Fair Hill Preview and Jog Update

For live results from the 2009 Fair Hill Internation CCI2* and CCI3*, click here. Scroll down for the CCI3*.
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The Fair Hill International CCI2* and CCI3* Three-Day Event is the largest and most important Eventing competition in the United States this Fall.  The top riders, whether they will admit it or not are all looking ahead to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games next summer, they know that a good weekend at Fair Hill will set them up perfectly for a good Spring, and thus a coveted spot on the Team.  Eventing Nation will cover all the weekend’s action, which gets underway when Dressage starts Thurday.  A few thoughts:
The first horse inspection (Wednesday) saw quite a few holds, and a few horses being eliminated.  One competitor texted me that “over 20 horses were held and around 4 were spun.”  In my opinion, the FEI should consider giving yellow cards for getting spun (eliminated) at a first inspection.  I understand the pressure riders feel from all sides, and I understand that sometimes horses step on a rock or twist an ankle right before the jog.  But, competitors and vets need to be responsible enough not to present a questionable horse before the competition even starts.  Cross-Country is hard enough on these horses without asking them to compete while sore or lame.
Speaking of Cross-Country, I hear the CCI3* XC is extremely tough this year.  One rider told me the track is “extremely long” and said it “doesn’t let up.”  Look for technical elements late on the course to cause lots of run-outs as tired riders struggle to rebalance tired horses. 
Just over 70 horses are entered in the CCI3* and 80 in the CCI2*, the vast majority competing for the US.  These numbers suggest an improving depth of talent in the US, a very encouraging sign.  A lot of young talent has the opportunity to make a name for themselves over the next few days.
If you are in the Maryland area, and like the sound of 47 and rainy, consider stopping by the event.  The good news is that there will be a dog agility competition.
Check out this Fair Hill XC map.  The CCI*** is 5700m long, which, off the top of my head, is about 3.54181 miles.  The average speed of 570m/min is about 21mi/hr, which should be a cake-walk, considering that Secretariat ran the 1.5mi 1973 Belmont Stakes in 2.4minutes, which is an average speed of 36mph.  “AND HE IS MOVING LIKE A TREMENDOUS MACHINE!” (1:42)

As I mentioned, Fair Hill is an important stepping stone for many of the riders seeking to make the 2010 WEGs squad.  Most of the riders with a legitimate shot are on this Fall’s High Performance List.  We will keep a special eye on these pairs as the weekend develops.  Finally, I leave you tonight with a list of the CCI3* riders who were entered at the beginning of the competition:
 
Anees, Imtiaz Interwin
Ashker, Laine Anthony Patch
Atkins, Peter HJ Hampton
Beebee, Susan Prowler
Bennett-Awad, Hawley SplendoroftheSun
Bennett-Awad, Hawley Gin N Juice
Blackman, Madeline Gordonstown
Brannigan,  Jennie Cooper
Brown, Kate Mojito
Byyny, Jan Inmidair
Chambers, Nate Rolling Stone  II
Coleman,  William Nevada  Bay
Costello, Robert Dustin IV
Coudray,  Tiana Ringwood Magister
Crabo,  Barbara Eveready
Davidson Jr., Bruce Triomphe
Davidson Jr., Bruce L.A. Albert
Davidson Jr., Bruce Titanium
Davidson Sr,  Bruce Jam
Davidson, Colin  B. Draco
Dean, Mara Nicki Henley
Dutton, Phillip Kheops Du Quesnay
Eagles, Christian The Gingerbread  Man
Fiore, Gina Feral Errol
Halpin, Sinead Manoir de  Carneville
Hepp, Holly Last Monarch
Hicks (Ditchey), Kate Belmont  II
Holman, Bob Catmantoo
Holstein, Ralph Franklin
Holstein, Ralph Arctic Dancer
Howard, Rebecca Riddle Master
Kozak, Chelan Tasman Sea
Lambert,  Lauren Baba Creek
Leatherman,  Andrea Mensa
List, Kelly Minstral
Loiacono,  Olivia Subway
MacVaugh, Ashley All’s Fair
Martin, Boyd Rock On Rose
Martin, Boyd Neville  Bardos
Martin, Boyd Remington   XXV
McDowell, Martha Gaelic  Marriage
McEvoy, India Jumbo’s Jake
McKissock, Casey Special Blend
Mendivil,  Escipion Azteca
Mesher, Leigh Mar de Amor
Mittleider, Sara El Primero
Moon, Pippa Ribbo
Morris, Heather Slate  River
Mosser, Bonnie Merloch
North, Dornin  Anne Jimminy Cricket
North, Dornin  Anne Lion Display
Nunnink, Kristi Corner Street
Nunnink, Kristi R-Star
O’Connor,  Karen Radio Flyer
O’Connor,  Karen Mandiba
Prather, Kelly Ballinakill Glory
Rhodes-Bosch, Stephanie Port Authority
Roberts, Ian Napalm
Ruppel, Jessica Naughty By Nature
Ruppel, Katie Sir  Donovan
Schmolze, Kristin Castle Jordan
Schmolze, Kristin Cavaldi
Sexson, Jolie Killian  O’Connor
Slezak, Karl Braveheart
Slezak, Karl Charley Farley
Southam, Wendy Ruba Z
Springer, Allison Destination Known
Sult, Kelly Hollywood
Thieriot,  Frankie Fric Frac Berence
Treis Petersen, Erika Under The Influence
Walton, Jil My Sedona
White, Sharon Rafferty’s  Rules
Williams, John Sweepea Dean
Willis, Katie Polar Storm
Zabala-Goetschel,  Ronald Che Italica

Thanks for reading, please vote in the poll, and please keep checking back throughout the weekend.  We have some exciting surprises in the works for our readers this weekend.
Props: little black agility dog, my sources, readers.  Mad props: Secretariat owning.  Fail: rain this weekend.
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