By the Numbers: MARS Great Meadow CCI4*-S

Now in its fifth running, Great Meadow International in Virginia is solidly ensconced as a top destination for summer eventing on the East Coast. A new August date sets pairs up nicely to kick off the fall season, as well as providing a well-timed final prep for any headed over to England to contest Burghley or Blenheim.

Photo courtesy of Great Meadow.

The Field

  • Although the first two runnings saw the dressage leader also taking top honors, in the last two years the winner has been in sixth after dressage.
  • The winner of this division has never finished on their dressage score; those who have finished on their dressage score have at best finished second.
  • Last year’s running saw 12.5% of the field finish inside the optimum time, an all time-high for Great Meadow. However, the clear jumping rate plummeted from 75% in 2017 to 40% in 2018.

Buck Davidson and Carlevo. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.


  • Carlevo and Buck Davidson are the pair to watch for the first phase; these two have scored over 70% for 12 consecutive A/4* starts.
  • Harbour Pilot had an uncharacteristic test at Kentucky but is likely to rebound this weekend under Hannah Sue Burnett. Less consistent than Carlevo, they’ve also managed to break 75% in one of their last 10 starts at this level and flirted with that score again earlier this year, scoring a 26.4 at Red Hills.
  • Lynn Symansky has formed a formidable partnership with the mare Under Suspection and their lone start at this level in 2019 indicates that, with an impressive mark of 26.8. Their personal best of 25.7 was also at The Fork, but in 2018.
  • Vandiver has been no slouch in this phase under Doug Payne, despite some underlying tension at Kentucky. In three of their five A/4* starts in the past two years, they’ve broken 70%.
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation have had an abbreviated partnership, but in six starts at the level together, they’ve averaged 30.9 and broken into the 20s on two occasions.

Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras. Photo by Shelby Allen.


  • D.A. Duras has had limited runs under Lauren Kieffer in 2018 and 2019, but has continued his strong stadium record with two clear rounds in that time. They’ve jumped clear in 10 of their last 11 consecutive rounds at the level.
  • TKS Cooley has only two rounds at this level but has jumped clear in both under Will Coleman. His stablemate DonDante has clocked in clear rounds in all three of his starts as well. Their more experienced stablemate Tight Lines hasn’t had a rail at A/4*-S in the last two calendar years and has been six for six clear rounds in that time.
  • Doug Payne‘s ride Quantum Leap has jumped three clears in three rounds in his first year at this level.
  • Under Suspection has jumped clear in four of her five rounds at A/4*-S under Lynn Symansky.

Erika Nesler and Right Above It. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld


  • Right Above It has had some time off in the last year but is back at it with Erika Nesler. In their three runs, they have finished an average of 1.67 seconds over either optimum time or the fastest time of the day.
  • Vandiver is another who can show great turn of foot, finishing inside optimum on two of his four A/4*-S starts in the last two years with Doug Payne and finishing only four seconds over optimum time on another occasion.
  • DonDante has finished no more than thirteen seconds slower than either optimum or the fastest ride of the day in all three of his starts under Will Coleman.
  • Prince Renan (Anna Loschiavo), Landmark’s Monaco (Kim Cecere), and Covert Rights (Colleen Rutledge) have all shown turn of foot when running clear on cross country, but have struggled with consistency over the fences.

PREDICTED WINNER: Doug Payne and Vandiver

Doug Payne and Vandiver. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Keep Your Eye On:

  • Lynn Symansky and Under Suspection
  • Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Revelation
  • Lauren Kieffer and D.A. Duras
  • Buck Davidson and Carlevo
  • Will Coleman and DonDante

MARS Great Meadow International: WebsiteEntry StatusRide Times, Order of GoLive Scores, EN’s Coverage