Fair Hill, MD - October 20, 2013 - Jan Byyny of Purcellville, VA, and Inmidair were crowned champions of the 25th Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** Eventing Championships in Elkton, MD, on Sunday afternoon. The pair maintained their lead despite dropping a rail. Initially, Byyny was not sure of the victory.
"I thought I was in second. I thought, 'Oh no, I screwed up'. They said I had to go clean when I came into the ring and I had the one rail down," said Byyny. "My horse is amazing. He's a great jumper. I bought him from Will Coleman. The only thing I am really sad about is that my parents are not here."
As the overall winner Byyny and Inmidair, owned by Jan, Richard and Jo Byyny, won the Fair Hill Bronze. They also received the USEF Guy V. Henry Memorial Trophy as the highest placed American and the Gladstone Trophy for the highest placed US rider by the US Equestrian Team Foundation. Byyny was also presented with the Beale Wright Morris Memorial Trophy as the Leading Lady Rider.
Riding in reverse order of merit, Byyny and Inmidair were the last to jump. The crowd held its collective breath as the pair continued around the William duPont, Jr. Arena following the downed rail. The overnight leaders managed to go clean the rest of the way for a final score of 51.6 penalties. It seemed that no one was more pleased with Byyny's win than Buck Davidson of Ocala, FL, who rode Carl and Cassandra Segal's Park Trader to second place on a score of 52.6 penalties. Davidson went clear in show jumping, but carried over a higher score from the previous two phases.
"It's been a job in perseverance. He's been a difficult horse," said Davidson of the Thoroughbred gelding. "It's exciting because I've had him for two years and in my first CCI** I couldn't even get a qualifying score. I am really, really excited for Jan. She's been a great friend since we were kids. Jan has been through so much and she persevered. She's the reason I stayed in the sport."
William Coleman, III and Conair had a chance at the crown coming into Sunday's competition in second place, but the pair knocked down a rail, dropping them down to third with a score of 54.2 penalties. Coleman was pragmatic about the rail. "It came down. It was 3'11" and he jumped about 3'8"."
Fair Hill International welcomed a new sponsor in the Dutta Corp. Tim Dutta, President and CEO of Dutta Corp., the official international air transport of the USEF Eventing and Dressage teams, spoke of the sponsorship and the future of their involvement.
"I am delighted to be a part of the community. The spirit is amazing and they are great horsemen," said Dutta. I'm looking forward to many years in the sport."
Several other special awards were presented for the CCI***. The Linda Moore Trophy awarded to the highest placed foreign rider went to Tim Bourke of Ireland and Luckaun Quality, for their eighth place finish, with 58.6 penalties. The pair also won the Best Presentation award, determined by the Ground Jury. The Sportsmanship award, voted by riders and officials as the rider who the best exemplified sportsmanship at the CCI*** was awarded to Kim Severson of Scottsville, VA. Ellen Doughty and Sir Oberon won three awards in their first CCI***: the Amanda Warrington Memorial Trophy, presented to the highest placed entry in their first CCI***, the USEF Alexander MacKay Smith Trophy given to the highest placed rider in the USEF National Developing Rider Championship, and the Fitness award given to the best conditioned horse as deemed by the Ground Jury.
The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital of Cecil County, in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.
For more information, please visit www.fairhillinternational.com.