The Plains, Virginia -- The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) have chosen the Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan®, to host the first-ever FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition to be held outside Europe. The event, the only U.S. leg of the series, will be held at the picturesque Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia, July 9-10, and will also host the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team in its final preparation trial prior to next summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"We are so proud that the FEI has chosen the Land Rover Great Meadow International to host the first FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ to be held outside Europe," said Robert L. Banner, Jr., President of the Great Meadow Foundation. "Nations Cup team competitions are very competitive in Europe, as they are, of course, in the Olympics and World Championships, and it's very exciting that we can bring this here to the United States."
By combining the Nations Cup with the final outing for the U.S. Eventing team before it goes to Rio for the Olympic Games, Great Meadow continues its recent tradition of hosting the highest level of equestrian sport. The last two years saw Great Meadow host the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team in its final preparation trial prior to the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games and the 2015 Pan American Games.
"The 2016 Land Rover Great Meadow International is going to be an historic event," said David O'Connor, Chef d'Equipe and Technical Advisor of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team and Organizer of the event. "Never before has an Eventing Nations Cup been held outside Europe and we think this will generate incredible interest and help raise the level of the sport in the U.S. to new levels."
"And as it's an Olympic year," the Olympic Gold Medalist continued, "there will be a rare chance for spectators to see our Olympic horses and riders in their final competition before they head off to Rio. It will all make for an incredibly exciting weekend!"
The 2016 Land Rover Great Meadow International (GMI) CICO*** will take place over two days. The dressage phase will take place on Saturday morning and afternoon, show jumping on Saturday evening, and the final cross country phase on Sunday morning. GMI offers top prize money along with a world-class venue so the entry list is expected to be high, giving spectators and Eventing enthusiasts the opportunity to watch to some of the best competitors that equestrian sport has to offer on their road to the Olympic Games.
A blue ribbon group of donors has backed Great Meadow's effort to host high performance eventing by purchasing the 174 acres adjacent to the primary property. Their plans include design and construction of a World class, all-weather arena and irrigated cross-country track. The new arena will feature a water complex which is unique in America. The cross-country track will make full use of the racecourse on the primary property recognized for its excellent turf footing for more than 30 years. While nearing the goal, there is still time for those wishing to join this distinguished group in support of this important project. A plaque will recognize their support on a prominent wall situated at the entrance to the new arena for perpetuity.
The FEI first held a series of Eventing Nations Cup competitions in 2012. The series has met with great interest and the 2015 schedule included events in eight European countries. Competition is open to all nations fielding a team of 3 or 4 riders, and runs under FEI Eventing rules at CICO and CCIO*** level with riders accumulating points under a dedicated system. Just last month the U.S. Team took second place at the FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition in Boekelo, The Netherlands. Click here for the 2016 FEI Nations Cup Eventing Series calendar.
"We really could not be any more excited about next summer's event," Banner added. "At Great Meadow, we are passionate about bringing our supporters and audiences the absolute best in equestrian sporting events, and with what we have in store for next summer, we know that we are doing exactly that!"
The event will host a robust trade show situated on the cusp of the new arena and will open on July 8th, the Friday before the Saturday and Sunday competition. The opening day will be free for all to attend and will include an opportunity to audit a clinic led by a leading clinician, test drive a new Land Rover at their new drive park, follow course walks led by leading riders and trainers, as well as the shopping offered by leading brands in the trade show. Saturday and Sunday competition days will cost $30 carload per day to attend, or $50 for the entire event. Tailgating and VIP hospitality will be offered as well.
For more information about Great Meadow International visit www.greatmeadowinternational.com.