Monday, October 27, 2014

Thank You! And a Wrap-up.


The tents are struck, the stables are gone, and about 200 horses and riders have returned to their far away homes. Like Brigadoon, the enchanted experience of Fair Hill International has completed its twenty-sixth annual appearance and has once again faded into history.

In many ways, this year’s edition surpassed all expectations – more horses, more riders, more vendors, more sponsors – than in any event in recent memory.

From the outset, record entries in both the Three-Star (55) and Two-Star (122) Divisions promised an exciting four days of competition and they didn’t disappoint.

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda thrilled the crowd with a fault free performance in the show jumping phase to win The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI***. Overnight leader Boyd Martin, Cochranville, PA settled for the Reserve Championship title with a single rail down on the young Master Frisky. 

The crowd was on the edge of their seats as the top riders were set to compete.  Jennie was jubilant at the end of her double clear round to score 48.2.  She reached down to pat the neck of the Irish Thoroughbred, owned by Nina Gardner, and then thrust her fist in the air pumping her arm with excitement.


 The audience quickly hushed as Martin entered the ring because he had no rails in hand. They collectively groaned when Master Frisky had one down at the Liverpool for four faults and a final score of 51.4. 

 Jennie also received a special prize generously donated by The Dutta Corporation, free round trip air transportation to any European three-star event of her choosing.  Mr. Tim Dutta, founder and chairman of The Dutta Corp., was on hand to congratulate the riders and promised great things in the future for Fair Hill and the sport of eventing.

 "We are delighted to be a part of the eventing community.  It wraps up my vision of giving back to the Olympic disciplines,” said Dutta.  "I am extremely delighted to be a part of you (Fair Hill International) for the next six years and hopefully we can grow together."

  Julie Richards, Newnan, GA and Urlanmore Beauty were flawless in the show jumping phase to win The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI**. The 2004 Olympic team bronze medalist completed the three-phase competition without incurring any faults, winning off the dressage score of 43 penalties, a mere six tenths of a penalty ahead of runner-up, Kim Severson, Charlottesville, VA and Cooley Cross Border.


A crowd estimated at 12,725, undoubtedly encouraged by the crisp fall weather, passed through the gates during the four day festival. In addition to the exciting high-performance eventing competition, they were treated to an array of “special events” that provided something for everyone.

  • United States Pony Club President’s Cup Games

  • Brand New Kids’ Corner, featuring pony rides, mini horse carriage rides, corn box (think sandbox), arts & crafts

  • Dog Agility Demonstrations

  • Appalachian Music (Saturday) and Dixieland Music (Sunday)

  • Falconry, featuring a spectacular flying demonstration by a peregrine falcon on Friday evening

  • Country Shops with over 50 vendors

  • Food Court with a broad variety of selections to suit every palate

  • Classic Cars

These things are listed because it is very likely that most of you didn’t get the chance to see them all because you were too busy working hard to ensure the success of this magical event.

 How can we thank you, volunteers? You spent hours and hours – painting fences, stringing rope, cutting grass, playing host and hostess at the VIP Tent and at the Owners’ Club,  servicing the electrical power grid, performing IT work and maintaining an expanded WiFi network, decorating – not only the cross-country course but also hundreds of mums and bales of straw -  to enhance the natural beauty of nature’s surroundings.

We owe you a debt we can never repay, but we hope you receive your reward by knowing that you are an integral part of a spectacular show that just wouldn’t happen without you. It’s impossible to single out the hundreds of volunteers that make it happen so we’d just like to say this: “You know who you are and you have our eternal gratitude.”

Sincerely,

Charlie Colgan, Executive Director, Fair Hill International

Monday, October 20, 2014

Recap the Magic


It's difficult to recap a magical weekend when you were there for a week, immersed.  When you're still tired, and your laundry hasn't been clean in a week, and your house is a mess, and you are suddenly thrust back in to normal LIFE after being on a fun vacation for a week.  It's always difficult to put in to words how much this family has meant to you for a week.  Difficult to thank those who had your back, because it was EVERYONE.  Difficult to say who was a game-changer and a difference-maker, because it was EVERYONE.

Sometimes, or maybe all the time, when you're part of this Fair Hill family you forget that the competitors and the horses have a story, too.  You're so focused on making your little piece of the machine work well, without squeaking, that you forget a little bit about all the blood, sweat, and tears that go in to getting a horse to a competition of this level.  And the luck.  Oh, man, the luck helps too.

That's what I like best about reading all the articles and the results on the Monday after Fair Hill.  I get to read the stories, hear the gratitude, and re-live the magic.

Can I assist you in re-living the magic?  Sure, you could do your own Google search.  But I'll do it for you.  That's why I get paid the big bucks...

Jenni Autrey and our friends at EventingNation did a lovely job all weekend of keeping the eventing world "in the know" at Fair Hill.  Here's just a few of her posts:
CCI3* Show Jumping and Results
Notes from the CCI3* Press Conference
CCI2* Show Jumping and Results
We loved the quote from Boyd Martin in this Press Conference Recap from Saturday
And if you're a video-watching kind of person, here's a link to EN's Videos from the weekend.

Our event is also the USEF National Eventing Championship.  Here's USEF's recap article

Did you know that Cooley Cross Border, the reserve champion in the CCI2*, was the 5-year-old winner of the Young Event Horse East Coast Championship at Fair Hill in 2012?  We love seeing horses come up through the ranks at Fair Hill.  USEA hosted the YEH Championship on Thursday and Friday.  Here's the results - looking forward to seeing these horses back in a couple years!  We were also delighted to note that the YEH 4-year-old winner was also the 3-year-old champion in the Future Event Horse championship held at Fair Hill last year.

