Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eventing: Fair Hill: USEF Fall Championship Kicks Off

Fair Hill, MD-October 14, 2010- Persistent autumn drizzle did not hinder the performance of the top three contenders at the 22nd annual Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country. In the lead after the first day of competition in the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI** Fall Eventing Championships is Clark Montgomery, from Chatsworth, Georgia, riding Holly Becker and Kathryn Kraft's 7 year-old Irish Sport Horse, Loughan Glen. Said Montgomery of his early lead of 45.3 penalties, "He's pretty reliable for a young horse, even when he is away from home at a show. I can go in the ring, put leg on and go for it. Judges seem to like that."

                Standing second in the CCI** on 47.8 penalties is local rider Erin Sylvester, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, riding her own 9-year old Thoroughbred/Trakhener gelding, No Boundaries. Less than a point behind in third place on 48.6 penalties is Sharon White, Summit Point, West Virginia, riding Adrienne Classen's 8-year old Thoroughbred, Russian Roulette. "He is the sweetest horse and tried so hard today in the rain. We'll see what happens Saturday on the cross country. Adrienne bought him sight unseen from Australia as a 5-year old, that is how he got his name," said White of her performance today.
                "Seeing these nice young horses, both in the two-star competition as well as the Young Event Horse Championship today certainly bodes well for the sport of American eventing," said Trish Gilbert, Co-President of the Dansko Fair Hill International.
                The Spalding Labs/USEA Young Event Horse Championship features young horses (ages 4 and 5) competing in three sections: Conformation & Type, Dressage Test, and Jumping Test/Gallop/General Impression. The Young Event Horse classes focus on the education and preparation of the event horse in a correct and progressive manner. Leading in the 5-year old division after today's Conformation and Dressage sections is Lucia Strini's Dutch Warmblood gelding Artesian, ridden by Will Coleman, Gordonsville, Virginia. Topping the field in the 4-year old competition is Boateng, a Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Tyler Abell and Matt Flynn, and ridden by Matt Flynn, Gladstone, New Jersey. Competition gets underway Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. for the Young Event Horse Jumping section and 9:30 a.m. for the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI*** and CCI** dressage competitions.
                Wednesday night's Calcutta-style fund raiser and Western-themed "Hoe-down" generated excitement and highly competitive bidding for 17 teams of CCI Three-Star and Two-Star riders. Teams are composed of 5 or 6 riders. Each rider's individual scores throughout the weekend will be combined into one cumulative team score. The three best scoring teams at the end of competition will be announced at the awards ceremony on Sunday. Bids were taken by emcee Jim Wofford, with extensive commentary on which team will prevail. Proceeds from this spirited evening will benefit the Fair Hill International.

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