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Fair Hill International To Host 100-Mile Endurance Championship

FAIR HILL, MD—September 5, 2002—Known for attracting world-class equestrians in eventing and combined driving, the Fair Hill International has added another jewel -- a 100-mile endurance championship to be held as a kick-off to the annual Fair Hill International Festival in the Country in October.

Sanctioned by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation – FEI), the first Fair Hill International 100-Mile Endurance ride will serve as the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Endurance 100-Mile Championship.

The new endurance ride will kick off the 14th annual Fair Hill International Festival in the Country. It will take place the weekend prior to the driving and eventing championships, which are held October 24-27.

The competitions include the USET Three Star Fall Championship and the USA Equestrian Single Horse Driving Championship, plus the final leg of the Triple Crown of Combined Driving and the FEI North American Driving Challenge. The endurance ride will take place on Saturday, October19.

The Fair Hill International will also host the United States Eventing Association (USEA) East Coast Championships that include dressage on Thursday, cross-country on Friday, and show jumping on Saturday, all from 8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.

For years, the prestigious Fair Hill International has hosted high-level competitions, attracting Olympic and World Championship veterans as well as the brightest new stars in the equestrian spotlight. Now Fair Hill has polished its reputation to a glossier sheen by including this cross-country ride, the first 100-mile endurance ride in Maryland.

While Fair Hill has hosted 50-mile rides in the past, this is its first 100-mile course. The longer 100-mile competitions, considered the pinnacle of endurance riding, can take from 9½ to 14 hours to complete, depending upon the terrain.

Designed by Lana Wright, who has designed the driving marathon course at Fair Hill the past 12 years, the endurance course takes riders and horses from the beautiful Fair Hill Department of Natural Resources Property into Pennsylvania before winding its way back to Maryland.

Since this is the Festival’s first endurance ride, officials aren’t guessing how many riders they’ll attract, but it’s highly anticipated that top-level competitors will participate. Riders can work for special awards in the FEI division and earn points towards the FEI Emirates Endurance World Master Series. Or, riders can enter the AERC 50-Mile Ride or the AERC 100-Mile Ride.

While horses and riders are center stage at Fair Hill, spectators can also enjoy the Country Shops -- a variety of shops and eateries, with vendors selling tack, jewelry, artwork, pet supplies, apparel and fine gifts. Fine dining (including Maryland crab cakes) and casual snacks are available.

Other entertainment for families to enjoy at Festival in the Country includes dog agility trials and miniature horse performances. A MASH unit provided by the New Bolton Center will “perform” surgery on injured stuffed animals—plus provide caps, masks and booties for kids! Friends from the Winterthur booth will offer quick crafts for children, and the Chesapeake Foundation Booth provides information on environmental concerns.

Without the support and funding from numerous sponsors, the Fair Hill International would not be such a magnificent event. Special thanks and recognition go to Cosequin, Dansko, the United States Equestrian Team, Agway, Bit of Britain, First Union Private Capital Management, Glenmede Trust, Practical Horseman, Scudder Financial Services, Southern States Cooperative, Thoroughbred Charities of America, Ltd, and Wilmington Trust Company.

Rain or shine, gates open at 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Tickets for all four days are $35 or $10 Thursday-Friday and $12 Saturday-Sunday. Children under 12 are admitted free.

For more information on the Fair Hill International, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit


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