New fall 4-star will be in Virginia or Maryland

The short list for the second U.S. 4-star three-day event is very short. It’s been narrowed to two venues with experience in FEI competitions.

Although there had been talk of adding a second American 4-star to the spring Rolex Kentucky 4-star in 2018, the date was pushed to 2019 because the World Equestrian Game in Tryon, N.C., will be the feature of the year in 2018, and it’s being held in September.

The field of candidates for the new 4-star includes Fair Hill, Md., which has hosted the Fair Hill International fall championship 2- and 3-star events since 1992. The event is now sponsored by the Dutta Corp.

The Fair Hill Natural Resources Center near Elkton has a beautiful backdrop in the fall with its vast array of trees and their multi-colored leaves.

Stakeholders have begun discussions with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources about the 2015 Maryland Horse Park System Study, which recommended Fair Hill as an ideal equestrian field event venue to support the value of the state’s horse industry.

Interestingly, Maryland, like Kentucky, also has a Triple Crown race–the Preakness is at Pimlico, while the Kentucky Derby is at Churchill Downs.

The other 4-star possibility is Great Meadow in The Plains, Va., near Middleburg, a 380-acre field events center and steeplechase course operated under stewardship of the Great Meadow Foundation.It was where the U.S. eventing team had its final outing before leaving for the Rio Olympics last summer.

Other candidates for the 4-star that didn’t make the cut were Tryon, the Jockey Club in Ocala, Fla., Morven Park in Virginia and

A fall U.S. 4-star would be the seventh event at that level in the world. The only other country to have two such competitions is Britain, with Badminton in the spring and Burghley in the autumn. The other 4 stars are Luhmuhlen in Germany, Pau in France and Australia’s Adelaide.

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