Nancy Jaffer has been a reporter at Fair Hill for about forever.  She is thorough, and she does a nice interview.  Can I tell you a story?  I try to keep quiet in the Press Tent, but on Sunday Nancy and her tech support guy were cracking me up.  Bickering all day long.  I finally asked the tech support, who was sitting next to me, if he and Nancy were married.  "It's that obvious?" he replied?  37 years of married bliss, sitting in the Press Tent with me on Sunday.  It was awesome.  Check out her article and sound bites, including some thoughts from cross country course designer Derek diGrazia.

Our local newspaper, the Cecil Whig, is always lovely to work with and gives our event some press in the local paper.  We always like to spread the word to our neighbors that Olympians are competing in their back yard...  Here's their recap from Sunday, along with lots of photos.  The folks at the Whig are excellent forecasters, as you can see by their Thursday preview.

We always think it's pretty fancy when we get printed in The Chronicle of the Horse.  Here's a link to a whole host of articles and FAB photo galleries on their website.

We love our media friends at The Equiery.  Not only do they throw a mean tailgating party on Saturday, but they also cover Maryland's event riders like no other.  They have a recap article here, and a more Maryland-based article here.

You can see the right sidebar of our own blog for blah, blah, blah more results stuff.  Or click this link for a preview of Special Events (I know, I know.  The weekend is done and you don't need a preview.  But did you see EVERYTHING?  Like, really.  EVERYTHING?).  And my personal favorite, which I can't read because it'll make me cry again, is the post about Judy and how she is part of so many aspects of Fair Hill this fall, even though she is no longer with us.  Oh, and check out our Facebook page for oodles of photos - from each day of competition via the amazing and talented Shannon Brinkman; from our fantastic course walk on Friday with Sally Cousins; from the myriad of Special Events throughout the weekend; from the PRO bareback challenge; lots of prep photos and volunteer photos; and photos of every fence on both cross country courses.  Don't miss it!

Done?  All read out?  How much of your work day have you just blown?  You're welcome!

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda Jump to Victory in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI***

Ann Haller, Classic Communications

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda Jump to Victory in
The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI***

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda


Fair Hill, MD - October 19, 2014 - Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda thrilled the crowd with a fault free performance in the show jumping phase to win The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** in Elkton, MD on Sunday. Overnight leader Boyd Martin, Cochranville, PA settled for the Reserve Championship title with a single rail down on the young Master Frisky.

Brannigan could not believe her luck and could not hide her tears as she spoke of her victory. "I am probably a bit overwhelmed to be honest. It's an emotional place for me...just really grateful and thankful that I was able to pull the trigger for three days in a row," said Brannigan. I didn't even want to watch Boyd's round because you don't want to wish any ill on one of your friends. I was just happy to jump clean. It's great to win, but I was just happy that he jumped well."

The crowd was on the edge of their seats as the top riders were set to compete. The margin of error was small as less than two rails separated the top three. Caitlin Silliman and Catch A Star looked like they were on their way to a double clear when they knocked a rail at the second to last fence, dropping them to fourth place with a final score of 56 penalties. Brannigan went next and was jubilant at the end of her double clear round to score 48.2. She reached down to pat the neck of the Irish Thoroughbred, owned by Nina Gardner, and then thrust her fist in the air pumping her arm with excitement. The audience roared as they watched the local West Grove, PA resident gallop around the arena. They quickly hushed as Martin entered the ring because he had no rails in hand. They collectively groaned when Master Frisky had one down at the Liverpool for four faults and a final score of 51.4.

"I was pleased with my bloke today he jumped very, very well. I was praying for a clear round," said Martin. "Obviously I would love to win it, but I was pleased with the way he jumped. I am still very proud of him and happy for Jennie."

Allison Springer, Upperville, VA had a great CCI***. Following dressage, she was tied for 22nd place. She moved up to sixth place on a clear cross country, just one second over the optimum time. She and Copycat Chloe, owned by the Copycat Chloe Syndicate, went double clear to finish in third place with a three phase score of 54.8 penalties.

Jennie Brannigan and Cambalda

The day belonged to Jennie Brannigan. As champion of the CCI*** she and "Ping" won a host of awards. Brannigan was awarded the Fair Hill Bronze presented to the overall winner, the USET's Gladstone Trophy presented to the highest placed US entry, the Alexander MacKay Smith Trophy presented to the highest placed competitor in the developing rider championship, the Beale Wright Morris Memorial Trophy presented to the Leading Lady Rider in the CCI*** and the Guy V. Henry Memorial Trophy to the USEF National CCI*** Eventing Champion.

Brannigan also received a special prize generously donated by The Dutta Corporation, free round trip air transportation to any European three-star event of her choosing. Mr. Tim Dutta, founder and chairman of The Dutta Corp., was on hand to congratulate the riders and promised great things in the future for Fair Hill and the sport of eventing.

"We are delighted to be a part of the eventing community. It wraps up my vision of giving back to the Olympic disciplines, said Dutta. "I am extremely delighted to be a part of you for the next six years and hopefully we can grow together."

