Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country Returns October 18-21
RELEASE: October 4, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Sarah Evers
USEF Eventing Championship CCI***, USEF National Advanced Combined Driving Championships Highlight Schedule
World-class equestrian action returns to highlight the 19th annual Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country, October 18-21. This year’s Festival features competition in two equestrian disciplines, as well as a wide array of family entertainment and attractions, at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in the beautiful countryside of Fair Hill, MD.
The Festival features the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** Championship, one of the most prestigious three-day events in the United States. It will also be the first event to present five of the six National Driving Championships offered annually by the USEF.
“Before now, there has never been a single event that has hosted five driving championships,” said Charlie Colgan, Dansko Fair Hill International Executive Director. “We are very excited to offer these championship events this year and hope that our spectators will enjoy watching the nation’s best riders and drivers and their horses.”
To complement the top-notch equestrian competition, Fair Hill’s ever popular Dog Agility Trials will return this year with over 400 canine competitors. Many additional exciting activities are planned, including appearances by the Delmarva Miniature Horse Club, featuring driving and hunter/jumper demonstrations.
Members of the United States Pony Club will be on hand participating in the President’s Cup Invitational Games. During the Games, riders in teams of five will compete in a variety of challenging and entertaining relay races; awards will be presented to winning teams on Sunday.
The Kids Corner will also return this year, offering a variety of activities for the younger set. Puppeteer Jack Foreaker will be performing on both Saturday and Sunday, and live music will be provided by Rebecca Pitre’s Whoa Buddy Productions. Visitors may want to watch JoAnn Dawson’s musical production, “HorsePlay,” on Saturday. The play uses actors and horses to chronicle the relationship of man and horse throughout history.
The Dansko Fair Hill CCI*** is one of only two three-star events in the country. Top riders prime and condition their horses to meet the challenging obstacles Fair Hill presents every year. Olympic medal-winners such as Phillip Dutton, Karen O’Connor, and Kim Severson are expected to be on hand vying for a chance to win the prestigious United States Equestrian Team Foundation Challenge Trophy.
Stiff competition is also expected in the combined driving championships as drivers compete in the areas of singles (horses and ponies), pairs (horses and ponies) and four-in-hand (ponies only). Those likely to be on hand this year include 2006 advanced driving winner Suzy Stafford, Individual Gold Medalist at the 2005 World Driving Championships.
“The excitement at Fair Hill is especially palpable on Saturday when eventing’s cross-country phase and driving’s marathon phase run on the same day,” said Colgan. “Saturday, October 20, promises to be one of the most action-packed days of the equestrian sport year!”
Also returning are the country shops, boasting a wide variety of shopping and dining, featuring vendors of tack, jewelry, artwork, pet needs, exceptional apparel and fine gifts for the approaching holiday season. The Fair Hill Club offers fine dining, while visitors seeking a more casual snack or meal will find pubs around the Fair Hill grounds serving classic Maryland crab cakes and other treats. In fact, the Maryland Department of Agriculture named the Fair Hill International as a “Maryland Top Event!”
The 2007 Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country will benefit Union Hospital in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring co