The Plains, Virginia - The Board of Directors for U.S. Equestrian has named the Great Meadow Foundation, located in The Plains, VA, as one of two finalists for a new, CCI4* eventing competition to be held in the fall of 2019.
If selected, Great Meadow would be the second CCI4* in America and the 7th in the World. Last year, the only other CCI4* in the U.S., The Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, KY, drew more than 80,000 spectators to their event held in late April.
Great Meadow has grown quite popular since opening 35 years ago. Today, Great Meadow hosts more than forty events that draw more than 200,000 through the gates, including the prestigious Virginia Gold Cup steeplechase races. Great Meadow has been making a name for themselves in eventing by hosting the U.S. prep trials for the 2013
World Equestrian Games (France) and the 2014 Pan Am Games (Canada). Last year, Great Meadow hosted the first Nations Cup of Eventing ever held in North America, a prep trial for the 2016 Olympics. Thirty days later, team member Phillip Dutton won the individual bronze medal in Eventing at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This year, Great Meadow will once again host the Nations Cup Presented by Adequan® July 7-9. Teams from the UK and Europe have been invited and, with no Olympics or World Equestrian Games on the calendar, several teams are planning to atend.
"We are honored to once again host the FEI Nations Cup™ of Eventing outside of Europe. We are uniquely suited to host the CCI4*, too," said Robert Banner, President of Great Meadow Foundation. "We are in an area known for equestrianism for more than 200 years, yet only 50 miles from Washington, DC. We have groomed our turf footing for this type of activity for more than 30 years and added a brand new, $1 million all-weather arena. We are close to hotels, restaurants, and wineries. Our region is as beautiful as any national park. If our national governing body is looking for fresh faces to experience the joy of horses, we can introduce you to a few!"
Great Meadow has the site, the facility and direct experience handling large crowds and high performance competition. They even have the promise of a new equine quarantine center at Dulles Airport, just 30 minutes away. The Foundation is also a 501(c)3, non-profit organization with a mission to "preserve open space for equestrian and community service." Tickets, tailgates, and tent parties are fully deductible under applicable IRS guidelines. The land can never be sold, or developed. While Fauquier County and the Commonwealth of Virginia fully support Great Meadow, it is funded entirely by operational revenue and private donations managed by eleven directors on their board.
The Great Meadow International organizing committee is filled with experts, each with successful experience running high performance competition. They are supported by hundreds of eager volunteers ready to welcome the World. The U.S. national governing body may have narrowed their decision for the prestigious CCI4* to two, but Great Meadow is poised to deliver today.