Other awards presented to CCI*** competitors included: The Edward Johnson Memorial Trophy presented to the highest placed adult amateur was given to rider Kevin Keane, West Grove, PA. His Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Flutter, won the Fitness award given to the Best Conditioned Horse; Lauren Kieffer, The Plains, VA was presented with the Sportsmanship Award. The Best Presentation Award as decided by the Ground Jury went to Shame on the Moon, owned by Deep Purple Eventing and Emily Beshear; The Welcome Here Farm Trophy presented to the highest placed American Thoroughbred mare went to Tsunami III, owned and ridden by Sarah Cousins, West Grove, PA; Matthew Brown, Petaluma, CA won the Amanda Warrington Memorial Trophy presented to the highest placed entry in their first CCI***; Caroline Martin, Springtown, PA was awarded the Markham Trophy presented by the USET to the highest placed US Young Rider; Never Outfoxed, owned by Fox Syndicate and ridden by Holly Payne, won the Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue Trophy presented to the highest placing American Thoroughbred in the CCI***; and the Linda Moore Trophy presented to the highest placed foreign rider in the CCI*** went to Tim Bourke (IRL).

L to R: Joanie Morris, USEF; Tim Dutta, Dutta Corp.


The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International, started in 1989, at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Fair Hill, Maryland, offering one of the most prestigious international three day events in the world.

The Dutta Corporation is a leading international horse transportation company that is also the Official Shipper for the United States Eventing Team. The Dutta Corporation has donated free transportation for the winning horse-rider combination of this year's Three-Star Championship to any Three-Star event in Europe. Additionally, The Dutta Corporation sponsored the electronic scoreboard at the event.

The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital of Cecil County, in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.

For more information, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.Photos available for release, please contact Ann Haller, Classic Communications,ann.haller@yahoo.com.

Julie Richards and Urlanmore Beauty Win The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI**

Ann Haller, Classic Communications


Julie Richards and Urlanmore Beauty Win 
The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI**



Julie Richards and Urlanmore Beauty

Fair Hill, MD - October 19, 2014 - Julie Richards, Newnan, GA and Urlanmore Beauty were flawless in the show jumping phase to win The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI** in Elkton, MD on Sunday afternoon. The 2004 Olympic team bronze medalist completed the three-phase competition without incurring any faults winning off the dressage score of 43 penalties, a mere six tenths of a penalty ahead of runner-up, Kim Severson, Charlottesville, VA and Cooley Cross Border.

As the overall winner in the CCI** Richards and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding were presented with the Heartwood Perpetual Trophy. Richards also received the USEF Combined Training Trophy, presented to the highest placed US rider. The newly crowned champion reflected on her victory.

"It always feels great," said Richards. "The horse is so generous. He's just a really super animal that way. I knew he would try and he touched one or two, and that always gives you heart palpitations, but sometimes it goes your way and I was thrilled with him."

As owner of the winning horse, her student Asa Cooper won the Sea Horse Farm Perpetual Trophy in memory of Richard H. and Vita C. Thompson. The new title was quite an accomplishment for Urlanmore Beauty as Richards has only been competing with him since July.

Going into the final phase of the CCI** there was no room for error as the top three, all representing the USEF, were separated by only 2.3 penalties. Riding in reverse order of merit, third place Severson and the 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse, were the first of the top three to enter the William Dupont, Jr. Arena. The pair looked like they handily rode to a double clear, but Severson felt differently.

"Luckily, luck was on our side," said the 2004 Olympic Individual Silver medalist of "Cross", owned by The Cross Syndicate. "I didn't feel he was jumping as well as he usually does, which is very well. But he's game he tries really, really hard, so we're very lucky."

Severson was named Reserve Champion of the CCI** . Cooley Cross Border also won the Jonathan R. Burton trophy presented to the USEF National Young Horse Champion for 6 & 7 year-olds. He was also the 5-year-old East Coast Young Event Horse Champion at Fair Hill two years ago.

Richards and Urlanmore Beauty's double clear left the title in the balance for the overnight leader Victoria Jessop (GBR), Middleburg, VA on Desert Mystery. The pair knocked down two rails on the Sally Ike designed course, which moved them down to seventh. They did not leave Fair Hill empty handed, Jessop won the Palmaccio Trophy presented to the leading foreign rider and Desert Mystery was given the Fitness Award for the best conditioned horse.

Marilyn Little, Frederick, MD and RF Quarterman, moved up from sixth to third with their double clear performance to score of 46.6 penalties. Little was pleased with the 6-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Raylyn Farms as this was his first CCI**.

"I know he could jump and do the height, but to do all three phases is quite a new thing for him," said Little. "With a young horse doing his first CCI you never know how they are going to be on Sunday and I was really, really pleased with the effort that he put in."

There were additional awards presented to CCI** competitors: Boyd Martin, Cochranville, PA received the Judy E. Thayer Memorial Trophy presented to the highest placed rider who currently resides in Chester County, PA; Carolyn Martin, Springtown, PA was given the John H. Fritz trophy as the highest placed competitor in the Young Rider Championship; the Best Presentation Award decided by the Ground Jury went to Alexandra Ahearn, Renton, WA; the Small But Mighty Award presented to the smallest equine competing in the CCI** went to Forrest Nymph, owned by Beth Davidson and ridden by Sinead Halpin; Kelecyn Cognac, owned by Heidi White received the Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue Trophy presented to the highest placed American Thoroughbred; and Waylon Roberts of Canada was presented with the Sportsmanship award.

The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International, started in 1989, at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Fair Hill, Maryland, offering one of the most prestigious international three day events in the world.

The Dutta Corporation is a leading international horse transportation company that is also the Official Shipper for the United States Eventing Team. The Dutta Corporation has donated free transportation for the winning horse-rider combination of this year's Three-Star Championship to any Three-Star event in Europe. Additionally, The Dutta Corporation sponsored the electronic scoreboard at the event.

