Fair Hill, MD-October 2, 2001-The Fair Hill International Festival in the Country, host to some of the country's most prestigious equestrian competitions, will add the 2001 AHSA National Combined Driving Pony Championships (for singles, pairs, and teams) to its roster of events. The Fair Hill International returns to the Fair Hill Natural Resources Area in the beautiful Maryland countryside October 25-28, 2001. The AHSA (American Horse Shows Association) Driving Committee has decided to move the 2001 AHSA National Combined Driving Pony Championships from the Wethersfield CDE, which was recently canceled, to the Fair Hill International. The relocation is subject to the formal approval of the AHSA Executive Committee.
"We are delighted to include the ponies in our competition," said Fair Hill International Executive Director Patrick McGaughan. "We're confident that the drivers and ponies competing in the AHSA National Combined Driving Pony Championships, and their fans and support personnel, will find that the Fair Hill International is an ideal venue."
Pending the AHSA Executive Committee's approval of the relocation, this year's Fair Hill International will now feature four exciting equestrian championships- the USET Fall Eventing Championship CCI***, the USET Four-in-Hand Driving Championship, the AHSA Single Horse Driving Championship, and the newly added AHSA National Combined Driving Pony Championships. The Fair Hill International will also serve as a United States Equestrian Team (USET) selection trial for the 2002 Four-In-Hand and Singles Driving World Championships, to be held in Jerez, Spain and Conty, France, respectively.
The USET Fall Eventing Championship CCI*** is one of the most prestigious three-day events held in the United States and regularly draws Olympic and World Championship veterans such as defending champion Phillip Dutton, Karen and David O'Connor, Nina Fout and Bruce Davidson. The Fair Hill event is one of just two three-star competitions held in the United States each year, so riders prime their horses specifically to culminate their competitive seasons with this celebrated competition.
Likewise, the USET Four-in-Hand Driving Championship and the AHSA Single Horse Championship are among the season's highlights for combined drivers. Last year Tucker Johnson, Oldwick, NJ, won a record fourth straight four-in-hand title. Pam Pruitt of Durham, CT, won the singles title. The Fair Hill International also hosts the final leg of the Jaguar Triple Crown of Driving, presented by Driving Essentials/Glinkowski Carriages. Kimberly Stover of Warwick, MD, the 1999 Jaguar Triple Crown Champion, took the lead during the first leg when she won the Advanced Singles division at the Laurels Combined Driving Event in Unionville, PA in September. Nancy Johnson of Lincoln, MA has since moved into first place after winning the Advanced Singles division during the second leg of the Jaguar Triple Crown of Driving at the Gladstone Driving Event in Gladstone, NJ. With only a few points separating the leaders after the first two legs, the Fair Hill International's final leg of the Jaguar Triple Crown of Driving, presented by Driving Essentials/Glinkowski Carriages, will see fierce competition for the Jaguar crown.
For novice equestrians, this year's Fair Hill International will also host the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) Area II Preliminary, Training & Novice Horse Trials' Championships. These East Coast Championships include dressage on Thursday, cross-country on Friday, and show jumping on Saturday, all from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Fair Hill International also features the new Equine Health Pavilion, sponsored by Cosequin. The Equine Health Pavilion will feature educational opportunities with experts from the New Bolton Center at The University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Smartpak (custom packager of daily supplements for equine feed), and Pennfield Feed together with Kentucky Equine Research. Talks, demonstrations, and autograph sessions with international stars of eventing and combined driving will round out the opportunities in the Equine Health Pavilion.
The Fair Hill International gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors, without whom an event of this magnitude would not be possible, including Cosequin, the United States Equestrian Team, Banner Life Insurance, Bit of Britain, First Union Private Capital Management, Glenmede Trust, Jaguar, Nawpac, Outback Performance Wear with Gore-Tex Fabric by Outback Trading Company, Ltd., Pennfield Feeds, Practical Horseman, Scudder Financial Services, Southern States Cooperative, Supracor, Thornhill Enterprises, and Thoroughbred Charities of America, Ltd. For further information on the Fair Hill International, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.