THE PLAINS, V.A. - As the excitement grows for the Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan® and the first FEI Nations Cup™ held outside Europe,world renowned course designer Mike Etherington-Smith is building a world-class 3* cross-country course that will span Great Meadow's magnificent park and unitize its new $1 Million arena.
In addition to hosting several international teams in the first-ever FEI Nations Cup™ Eventing competition to be held outside Europe July 8-10, the Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan® will also be the final prep for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team before they go to the summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
With the development of the $1 Million arena, Etherington-Smith, who has served as course designer at the world's most significant events including two Olympic Games, is taking advantage of the grounds layout and providing a spectator friendly cross-country course while giving competitors a solid 3* run. Etherington-Smith leveraged the track form last year's course while incorporating the new arena, placing spectators in the heart of the course to cheer on the Olympic and other world-class riders.
"Great Meadow is a venue with fantastic views," said Etherington-Smith., returning for his second year as Great Meadow's cross-country course designer. "The new arena has produced fantastic opportunities to expand the course and be inviting to both spectators and competitors. This event is a milestone for the U.S. with the Nations Cup and especially during an Olympic year. "
The course runs 3,006 meters and consists of 33 jumping efforts, with additional loops to bring riders through the newly constructed arena. The course being slightly larger than last year, was designed and built to be a solid 3* competition. However, Etherington-Smith's goal was to provide a course that would allow riders to get into a good rhythm and showcase what the horses and riders can do.
"While the course is a touch bigger than last year, it is a solid 3* track," said Etherington-Smith. "Its difficulty will be for riders to really ride the course and find their rhythm. The course provides both horses and riders an opportunity to showcase what they can do while achieving standards at this level of completion."
Spectators are encouraged to come out on Friday, July 8 for a "Free on Friday" celebration which will include an Opening Ceremony followed by the Morningside Bareback Puissance class, sponsored by Morningside Training Farm, which is a high-jumping bareback competition with a $2,000 grand prize. Spectators will also get a chance to inspect the new $1 Million arena and the grand opening of the Meadow Market Trade Show.
For more information, please visit: www.greatmeadow.org.