We’re sad to share the news that David O’Connor and Darrin Mollett, co-organizers of Great Meadow International, have announced that the August FEI fixture in The Plains, Virginia will not run in 2024 due to issues with the extant late-summer date and ground conditions.
“As GMI organisers for the past eight years, we have made the difficult decision not to run the August event at the Great Meadow Foundation in 2024,” said O’Connor and Mollett in a statement released on social media today (December 9). “The last two years have been a struggle with the date in late August. Although we originally were able to control the footing on our tracks, recent events have made that impossible. Although we attempted to move our date, this date change was not granted for 2024. We have also attempted to work with the landowner on improvements to the facility to allow irrigation of the course, but those will not be possible for 2024.”
This year’s Great Meadow International was plagued by withdrawals due to hard ground conditions: just seven of the 22 entrants in the CCI4*-S feature class opted to go cross-country, while 31 of 50 in the CCI3*-S left the startbox – and this was a major driving force behind GMI’s team’s commitment to change at the venue, whether through ground management or a shift in the calendar.
“In fairness to our competitors, our sponsors, our all-volunteer organizing committee, our dedicated volunteers, our local community, and all stake holders in this sport, we wanted to let you know as soon as we did that we will not run at Great Meadow in 2024.”
It’s not all bad news, though, for the GMI team, who ordinarily host classes from Preliminary through to CCI4*-S in August, and have previously been the US host of the FEI Nations Cup, too: they’ve been granted a CCI1*, to run August 24–25, 2024.
“We are working on alternative venues for this date and hope to have an announcement soon,” continued the statement. “In the meantime, we would like to thank everyone for their commitment to this event.”
We hope to see GMI return to the calendar in 2025, and will be bringing you more information and updates as they happen.