In 2017, US Equestrian (USEF) approved a recommendation to award a new CCI4* event to Fair Hill. After the FEI announced the changes to the star system in November of 2017, Fair Hill made the decision to wait until the specifications for the new five-star were finalized before moving forward with improvements to the facility. The Fair Hill four-star in 2019 is equivalent to the existing CCI3* and will be designated as a CCI4*-L. Working in partnership with the State of Maryland, Fair Hill plans to host their inaugural CCI5*-L competition in 2020.
Ross Peddicord, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, joins us first to discuss how the Fair Hill five-star is situated within the wider equestrian industry in Maryland and what the prospect of hosting a major international equestrian event means for the state of Maryland. Since Peddicord joined us on the podcast last year, he explains that things have really begun to fall into place and are now moving forward rapidly. He also provides a bit of a background on how this plan came together in the first place and all the different groups that have come together to make this new event possible.
Terry Hasseltine, Executive Director of Maryland Sports and the Vice President of the Maryland Stadium Authority, comes on the show next to get into the details of the operations that are playing out at Fair Hill to build out the infrastructure necessary for the new five-star.
Click here for a detailed explanation of the new FEI star system.
This week on the USEA Podcast, meet the three USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) Grand Champions from the East Coast, West Coast, and Central Championships.
The 2018 USEA FEH East Coast Grand Champion title went to Lauren Welsh's Oldenburg gelding Solo Hit (Sagnol x Arista GS) on a final score of 87.64. Welsh shares the story of how she came across Solo Hit, who was bred by Red Gate Sporthorses in Canada, what he's been like to work with, and the other accolades he has achieved so far. Welsh used to breed show jumping horses, so she talks a bit about what she saw in Solo's breeding that caught her eye and her philosophy in producing young horses.
In 2016 she was the Yearling Champion, then in 2017 she took the 2-year-old Championship title, and this year Cheron Laboissonniere's Holsteiner filly Hallelujah DF (Mighty Magic x Columbia BF) made it a hat trick, taking the 2018 USEA FEH West Coast Grand Championship on an impressive score of 90.19. Jennifer McFall, "Halle's" handler, talked a bit about the story behind her breeding, including how she got her name, and the potential she's seen in the mare so far.
In addition to owning Diamond Davinity (Diamond Domini x Hyperboreas), the Dutch Warmblood who scored a 78.93 to take the 2018 USEA FEH Central Grand Champion title, Jayne Lloyd is also the organizer of the inaugural USEA FEH Central Championships. Lloyd talks about the process she went through to get the new FEH Central Championships off the ground and then shares some background about her breeding program, her experience producing young stock, and her high hopes for what "Vinny" will achieve in the future.