For the third year in a row, the only FEI Eventing Nations Cup in North America will take place at the 2018 Brook Ledge Great Meadow International (GMI), July 6 to 8, 2018. Great Meadow, located in The Plains, Virginia, is pleased to offer a worldclass event for riders and spectators alike. Read on for a preview of all the fun surrounding the competition!
Opening Night Festivities
Admission is free on Friday, July 6. The Meadow Market Trade Show will be open with special opening night deals. Riders will be signing autographs in the Meadow Market Beer Garden at 5:30 p.m. where Old Bust Head Brewery craft beer (Warrenton, Va.) will be on tap. New for 2018, the bareback puissance has been replaced by a Polo Exhibition at 6:00 p.m. Expect celebrity appearances from top eventers trading in their bats for polo mallets! After the exhibition, live music will kick off in the Meadow Market. The competitor party will take place in the VIP tent after the autograph signing.
The competition is of the highest caliber at GMI and so is the shopping! With over 50 vendors on site at the Meadow Market Trade Show, there is something for every guest. The 2018 vendors include everything from tack to jewelry to trailers and so much more.
Stay tuned for details about the exciting new 2018 Drag Break Deals. While tractor dressage takes place in the arena, guests are encouraged to visit vendors offering amazing deals for just a short time during the drag breaks.
Photo courtesy of Great Meadow International.
Meadow Market Beer & Wine Garden
Right at the heart of the Meadow Market, with a great view of the main arena will be the Beer & Wine Garden. There’s nothing better than a cold beer on a hot July horse show day and GMI is pleased to have Old Bust Head Brewery pouring craft beer on all three days of the event. Wine will also be available for purchase.
Live Music & Educational Presentations
A new feature for 2018 is the Beer & Wine Garden stage, where guests can enjoy live music from talented artists between the phases of competition. Andre Fox Band will be performing on Friday and country duo Martin and Kelly will take the stage on Saturday. Additionally, there will be educational opportunities with mini lectures from vendors and sponsors throughout the event.
Food & Drinks
Gone are the days of bad horse show coffee! Guests can get their caffeine fix from Wicked Goat Coffee (Lucketts, Va.) who will be serving delicious iced nitro lattes, Kombucha tea, and more.
Top local food trucks will be on site serving tasty fare all weekend including gourmet tator tots, Mediterranean fusion, TexMex, and slowchurned ice cream.
With a variety of ticketing options, eventing fans can customize their GMI weekend.
Located on an elevated berm overlooking the arena, the VIP tent offers top notch dining, an open bar and a continuous shuttle between the tent and the Meadow Market. New for 2018, Friday Night’s Competitor Party will take place in the VIP tent during the Polo Exhibition.
The VIP tent at Great Meadow. Photo courtesy of Great Meadow International.
Set right along the arena, the Ringside Boxes are comfortable for six to 10 people and include a table, chairs, and umbrella.
Great Meadow has long been known for the tailgating fun of the Virginia Gold Cup and continues that tradition at the Great Meadow International. Fleming Hill Tailgates will line the newest addition to the Nations Cup course, a water complex riders will cross twice. A very limited number of tailgates are available at the Swan Lake Water Complex, located on the racecourse infield. New for 2018, GMI is pleased to offer Arena Tailgates, overlooking the Fleming Arena. These new spaces can be used during all three phases of the event.
General Admission is per vehicle, with Weekend Passes and OneDay Passes available. Seating is available in shaded bleachers or guests can set up blankets and chairs on the grassy berm.
For any of the ticketing options, guests are welcome to bring their own food and drinks, including alcohol.
The 2018 Great Meadow International Tailgate Contest sponsored by Red Truck Bakery, the official bakery of the Great Meadow International, will take place on Sunday, July 8 during cross-country. The theme is “Around the World” to celebrate the Nations Cup. Scores will be based on interpretation of the theme, creativity, and aesthetic appeal.
All tailgate holders, including Fleming Farm Tailgates, Arena Tailgates, and Swan Lake Tailgates are eligible to win. Contenders do not need to enter in advance and there is no entry fee.
The event begins with the jog on Friday afternoon and a Polo Exhibition in the evening. Fifty horse and rider combination from four different nations are set to compete in the CICO3*, with dressage beginning early Saturday morning. The competition continues Saturday evening with the show jumping phase. Sunday is cross-country day, with the first rider scheduled for 9:30 a.m.
Click here to visit the Great Meadow International website for more information.
My name is Tayah Fuller and I’m 14 years old. “On course” to me is a phrase that makes my heart pump fast and my excitement go wild. There is no better feeling than galloping through a field or flying over cross-country jumps with my heart thrumming along, especially when it is with my best friend. You see, I was born with a congenital heart murmur. While it has never really affected my athletic abilities, the one time that I notice it is when I am riding through a cross-country course with my horse.
Please always remain vigilant when it comes to sending any personal communications via email or text. Every year we receive reports of members and leaders of our sport receiving phishing attempts both online and by phone. These are often communications disguised as being sent from USEA staff or other leaders. As the years go on, the phishing attempts appear to be more directed and tailored.
Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course.
Following feedback from our membership to the rule change proposal for the USEF Rules For Eventing: Appendix 3 – Participation In Horse Trials, the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors voted to modify the rule change proposal, but still to recommend the establishment of rider licenses and increase Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) to the regulating authority of the sport US Equestrian (USEF).