The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital of Cecil County, in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Boyd Martin Maintains Lead in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI***

Ann Haller, Classic Communications

Boyd Martin Maintains Lead in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International CCI***

Victoria Jessop Tops CCI** Going into Final Day of Competition


Boyd Martin and Master Frisky

Fair Hill, MD - October 18, 2014 - Boyd Martin, Cochranville, PA and Master Frisky managed to maintain the lead in The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** in Elkton, MD on Saturday, but it is still anyone's game going into the final day of competition as seven penalties separate the top four.

Martin picked up two time faults in the cross country phase for a two-day score of 45.4 penalties. He brought six horses to Fair Hill and he rode Master Frisky, owned by Stephen Blauner, third out of the four entered in the CCI***. Martin thought the arrangement helped his chances.

"I was pretty lucky to ride Master Frisky third because I got two chances to assess the course out," said Martin. "I had a bit of an advantage knowing what parts of the course I could take my time at where I could save up some time."

Local rider Jennie Brannigan stands second with 48.2 penalties. The West Grove, PA resident is pleased with her cross country performance on Cambalda, owned by Nina Gardner. "When I left the box today, I was a bit calm I knew this horse should jump around. I knew he was going to have his day and I was really happy with how the course rode."

Caitlin Silliman, Cochranville, Pa, is third with 52 penalties on her Holsteiner mare Catch A Star. "I felt good coming in," said Silliman. "If I ride her well she goes well. She's the kind of horse where if you give her confidence at the first five she just builds and builds the whole way around."

Martin entered the cross country phase with the top dressage score, but his time faults on the Derek di Grazia designed course opened the door for Buck Davidson, Ocala, FL and Caroline Martin's Petite Flower. Davidson, going fourth from last in the order, entered the day with a dressage score of 44.8. He had a chance to overtake the leader, but instead had a run-out with his Thoroughbred mare and they retired from the competition. Davidson fared much better with his other mount, The Apprentice, owned by Sherrie Martin. The pair incurred 8.4 penalties to end the day in fourth with a combined score of 52.4 penalties.

The sizable crowd enjoyed beautiful weather, but remnants from rain earlier in the week had its effect on the course and an adjustment was made to the CCI*** course in the interest of safety. After the first group of riders experienced trouble at fence 15A & B, the Persimmon Tree Turn and Floating Bushes, Technical Delegate Jonathan Clissold felt that the footing deteriorated too much so 15A was removed leaving the remaining riders to jump only 15B.


Victoria Jessop and Desert Mystery

In the CCI** Victoria Jessop of Great Britain and Middleburg, VA captured the lead on Desert Mystery before half the field even started. The faultless ride on her 11-year-old Thoroughbred gelding with 41.3 penalties was especially rewarding.

"I've had him since he was three... we have a great partnership," said Jessop. "We've taken a long time because he needed it mentally, so it was a real reward today to actually sort of put it all together. He gave me a great ride. Cross country is his forte, he loves it. He's got a great gallop and he was not tired and that feels good. So, it was a great day!"

Jessop has been to Fair Hill before but this her first time in the saddle. "I have been the grunt for many years but never got to be the rider so it was pretty great."

Julie Richards, Newnan, GA and Urlanmore Beauty also rode to a double clear to stand on 43 penalties. Kim Severson, Charlottesville, Va moved up to third on Cooley Cross Border with 43.6.

The cross country course was a challenge for the CCI** field with only 76 out of the 114 starters completing the course. Dressage leader Matthew Brown, Petaluma, CA finished, but had a refusal with Happenstance, owned by Mary McKee, dropping the pair out of contention with 76.5 penalties.

The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International, started in 1989, continues at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Fair Hill, Maryland, through Sunday, October 19.

Visitors to the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country can once again look forward to the fashionable Country Shops, which feature over 40 vendors selling tack, jewelry, artwork, pet needs, exceptional apparel and fine gifts for the approaching holiday seasons. The VIP Tent offers fine dining, while visitors seeking a more casual snack or meal will find pubs around the Fair Hill grounds serving classic Maryland crab cakes and other treats. On Sunday, the Riverside Carnival Band, one of the mid-Atlantic's leading New Orleans jazz bands, will be performing throughout the day.

A newly renovated Kid's Corner will be making a debut, offering a variety of activities for the younger set. The popular canine demonstrations will be highlighted with some new and exciting opportunities for dog owners. In addition to Dancing Dogs and Dog Tricks demonstrations, all dog owners are invited to participate in a "show and go" practice Agility class that will let them test their dog's potential for agility competition.

Classic cars will be on hand Sunday (weather permitting) for those who want a chance to reminisce about their younger years, as well as for younger people looking to connect with icons from an earlier era.

The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International, started in 1989, continues at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Fair Hill, Maryland, through Sunday, October 19, offering one of the most prestigious international three day events in the world.

The Dutta Corporation is a leading international horse transportation company that is also the Official Shipper for the United States Eventing Team. The Dutta Corporation has donated free transportation for the winning horse-rider combination of this year's Three-Star Championship to any Three-Star event in Europe. Additionally, The Dutta Corporation is sponsoring the electronic scoreboard at the event.

The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital of Cecil County, in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.

For more information on this year's Fair Hill, including how to purchase tickets and complete schedule information, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.Photos available for release, please contact Ann Haller, Classic Communications,ann.haller@yahoo.com.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Seeing Judy, All Around

I've been putting this post off all weekend, because I don't know how to write it without crying in the middle of the Press Tent.  It's futile, I think.  I'll just cry.  Don't mind me.  It's certainly not the first time this weekend.

