Davis Equine + Ride Safe to Present Inaugural Groom’s Award at #MARSGMI

Boyd Martin’s Tsetserleg and his groom Stephanie Simpson. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

Five Rings Eventing, LLC is pleased to announce a partnership with Davis Equine + Ride Safe to provide a Groom’s Award at this year’s event.

The MARS Great Meadow International (MARSGMI) takes place in The Plains, Virginia on August 19-22, 2021 and offers CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, CCI2*-S and preliminary divisions.

“A Groom’s Award is something this competition has always wanted to do,” said Max Corcoran, a member of the organizing committee and an Olympic level professional groom who’s traveled around the world caring for the top horses in the sport. ”I’ve been so lucky to work with amazing animals throughout my career. A groom’s relationship with their horses is the foundation for the success of any team, and we are grateful to our friends at Davis Equine + Ride Safe for sponsoring a prize that highlights their role.”

Davis Equine + Ride Safe has been supporting GMI for years. Now, in addition to providing beautiful leather halters to winners in each division, Davis Equine will also provide a $200 gift certificate to Tri-Country Feeds Fashions and Finds, a leather shank, and a Ride Safe bracelet to the best groom nominated by the ground jury of the CCI4*-S division.

“For Davis Equine + Ride Safe to step up to sponsor a groom’s award is truly a special thing for David O’Connor and me,” said Darrin Mollett, who together with David O’Connor run Five Ring’s Eventing, the Organizer of the event. “When David and I envisioned this event seven years ago, we always saw it as a community-based event on an international stage. To have our local businesses contribute in this generous way makes the hard work worth it and ensures the longevity of this event for our community athletes for years to come.”

“Davis Equine + Ride Safe is excited to partner with this great local competition again,” said Dr Chad Davis of Davis Equine. “We understand how important the work of these grooms is to the health and welfare of the equine athlete and are honored to recognize their immense contribution to the sport.”

Last year, MARSGMI successfully implemented the “Great Meadow Model” to run a safe event during the pandemic. This year will be no different as MARSGMI will return to the same model to allow spectators to enjoy the competition in a safe environment.

Returning for 2021, MARSGMI will offer general admission weekend passes as well as fabulous tailgate options for spectators. Limited vendors, a wine vendor, and food trucks have been invited to enhance the spectator experience. Catering is also offered by Salamander Market.

“Great Meadow is truly a special place in the heart of Northern Virginia horse country,” said O’Connor. “We are especially excited to broaden the reach of this event to be more inclusive of our community members, businesses, and organizations who share our love of open space, animal well-being, and the Piedmont.”

MARSGMI will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and maintain communication with the Great Meadow Foundation, state and local health officials and the USEF and FEI.