Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI3* Course Walk

Welcome to cross country day at the Dutta Corp Fair International! The CCI2* riders set out on course at 8:30 a.m. EST, with two-star cross country expected to run past noon. EN’s own Maggie Deatrick, who is competing in the CCI2* aboard Divine Comedy, offered her thoughts on the course in our two-star course walk here, and now we’re bringing you course designer Derek di Grazia’s commentary on the CCI3* course.

The CCI3* course runs in the opposite direction of years past, and Derek said, “it will be interesting to see how the change in direction affects the overall endurance aspect of the track even though the distance is much the same as in the past.”

Fence 1, Flower Berm. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 1, Flower Berm. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

The first four jumps are straightforward galloping fences, “which should help establish the rhythm and settle horses down before heading to the first combination at the Frog Pond,” Derek said.

Fence 2, Stone House. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 2, Stone House. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 3, Oxer. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 3, Oxer. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 4, Smoke House. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 4, Smoke House. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

The Frog Pond offers an option at the B element after the jump into the water, which “gives a different line to the Brush Away jump coming out of the water. I would suspect that both lines will be jumped, and it will just be a matter of which line is thought to more attractive to the particular horse and rider,” Derek said.

Fence 5, Frog Pond. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 5, Frog Pond. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

At the Haunted Hill, riders will need to think about the control required for the jump in over the oxer and then “the adequate step and accuracy to jump the right handed open corner off of a left handed bend,” Derek said. Though there’s an option here, it will eat up a lot of time on the clock.

Fence 6, Haunted Hill. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 6, Haunted Hill. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

There’s a long gallop to the Fair Hill Table at fence 7:

Fence 7, Fair Hill Table. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 7, Fair Hill Table. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Then riders come to the Hobbit Hill at fence 8. “This combination not only requires accuracy but also a forward ride to cover the distance between the two hobbit houses,” Derek said.

Fence 8, Hobbit Hill. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 8, Hobbit Hill. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

There’s another long gallop to the Sunburst at fence 9:

Fence 9, Sunburst. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 9, Sunburst. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Then riders come to the middle of course where they can catch up on time coming to the Chesapeake Water, but “they need to make sure not to go too fast, as there is still more climbing and a long way to go,” Derek said. The brush at 10a requires a bold rider, and riders “need to keep their position and maintain their direction as it comes up very quickly,” he added.

Fence 10, Chesapeake Water. Photo by Andrea Collins, FHI.

Fence 10, Chesapeake Water. Photo by Andrea Collins, FHI.

Riders should fly over the Sneaky Snake at 11 before they head up the hill to Rachel’s Rails.

Fence 11, Sneaky Snake. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 11, Sneaky Snake. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Rachel’s Rails has been rebuilt this year, but it will still be an influential combination requiring a brave ride at the right speed,” Derek said.

Fence 12, Rachel's Rails. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 12, Rachel’s Rails. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Two large galloping fences come next, with riders climbing to the top of a hill toward a new combination on course at fence 15.

Fence 13, Picnic Table. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 13, Picnic Table. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 14, Fish Tank. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 14, Fish Tank. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

A new combination this year, the Persimmon Turn and Floating Brushes are set on a bending right turn. “The right speed and line is crucial to make sure that they negotiate the turn,” Derek said. “It is important not to get carried down the slope after the first jump in order to jump the second.”

Fence 15, Persimmon Tree Turn. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 15, Persimmon Tree Turn. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Riders than gallop back up the hill toward the main arena and the Dutta Farm Yard, which caused quite a bit of trouble last year. “Approaching the Dutta Keyhole (at fence 16), they have to give the horses confidence to jump through as it will look on the approach as if they are jumping into space,” Derek said.

Fence 16, Dutta Corp Key Hole. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 16, Dutta Corp Key Hole. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Riders then go down the hill to the main arena, where they need to “find their line to the corners and at the same time know that they are on the right length stride to negotiate the distance between the two corners,” Derek said.

Fence 17, Dutta Corp Farm Yard. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 17, Dutta Corp Farm Yard. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

The exit from the main arena follows a different track past the food shops and over a Double Brush at fence 18:

Fence 18, Double Brush. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 18, Double Brush. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Then riders come to the Sunken Road at fence 19, where an “active, powerful canter is needed to jump the Scenic Log into the road and then maintain the direction to jump the Summer House at the top of the embankment.”

Fence 19, Sunken Road. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 19, Sunken Road. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

The long gallop and Oxer Massif at fence 20 gives horses and riders a little breather:

Fence 20, Oxer Massif. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 20, Oxer Massif. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Then it’s back up the hill, where riders will need to keep an accurate line over a triple brush chevron and corner combination. “At this point in the course, the horses may start to feel a little tired, which means riders need to be there even more to help out,” Derek said.

Fence 21, Plush Brush. Photo by Andrea Collins, FHI.

Fence 21, Plush Brush. Photo by Andrea Collins, FHI.

The Potting Shed gives riders a let up:

Fence 22, Potting Shed. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 22, Potting Shed. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Then it’s to the Drop and Turn log and Angled Brush, which also appeared on last year’s course. “Riders need to have the right length stride and know their line as it comes up fast, and at this point riders must avoid an unwanted glance off. If the riders are clear until now, they will just be trying to not make any mistakes,” Derek said.

Fence 23, Drop and Turn. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 23, Drop and Turn. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Next up is the combination at the Spring House Water. “While there is not a jump into the water, riders need to keep their horse together to jump the duck in the water and then the line to the Angled Log at the top of the slope,” Derek said.

Fence 24, Springhouse Water. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 24, Springhouse Water. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Then there’s a gallop and three straightforward jumps bringing riders to the finish:

Fence 25, Charm Cabin. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 25, Charm Cabin. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 26, Garden Bench. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 26, Garden Bench. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 27, Produce Stand. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

Fence 27, Produce Stand. Photo by Andrea Collins/FHI.

It’s a beautifully presented course, and the sunny, breezy day we had yesterday dried up the ground nicely. It should be perfect going when three-star riders set out on course later this afternoon.

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