We lost our Judy in July.  If you've been to Fair Hill on a Saturday then you know Judy Thayer, even if you didn't know her personally.  If you've ridden in the CCI here, then you know Judy.  If you've seen photos of our amazing cross country fences, then you know Judy.

The reach and impact of Judy has already been documented on our blog over the summer, here and here and here.  We knew, certainly, when we lost Judy that we had lost a HUGE chunk of knowledge and hard work and kindness and good will and smiles.  We lost lots and lots of smiles.

We knew we had to carry on with our work at The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International.  We knew that galloping lanes still had to be placed.  Fences still had to be decorated.  Pumpkin Paths still had to be placed.  What we didn't know was who was going to pick up that slack.

We've talked here so many times about Fair Hill being a family.  We've got each others backs here.  While there may be some grumbling, if you grumble to the right person he or she will simply ask what he can do to help.  And you get it done, and things keep chugging along.

Our family had to pull together in a big way this fall, and even though Judy is not here with us in person she is still with us in spirit.  Everyone is helping with things they have not done before.  Everyone is stepping up.  In addition to all our regular tasks, our family has also found the time to place some very special Judy tributes throughout the grounds.  If you look around a bit, you will see a little Judy everywhere.

We miss you, Judy.  We miss you so very much.  We hope you'd approve of how things are going so far, in the 26th edition of Fair Hill International.

There's some obvious Judy tributes out there, including Fence 8, the Brookedale Hayrack, on the CCI2* course.  Judy's farm is called Brookedale Farm, and she and her husband raised  Highland cattle, as representing in the cut-outs on either side of the fence.
If you wander down below the Food Court, between Fence 6 and Fence 7 on the CCI2* course, you will walk right past Judy's Garden.  This memorial garden is placed on a set of old banks that used to be used long ago for the CCI3*.
The scaredy cat at Judy's Garden is a tribute to Judy.  She had a hood ornament on her truck like this.  Judy rescued every cat she ever came upon.  The scaredy cat was made by fence builder and chainsaw artist Thyssen Rementer, who worked with Judy for years at Fair Hill.  Thyssen used to work for Eric Bull before starting his own fence building business.
There's a lovely tribute to Judy in the VIP Tent, complete with photos, Judy's saddle rack and cooler, and decor in Judy's blue and green colors.  There is also a scrapbook on the table, which we are encouraging anyone who knew Judy to write in.  Please write your favorite Judy memory, and we will share this book (and two others - one in the Volunteer Tent and one in the Stable Office) with Judy's family.
One of my favorite, very subtle tributes to Judy is the new entrance to Kids Corner.  The story, as told by Kathie Troutman, is that Judy suggested that the new Kids Corner needed to have "a LITTLE door, that only kids can fit through!"  Here's your little door, Judy.  I think it's grand.

Here's the inside of the barn, with some amazing little touches that carry on the Judy tribute.
Here's another scaredy cat hanging out in the Kids Corner barn
Highland cattle (what do you call just one of these?  I dunno) hanging out in the barn.
Sleeping kitty, representing one of the zillions rescued by Judy.
Highland cattle has a cute head, too.  Kathie is amazingly talented  - she designed, built, and painted this entire barn.
Finally, you saw Judy everywhere today on the Cross Country course.  All the amazing decorations have a Judy influence.  We might miss Judy the most on Monday and Tuesday, when all the decorations need to go back in to storage.  Judy always did that.
Judy's loyal fence decorating crew did a stand-up job this year, through their tears.  Thanks to John Ryan, Holly, Jean and Jon, Charlotte, Leah, Kim, and Lisa.  Judy would be proud of you.
If you look really hard, you can see a little Judy everywhere.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Special Event Preview

Are you coming to The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International this weekend?  Bring a friend!  Bring the kids!  Bring someone who knows nothing about horses!  There's PLENTY of things to do for everyone.  Let's take a look!

Friday features a Mule Jumping demonstration in the Main Arena during the Dressage lunch break.  The mules jump from a standstill, and they can really fly.
The Mini horses and the Dog Agility demonstrations and lessons will both occur all day on Friday.  Go pet a cute Mini horse, or take your own dog in to the Dog Agility ring to test his skills and learn from the pros.
You can SHOP all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!  Our Country Shops vendors are set up and ready to fulfill all the items on your Christmas shopping list.  From saddles and bridles to knit hats and art work, we've got almost everything you heart desires.
You can fill your stomach with fantastic food from our food vendors, and rest your feet in our Food Court, conveniently located close to the Main Gate, the Country Shops, and the Main Arena (plus it's RIGHT next to the galloping lane for Cross Country on Saturday!)
 Speaking of Saturday...  There's way too much to do on Saturday.  If you see everything, you will 1)  Be really tired  and 2)  Be very entertained!

The Dog Agility lessons will continue on Saturday and Sunday, along with demonstrations of Dancing Dogs and Dog Tricks,  Mini horses are right next to the Dog Agility ring, so swing by to pet a Mini and learn more about this very versatile breed.
In a brand new location this fall is our ever popular KIDS CORNER, which is filled with fantastic things for kids to do.  Check out the barn made just for kids.  Hunt for pumpkins in the straw.  Play dress-up in the carriage.  Play in the Scheeler Seeds corn box (SO FUN!)  Get your face painted.  And new this year, FREE PONY RIDES!  Kids Corner is open 9 - 4 on Saturday and Sunday, and Pony Rides are from 10:30 - 2:30 each day.
Saturday morning features a fast, fun and furious games competition from Pony Clubbers in the President's Cup Games.  Games will be played in the CCI warm-up arena from 9AM - noon.  You've GOT to check these kids out - the speed at which they ride and they things they can do will amaze you!
The always popular Falconer Mike Dupuy will be on the grounds Saturday with his hawks.  Mike is a wonderful speaker who will teach you so much about hawks and the art of falconry.  His hawks are beautiful and amazing to watch.  Don't miss his demos in the Kids Corner area on Saturday!
John and Friends will keep you entertained on Saturday with Appalachian music between 12 and 2 on Saturday, near the Food Court.  The Riverside Carnival Band returns on Show Jumping Sunday, playing wonderful carnival music throughout the show grounds.

Whew!  There you have it.  Here's your challenge for the weekend:

  • See lots of world-class horses and riders
  • See every special event we have planned for you
  • Do some shopping
  • Play in the Scheeler Corn Box in the Kids Corner
  • Have an amazing time!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Young Event Horses Journey to Dutta Corp Fair Hill International

Young Event Horses Make the Journey to The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International

Californian Matthew Brown Leads CCI** After First Day of Competition

Ann Haller, Classic Communications

CCI** Overnight Leader Matthew Brown and Happenstance

Fair Hill, MD - October 16, 2014 - Three weeks on the road traveling across the country from California to Maryland, and a first-time ride at The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International, was only part of the challenge Matthew Brown, Petaluma, CA, set for himself to "get outside of his comfort zone". Happenstance, an 8-year old Holsteiner gelding owned by Mary McKee, Penngrove, CA, put in a steady, nice test, scoring 40.1 penalties, to put them on top of the leaderboard as half of the 112 CCI** entries had completed the dressage portion of the competition. According to Brown the ride was the "icing on the cake" to the whole journey that the partnership has made in the last two years. He credited his work on accurate transitions for the top score today.

Lauren Kieffer, The Plains, VA, was equally as pleased with her ride on Jacqueline Mars' Landmark's Monte Carlo. The 8 year-old homebred Irish Sport Horse/Thoroughbred gelding Kieffer described as "very, very broke" scored 43.0 penalties to lie second behind Brown and Happenstance. "This test is really suitable for him, he might not be the greatest mover but he is very accurate," explained Kieffer. She is also competing two other Landmark young event horses belonging to Jacqueline Mars in the USEA Young Event Horse Championships this weekend. "I feel so lucky to have three of Mrs. Mars homebreds here," Kieffer exclaimed.

Currently in third position on a penalty score of 43.8 is Stoney Brook Farm's 7 year-old American bred Thoroughbred- cross, SBF Cortez. Rider Boyd Martin credited the positive performance to the quality and class of the young horse who is newer to the level. "It was unfortunate when I broke my leg earlier this year, and my horses missed some competitions. This horse has a lot of quality and has only done this test a couple of times. I am very fortunate to be riding this horse," said Martin, the highest placed American eventer representing the United States at the Alltech World Equestrian Games, Normandy, France, last month.

Dressage competition resumes at 8:00 a.m. Friday, with the second half of the CCI** competitors and the full division of 45 CCI*** competitors to perform for their respective international Ground Juries. Competition officials this year for the CCI*** include President Susan Baxter (GBR), and members Christina Klingspor (SWE) and Wayne Quarles (USA). Judging the CCI** are President Jane Tolley (GBR) and Mark Weissbecker (USA). Rounding out the international panels are Technical Delegate Jonathan Clissold (GBR) and Assistant Technical Delegate Sue Ockendon (CAN).

Taking place concurrently in the William T. duPont, Jr. Main Arena is the United States Eventing Association (USEA) 2013 East Coast Young Event Horse Championships. The Young Event Horse Championship for four- and five-year old horses of any breed is being held for the sixth year at Fair Hill International. This competition focuses on education and preparation of the event horse, judging Conformation and Type, Dressage, and Jumping/Suitability and Potential. Leading in the Five-year old Division after Conformation and Dressage judging today is Oldenburg gelding Riot Gear, owned by Kenney Sport Horses and ridden by Eileen Kenney. "He is a lovely horse," Eileen explained, "he has grown a lot since last year, where he competed here as a four-year old. There is a lot of atmosphere here but the big ring is wonderful for the young horses."
YEH 5 Year Old Leader Eileen Kenney and Riot Gear
Standing second is Landmark's Jungle ROC, a Dutch Warmblood/Irish Sport Horse cross, owned and bred by Jacqueline B Mars, and ridden by Lauren Kieffer. Following closely in third place is KBLB Event Horses LLC's French Thoroughbred Vagabon de Champdoux, ridden by Will Coleman III, who had an active morning with three entries in the Five-year old Division.

The current leader in the Four-year old Division is Dawn Erdman's Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross, Rule of Thumb, ridden by Melissa Hunsberger. "He is a very cool horse - very upper level type. He loves to jump, he is cocky and bold," Melissa shared about last year's overall champion in the Future Event Horse Championship.
YEH 4 Year Old Leader Melissa Hunsberger and Rule of Thumb
In second place is Curiosity Fuerst, a Hanoverian/Holsteiner mare owned and ridden by Eileen Kenney. "She did great, really kept it together. She is getting stronger. She is a much different type that her brother," Eileen said, referring to current Five-year old Division leader and full brother Riot Gear. Rounding out the top three is Valley of Knowledge, an off-the-track Thoroughbred owned by Courtney Cooper and Neal Camens, and ridden by Courtney, who discovered the horse on the thoroughbred rescue site, CANTER, in January.

