Fair Hill, MD - October 19, 2014 - Julie Richards, Newnan, GA and Urlanmore Beauty were flawless in the show jumping phase to win The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI** in Elkton, MD on Sunday afternoon. The 2004 Olympic team bronze medalist completed the three-phase competition without incurring any faults winning off the dressage score of 43 penalties, a mere six tenths of a penalty ahead of runner-up, Kim Severson, Charlottesville, VA and Cooley Cross Border.
As the overall winner in the CCI** Richards and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding were presented with the Heartwood Perpetual Trophy. Richards also received the USEF Combined Training Trophy, presented to the highest placed US rider. The newly crowned champion reflected on her victory.
"It always feels great," said Richards. "The horse is so generous. He's just a really super animal that way. I knew he would try and he touched one or two, and that always gives you heart palpitations, but sometimes it goes your way and I was thrilled with him."
As owner of the winning horse, her student Asa Cooper won the Sea Horse Farm Perpetual Trophy in memory of Richard H. and Vita C. Thompson. The new title was quite an accomplishment for Urlanmore Beauty as Richards has only been competing with him since July.
Going into the final phase of the CCI** there was no room for error as the top three, all representing the USEF, were separated by only 2.3 penalties. Riding in reverse order of merit, third place Severson and the 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse, were the first of the top three to enter the William Dupont, Jr. Arena. The pair looked like they handily rode to a double clear, but Severson felt differently.
"Luckily, luck was on our side," said the 2004 Olympic Individual Silver medalist of "Cross", owned by The Cross Syndicate. "I didn't feel he was jumping as well as he usually does, which is very well. But he's game he tries really, really hard, so we're very lucky."
Severson was named Reserve Champion of the CCI** . Cooley Cross Border also won the Jonathan R. Burton trophy presented to the USEF National Young Horse Champion for 6 & 7 year-olds. He was also the 5-year-old East Coast Young Event Horse Champion at Fair Hill two years ago.
Richards and Urlanmore Beauty's double clear left the title in the balance for the overnight leader Victoria Jessop (GBR), Middleburg, VA on Desert Mystery. The pair knocked down two rails on the Sally Ike designed course, which moved them down to seventh. They did not leave Fair Hill empty handed, Jessop won the Palmaccio Trophy presented to the leading foreign rider and Desert Mystery was given the Fitness Award for the best conditioned horse.
Marilyn Little, Frederick, MD and RF Quarterman, moved up from sixth to third with their double clear performance to score of 46.6 penalties. Little was pleased with the 6-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Raylyn Farms as this was his first CCI**.
"I know he could jump and do the height, but to do all three phases is quite a new thing for him," said Little. "With a young horse doing his first CCI you never know how they are going to be on Sunday and I was really, really pleased with the effort that he put in."
There were additional awards presented to CCI** competitors: Boyd Martin, Cochranville, PA received the Judy E. Thayer Memorial Trophy presented to the highest placed rider who currently resides in Chester County, PA; Carolyn Martin, Springtown, PA was given the John H. Fritz trophy as the highest placed competitor in the Young Rider Championship; the Best Presentation Award decided by the Ground Jury went to Alexandra Ahearn, Renton, WA; the Small But Mighty Award presented to the smallest equine competing in the CCI** went to Forrest Nymph, owned by Beth Davidson and ridden by Sinead Halpin; Kelecyn Cognac, owned by Heidi White received the Mid-Atlantic Horse Rescue Trophy presented to the highest placed American Thoroughbred; and Waylon Roberts of Canada was presented with the Sportsmanship award.
The Dutta Corporation Fair Hill International, started in 1989, at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Fair Hill, Maryland, offering one of the most prestigious international three day events in the world.
The Dutta Corporation is a leading international horse transportation company that is also the Official Shipper for the United States Eventing Team. The Dutta Corporation has donated free transportation for the winning horse-rider combination of this year's Three-Star Championship to any Three-Star event in Europe. Additionally, The Dutta Corporation sponsored the electronic scoreboard at the event.
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 call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.