Planning for the Great Meadow International CIC3* on June 19-21, 2015 is well underway. Olympic course designer, Michael Etherington-Smith was at Great Meadow this past weekend designing the three star course. Based on his visit, next year’s course will run on the existing and storied steeplechase track with a loop onto the new Fleming Farm property that was purchased recently in anticipation of this event.
Great Meadow is already an established equestrian venue, bringing steeplechase racing, show jumping and polo to thousands of spectators each year. Now, with the purchase of Fleming Farm, it is uniquely positioned to bring spectators the best experience for the sport of eventing. Unlike many eventing venues where the course is largely out of spectator view, almost the entire cross country course can be viewed from a beautiful hillside, usually reserved for steeplechase patrons and tailgaters. Plus, the intimate show jumping arena is ringed by hospitality boxes, giving spectators an up close view of the action.
“We’re passionate about bringing spectators the best in equestrian sporting events and we can’t wait to share all that we have in store for this inaugural event,” said Rob Banner, President of Great Meadow.
This past July, the unrecognized World Equestrian Games prep trial was run at the same venue with enormous success for both riders and spectators, who numbered in the thousands. 2015 promises to be even better with more hospitality and an expanded vendor village. The first two phases of the event will run in the evenings on Friday and Saturday night. Friday night will feature dressage and a “Sip and Shop” in the main hospitality tent by the arena. Saturday night brings the twilight show jumping phase with an evening of entertainment. Cross country will be Sunday morning with tailgating opportunities on the famed Members Hill. Entries for the CIC3* will be limited and likely based on rider rankings. Entries open June 5, 2015.
In addition to the CIC3*, the venue will also likely host a training session, similar to the one for the World Equestrian Games held in July 2014. This time, the Great Meadow International will likely be a preparatory run for the Pan Am team, and, ultimately, the road to Rio for the Olympic Games.
Plus, just down the road, Surefire Farm will be running their horse trial the same weekend for Beginner Novice through Intermediate. Many of the riders who will be participating in the CIC3* and Pan Am prep will also be participating in the Surefire horse trial. With these two shows running concurrently, this special weekend in June will provide an opportunity for riders and spectators to participate and observe eventing at its best and truly be a festival of eventing in hunt country.