Young Event Horse competition culminates Friday with the Jumping/Suitability and Potential judging, where points will be added to today's Conformation and Dressage scores to determine the USEA East Coast Champion Four- and Five-year old Young Event Horses. The Jumping competition will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the Saw Mill Field at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area.

Visitors to the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country can once again look forward to the fashionable Country Shops, which feature over 40 vendors selling tack, jewelry, artwork, pet needs, exceptional apparel and fine gifts for the approaching holiday seasons. The VIP Tent offers fine dining, while visitors seeking a more casual snack or meal will find pubs around the Fair Hill grounds serving classic Maryland crab cakes and other treats. John & Friends will be appearing at the food court during lunch on Saturday, sharing a taste of old-time Appalachian music. On Sunday, the Riverside Carnival Band, one of the mid-Atlantic's leading New Orleans jazz bands, will be performing throughout the day.

A newly renovated Kid's Corner will be making a debut, offering a variety of activities for the younger set. Mike Depuy returns with his Art and Sport of Falconry demonstration on Saturday, including several live birds of prey. Miniature horses will be performing on Saturday, courtesy of the DelMarva Miniature Horse Club.

The popular canine demonstrations will be highlighted with some new and exciting opportunities for dog owners. In addition to Dancing Dogs and Dog Tricks demonstrations, all dog owners are invited to participate in a "show and go" practice Agility class that will let them test their dog's potential for agility competition.

Classic cars will be on hand Sunday (weather permitting) for those who want a chance to reminisce about their younger years, as well as for younger people looking to connect with icons from an earlier era.

The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital of Cecil County, in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.

For more information on this year's Fair Hill, including how to purchase tickets and complete schedule information, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.Photos available for release, please contact Ann Haller, Classic Communications,ann.haller@yahoo.com.

Record Entry Sees Spirits Soar


From Ann Haller, Classic Communications


2014 The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International

Record Entry Sees Spirits Soar for Prestigious Event 


Fair Hill, MD-October 15, 2014-Eventing riders from coast to coast of the U.S. and around the world presented horses today at The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International CCI *** & CCI** Championships at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in the scenic autumn countryside of Fair Hill, MD. A record number of competitors - 112 in the CCI** and 53 in the CCI*** - will vie throughout the weekend for numerous trophies and awards as well as the USEF National Fall Eventing Championship. All of the U.S. representatives to the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games held last month in Normandy, France - Buck Davidson, Phillip Dutton, Sinead Halpin, Boyd Martin, Kim Severson, and Lynn Symansky - are participating, as well as riders from Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands. The CCI** dressage portion of the competition will commence Thursday at 8 a.m.; the CCI*** dressage will begin at 4pm.
CCI** Competitor Buck Davidson and Quasar
The Dutta Corporation is a leading international horse transportation company that is also the Official Shipper the United States Eventing Team. The Dutta Corporation has donated free transportation for the winning horse-rider combination of this year's Three-Star Championship to any Three-Star event in Europe. Additionally, The Dutta Corporation is sponsoring the electronic scoreboard at the event. The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International is part of the Professional Riders' Organization PRO Tour Series.

Returning to Fair Hill, the USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships on Thursday and Friday, October 16th and 17th, will showcase top qualifiers in the increasingly popular Young Event Horse Series competitions. The USEA Young Event Horse Championships feature young horses ages 4 and 5 competing in three sections: Conformation & Type, Dressage, and Jumping/Suitability and Potential. The ultimate goal of the Young Event Horse series is to choose the young horse that possesses the talent and mindset that with proper training will excel in the uppermost levels of eventing competition. 25 five year-old horses and 13 four year-old horses will compete Thursday in the initial Dressage and Conformation & Type sections beginning at 8 a.m.

CCI *** Competitor Matthew Brown and Super Socks BCF

Complementing this year's international caliber eventing competition will be a family-friendly expanded offering of attractions including Canine Demonstrations, Falconry, Miniature Horses, Mule Jumping, Appalachian music, New Orleans jazz and Classic Cars. The Kids' Corner will offer fun, games and musical entertainment for the younger set. The Country Shops and expanded Food Court will offer something for everyone to see and enjoy.

The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.

Admission is $10 per person on Friday and $15 on Saturday and Sunday. Admission on Thursdayis free for everyone. Children under 12 are free every day. 4-H members (with id) and Pony Club members (with pin) are free every day. Military members and their dependents (with id) are free every day.

For more information and a complete schedule of events for this year's Fair Hill, including how to purchase tickets, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Official Wednesday Welcome



Happy Fair Hill Wednesday!

As you’re reading this (if my email server is super-fast), the CCI horses for The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International are being presented to the veterinarians.  Assuming all are accepted, we will welcome 110 horse and rider combos in the CCI 2* division and 54 horse and rider combos in the CCI 3* division to ride their dressage tests on Thursday and Friday.  Dressage ride times will be posted on the Competitor Info Page on Wednesday evening.  The Order of Draw is already posted.

We are also hosting a whole bunch of “teenagers” this week, in the USEA Young Event Horse Championships.  These phenomenal four- and five-year olds will be judged for conformation and type and will be ridden in a dressage test on Thursday.  Friday is the Jumping Test and General Impression phase, which is held in our Saw Mill Field.  This year we will be running a shuttle from the Main Gate to the Saw Mill Field for spectators – take a ride over and check out the future of eventing!  Dressage times and much more info are posted on the Young Event Horse page.


