September 2017 Issue - page 11

PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
September 2017
Page 11
The Devon Horse Show Fall
Classic will return for the sixth
year to the Devon show grounds
in Devon, PA September 14-17.
The competition begins
each day at 8 a.m. In between
the excitement of the show, the
Devon Fall Festival will provide
a taste of autumn in Pennsyl-
vania, featuring a selection of
boutique shops, carnival games,
and kid-friendly food, beginning
each day at 10 a.m.
Fair Hill International was
endorsed July 5 by the United
States Equestrian Federation
(USEF) as the site of the second
CCI4* (4*) to be held in the Unit-
ed States. The recommendation
will be forwarded to the Federa-
tion Equestre Internationale (FEI)
for a final decision in the fall.
The 4* is the pinnacle of
the sport of eventing, and only
six events of this level are held
worldwide.
"We are thrilled with the
USEF's announcement," said
Trish Gilbert, Co-President of
Fair Hill International. "Our
team has worked really hard to
bring the 4* to Fair Hill. It is an
honor to be selected to put on an
event of this caliber - to showcase
Maryland and the beautiful Fair
Hill terrain on a world stage."
FHI's Executive Director, Carla
Geiersbach, agreed, "The team-
work that has made this selection
possible is extraordinary. Our
partners include multiple eques-
trian disciplines and also span the
public and private sectors."
The annual economic benefit
of the 4* is projected to grow to
up to $30 million dollars annu-
ally. Once it is established, the
event will welcome upwards of
80,000 spectators over four days.
"Even with the addition of this
event we know how important it
is for Fair Hill and Cecil County
to maintain their rural nature. We
are proud that we can offer an
Fair Hill International Gets Four Star Nod from USEF
event that will bring an economic
benefit to the county by embrac-
ing and not erasing what makes
this place so special," continued
Geiersbach.
"The USEF announcement
is exciting news for Maryland's
pursuit of the CCI4*and our
equestrian sports industry." stated
Terry Hasseltine, Executive
Director, Maryland's Sports Com-
mission. "This news paves the
path necessary for our Fair Hill
team and partners to move for-
ward in delivering a world class
venue and a world class event to
achieve the economic threshold
we believe this event can have on
Maryland, Cecil County and the
entire region." added Hasseltine.
The Maryland Department
of Natural Resources manages
the Fair Hill land. Fair Hill is
a 5,613 acre Natural Resources
Management Area. Bordered by
Pennsylvania to the north and
less than one half mile west of
Delaware, Fair Hill is known for
its pristine fields, woodlands and
natural beauty. Once owned by
William DuPont, Jr., the state
bought it after his death with
the mission of preserving the
equestrian nature of the land Mr.
DuPont loved.
"This is a wonderful day for
Cecil County, the State of Mary-
land, the mid-Atlantic region
and for the broader U.S. horse
industry," Maryland Department
of Natural Resources Secretary
Mark Belton said. "The Fair Hill
Natural Resources Management
Area makes an excellent site for
hosting this world-renowned
equestrian event. Congratulations
to all our partners and stakehold-
ers on the recent announcement.
We look forward to continuing our
discussions about renovating and
reinvigorating the property so it is
primed and ready to host the 4*."
The Fair Hill Natural
Resources Management Area
is an historic landmark that has
been a site for equestrian events
in Maryland dating back to the
1930s. Several exciting annual
events including steeplechase
races, the Cecil County Fair and
the Scottish Games call Fair
Hill home. In addition, an elite
racehorse training facility, the
Fair Hill Training Center and
offices for National Steeplechase
Association and Thoroughbred
Racing Associations are housed
on the property.
Renovations coming to Fair
Hill include an irrigated turf
racecourse, new cross country
course, rings and graded grass
field on the infield, and a grand-
stand overlooking the turf track
and rings. Maryland's Department
of Natural Resources, Maryland
Stadium Authority and Fair Hill
Foundation are working together
in a public-private partnership
to achieve these goals. Fair Hill
Foundation stands for several
stakeholder groups at Fair Hill
and is charged with raising the
private dollars that will help
secure these facility upgrades.
According to the 2004 Amer-
ican Horse Council economic
impact study, Maryland has more
horses per square mile than any
other state. The Maryland Horse
Industry Board has been an active
member of the 4* committee
and has consistently worked to
unify the horse industry across all
disciplines.
"This announcement has
awakened a sleeping giant, which
is our $1 billion-plus equine indus-
try. It will make Maryland and the
Mid-Atlantic region the center of
the international horse world each
fall and have a lasting impact on
our industry for years to come. The
Maryland Horse Industry Board
has been working on a plan to de-
velop what has evolved into a horse
park system for over 15 years. We
are thrilled that by hosting this
prestigious event, it will give Fair
Hill the opportunity to become a
major world class equestrian field
events destination while maintain-
ing the pristine beauty of its natural
environment," noted Ross Peddi-
cord, Executive Director, Maryland
Horse Industry Board.
Sixth Devon Fall Classic Planned for September 14-17
Highlights this year include
the $25,000 Devon Fall Classic,
the Open Speed Stake, and the
United States Hunter Jumper
Association Zone 2 Horse of the
Year Jumper Championships, as
well as exciting entertainment.
Live music in the Picnic Grove
will be featured Friday through
Sunday, September 15-17. The
What a Good Dog contest will
be held on Saturday, September
16th. Be sure to take advantage of
incredible prices during the plant
and flower sale at the conclusion
of the competition on Sunday,
September 17th.
The Devon Fall Classic
benefits the Devon Horse Show
and Country Fair Foundation, a
tax-exempt nonprofit organiza-
tion that maintains the historic
Devon show grounds. For more
information or to purchase
tickets, visit devonhorseshow.
net.
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