department of Natural Resources is excited to have Jeff Newman accept the role of President and CEO of the Fair Hill Organizing Committee and we are confident that his experience will be valuable as we continue to grow and expand the horse industry in Maryland,” said Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “Adding him to the team will also strengthen our partnership with the Maryland Stadium Authority and the Fair Hill Foundation as we prepare to host one of the most prestigious equine sporting events in the world.”
“Today’s announcements about the new Sport and Entertainment Corporation is exciting news for Maryland and its sports industry. Maryland Sports and the MSA look forward to working with The Fair Hill Organizing Committee in delivering a world-class venue and a world-class event to achieve the economic threshold we believe this event can have on Maryland” said Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of Maryland Sports and President of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland.
"The horse industry is a critical component of Maryland agriculture — from horseracing and competitions to the nearly 800 stables that teach lessons, board horses and provide therapeutic riding opportunities for thousands of Marylanders," said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. "These sectors have an economic impact of more than $1.3 billion and affect over 21,000 jobs statewide. Maryland is also home to more horses per square mile than any other state and our equine community preserves over 88,000 acres of farmland. With such a thriving horse industry, it is only fitting that Maryland has a multi-discipline, world-class equestrian competition facility, and that's what is being built at Fair Hill."
Once established, the annual economic benefit of the CCI5*-L to Maryland is projected to grow to up to $30 million dollars and welcome upwards of 80,000 spectators over four thrilling days of entertainment and the highest level of competition in the sport of eventing annually.
It's been a long road, but we've finally arrived at the end! In June of 2017, the USEA undertook a project - to tell the story of each of the currently active USEA recognized events, starting at the beginning of the alphabet and working our way all the way through to the end. Now, more than three years later, we've reached the final event on our list.
Horse & Country TV is pleased to announce a partnership with the MARS Great Meadow International (MARSGMI) to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2020 event. The competition will be held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia August 19 to 23 and will feature many of North America’s best eventing combinations.
For over 20 years the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) has been educating all levels of eventing instructors to confirm their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. The USEA is now shining the spotlight each month on some of the 300 ICP Certified Instructors.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).