The SCHEDULE is sure to change a couple million times between now and Sunday as we juggle dressage times, test rides, awards, special events, and whatever the weather may bring us.  Please check back often!

Want to follow along with the action, but can’t come to the event?  Maybe you want to sneak a peek at dressage scores during work on Thursday and Friday?  EventEntries will have live scoring on their website to keep you up to date.  The CCI scores will be posted HERE and the Young Event Horse scores will be posted HERE.

We know you want to see the cross country course.  I’ve put a few pictures in here for you, and you can see many many more on our Interactive Course Map.  Which, of course, is not yet posted.  It should be ready to roll on Thursday, and it will be posted on the Competitor Info page.

If you want to see the course live and in person, we are inviting Pony Club members and all our volunteers to join Sally Cousins on Friday afternoon at 4 PM.  Sally is competing her mount Tsunami III in the CCI 3*.  Sally lives locally and competes at almost every Horse Trials we run.  She is wonderful and we’re looking forward to walking the course with her.  Please meet at the Start Box at 4PM Friday if you are walking the course with Sally Cousins.

The Country Shops tent is VERY full this year, as is all the surrounding space.  Ruth and Sharyn have a wonderful map and signage for you to more easily find the vendor you are looking for.  A list of all our vendors can be found on the Vendor Page.

If you’re attending the event on Saturday and Sunday, bring the kids along!  Our Kids Corner has moved this year and has been filled with all kinds of wonderful things.  Our ever-popular Scheeler Seeds corn box will be back, along with face painting and a coloring competition in the tent, and the Great Pumpkin Hunt.  The Fair Hill NRMA will be at Kids Corner with a giant Tic-Tac-Doe game, eventing style.  And we’re very excited to present FREE Pony Rides on Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 – 2:30.  All Kids Corner activities are just inside the Main Gate, and right next to the Mini horses and the Dog Agility demonstrations and lessons.  More info is on our Special Event Page.

We’re very excited to welcome back the President’s Cup Games on Saturday.  The participants competing in the coveted President's Cup Games have been carefully selected during the Pony Club National Championship that took place this past August. The President's Cup Games allow these talented younger riders the opportunity to compete in a more relaxed setting in a variety of activities including relay races, three-legged races, the old sock race, and the Housewife Scurry. Teams of 5 riders and their respective mounts will form each collective team.  The President’s Cup Games will take place on Saturday morning in the CCI warm-up arena.  Come check them out – these kids are AMAZING!

We’ll be posting regularly on our FaceBook page throughout the competition.  In fact, if you’ve not “liked” us already you’ve missed out on lots of wonderful photos, links, and information.  We hope to see you there!

On behalf of The Dutta Corporation and all our other wonderful sponsors, we officially welcome you to Fair Hill International 2014.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!


FHI News

Wednesday Morning Forecast

Happy Fair Hill Wednesday!

We just had a little line of showers roll through.  We look dry for the next few hours, but a doozy of a storm is just to the west of us.  If you're coming for the jog this afternoon, bring your rain gear, and keep checking our website and our FaceBook page to see if we are delayed at all.

We still have a waitlist for the CCI2* of four horses.  Those horses will be ready to jog if any 2* horses do not pass inspection.

Also note on the web that we've tentatively moved the Cross Country start for Saturday to 8:30 AM.  This is sure to change a couple million times between now and then, so do please keep checking back.

Welcome to The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International!  Stay dry out there today!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tell Us Your Story...

I'm sure I've discussed this before, right?  How 99% of what is done at FHI is done by volunteers?  Crazy, dedicated, amazing folks who carve out time in their busy days to come to Fair Hill on the Thursday before competition begins to decorate.  Move bleachers.  Set up dog agility rings and vet boxes.  Decorate some more.  Create signage.  Paint.

And then those same crazy, dedicated folks go home to a place where there's power and internet and they share.  They share their photos with me so I can share them with you.  They share their ideas.  They share their concerns.  This is when the real work gets done - at 10PM on a Thursday night, on a laptop computer.  With kids, husbands, wives, etc either milling around you or sound asleep in their beds upstairs.

I was wondering tonight - what do all our lovely volunteer folks DO when they are not here volunteering?  I am embarrassed to admit that despite all the time I spend with them, I for the most part have no idea.  I mean, I know Rupert is on about 78 million boards and committees for various things.  And I know he has bee hives at home.  Aaaaand...  that's all I've got.

So let's learn a bit more about us, can we?  Let's share.  Post a little something in the blog comments or on the Facebook page.  What do you do with yourselves when you're not volunteering with FHI?

I'll start - I am a stay-at-home mom.  My kids are five and almost two.  I do a vast majority of FHI social media stuff during nap time and after kids are in bed.  I started with FHI in 2003 and I have done everything from Special Events to Endurance Ride Manager to Driving Stable Manager to my current role as Social Media Person.

How about you?  What's your story?

Frank and Chey put in posts for the fencing for the vet box
Chey and Eddie sprucing up the bridge that goes from VIP Parking to the VIP Tent.  Which I am sure is unnecessary, as it's NOT.  GOING.  TO.  RAIN.

Steve Morrison is our Master Arena Dragger, who gets the Main Arena footing looking and feeling so lovely every year.

New Kids Corner location!  We pushed Dog Agility down a little bit, so now we've got Kids, Mini Horses, and Dog Agility all in the same area.  What could go wrong?
Country Shops as seen from the warm-up rings.