Fair Hill, MD - October 19, 2013 - Jan Byyny and Inmidair, owned by Jan, Richard, and Jo Byyny, had a banner day in the exciting cross country phase of the 25th Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** and CCI** Eventing Championships in Elkton, MD on Saturday. The Purcellville, VA resident finished on top of the leaderboard incurring only two time penalties for a two-day score of 47.6 penalties.
"My horse is a pretty special horse," said Byyny of the 14-year old Thoroughbred gelding. "He is probably one of the most experienced horses in the field this weekend. He was amazing. I felt like I could ride my plan and that really doesn't happen that often."
The weather cooperated with a cool breeze for most of the day much to the delight of the huge crowd lining the Derek Di Grazia designed cross country course. Much of the excitement took place at the Dutta Corporation Farm Yard fence with many horses running out or refusing to jump. Byyny was unaffected by the bogey fence.
"If you want it, you have to make it happen," said Byyny. "And if things don't go as planned you have to be able to think on your feet."
William Coleman, III of Gordonsville, VA, and Conair had no plan. The pair moved up from 12th to second place negotiating the cross country course without incurring any jumping or time penalties finishing with 50.2 penalties. Out of the 45 starters, Coleman was one of only four to go double-clear on a horse he had only been riding for a short time.
"I don't really know this horse very well to be quite honest because I have only been riding him for about two and a half months, but he is a good horse and I learned a lot about him today," said Coleman. "You go out there and lay down the best course you can and hope that you move up a bit. I just wanted to give him a good three-star... At the end of the day you just want to go home with no jumping penalties and with as few time faults as possible."
Doug Payne of Pottersville, NJ, incurred 6.8 expensive time penalties to move from second place following dressage to third with Amelia and Larry Ross' and his own Crown Talisman for 50.4 penalties.
In the CCI** Sharon White of Summit Point, WV, moved up from the runner-up spot in dressage to the top of the leader board on Mary Ann Ghadban's Under Suspection to end the day on 43.9 penalties. White was riding with a broken right hand, but she did not let it affect her performance. "She was amazing everywhere I really felt like I was along for the ride and I enjoyed it immensely," White said of her Holsteiner mare. "It was a really nice day."
Allie Blyskal-Sacksen of Landenberg, PA, finished second riding her Thoroughbred gelding Sparrow's Nio with 47.8 penalties. There was a tie for third with 49.7 penalties between Colleen Loach from Canada riding Freespirit and Ryan Wood of Australia on Fernhill Classic, the first combination of the day on the cross country course, which Wood said was to his advantage. "It was kind of nice not having to question of what someone did. I just went out there and did it and it worked," said Wood. "It's got its advantages going first."
All four riders were double-clear. A total of 11 out of the 69 starters negotiated the CCI**cross country course with no jumping or time penalties. Overnight leader Boyd Martin, Cochranville, PA and the Pancho Villa Syndicate's Pancho Villa had two refusals sinking down to 39th place with 96.6 penalties.
The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International culminates on Sunday with the show jumping phase at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area. CCI** competitors take to the William DuPont, Jr. Arena at 10:00 a.m. riding in reverse order of penalties. The CCI*** is expected to start at 1:00 p.m.
Visitors to the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Festival in the Country can once again look forward to the fashionable Country Shops, which feature over 40 vendors selling tack, jewelry, artwork, pet needs, exceptional apparel and fine gifts for the approaching holiday seasons. The VIP Tent offers fine dining, while spectators seeking a more casual snack or meal will find pubs around the Fair Hill grounds serving classic Maryland crab cakes and other treats. On Sunday, the Riverside Carnival Band, one of the mid-Atlantic's leading New Orleans jazz bands, will be performing throughout the day.
The Kid's Corner offers a variety of activities for the younger set. The popular canine demonstrations will be highlighted with some new and exciting opportunities for dog owners. In addition to agility and flyball demonstrations, all dog owners are invited to participate in a "show and go" class that will let them test their dog's potential for agility competition.
Also on Sunday, Classic cars will be on hand (weather permitting) for those who want a chance to reminisce about their younger years, as well as for younger people looking to connect with icons from an earlier era.
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 on this year's Fair Hill, including how to purchase tickets and complete schedule information, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.