USEF Eventing Championship CCI*** Takes Center Stage at 18th Annual Fair Hill International Festival in the Country
Fair Hill, MD, USA
Photo: Anthony Trollope/RedBayStock.com
This year's Festival features competition in two disciplines at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Area in the beautiful countryside of Fair Hill, MD. The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing CCI*** Championship will be joined by the return of Advanced and Intermediate Level Combined Driving competition.
The Fair Hill CCI*** is one of only two three-star events in the country. Riders competing in the Championship vie for a chance to win the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation Challenge Trophy. Top riders prime and condition their horses to meet the challenging obstacles Fair Hill presents every year.
"The CCI*** Championship is always one of the most popular attractions at the Fair Hill International Festival in the Country," said Charlie Colgan, Fair Hill International Executive Director. "Spectators love the precision of the dressage phase, the thrill of the breath-taking cross-country phase, and the drama of the show jumping phase, and this year's Championship is sure to be a memorable one in all three phases!"
In last year's Championship, Nathalie Bouckaert Pollard of Chatsworth, GA, rode her English Thoroughbred, West Farthing, to victory with a three-phase score of 44.40 penalties. Will Faudree of Southern Pines, NC, was second by less than one rail, finishing with a score of 47.90 penalties on his Australian Thoroughbred, Antigua.
Bouckaert Pollard was in second place following the dressage phase, but she turned in one of only nine fault-free cross-country rides, propelling her into first place going into the concluding show jumping phase. After the first two phases, Faudree had entered within a rail of the lead, but after he had one rail down for four additional penalties, Bouckaert Pollard was able to ride with the luxury of knowing she could have one rail down and still be able to win. That came into play as West Farthing did lower the back rail at fence number 10, but the then-25-year-old rider, who won individual Gold medals in the North American Young Riders' Championships in 1997 and 1998, held on for the win.
Bouckaert Pollard is expected to be on hand at this year's Festival to defend her title against many of the world's top riders, including Olympic medal-winners such as Phillip Dutton, Karen O'Connor, Darren Chiacchia and Kim Severson. This year's CCI*** will be run under the Olympic (short) format.
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