I’ve heard riders say that if you take a horse to the Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day Event and they do well across Derek di Grazia’s four-star track, then you’re likely sitting on a good Kentucky horse. Having never actually been there until this year, I hadn’t fully understood that sentiment — but I do now.
The Fair Hill CCI4*-L track is all the superlatives: it’s big, it’s bold, and it asks a lot of fair but difficult questions. It’s a true championship track, and it’s even more impressive in person than on the live stream or in photos.
Sadly, this was the last running of the four-star, as it will make way for Fair Hill to host the inaugural Maryland Five-Star next year instead. While riders are excited to have the option of a fall five-star in the country, many echoed that it was also a bit sad to be running the four-star in this particular track for the last time.
If you missed ever watching the Fair Hill CCI4*-L in person, the next best way to get a healthy sense of respect and awe for the course might be to watch some helmet cam footage! Doug Payne posted an edit of his helmet cam footage aboard Vandiver, a 15-year-old Trakehner owned in partnership with Debbie Crowley, with whom he finished the weekend in 10th place after being assessed a frustrating 15 penalties for knocking a flag.
Posted by Lainey Ashker on Saturday, October 19, 2019
To get an idea for the scope of the terrain at Fair Hill, be sure to also watch Lainey Ashker‘s helmet cam footage of her round in the CCI3*-L division aboard Lost In Ireland, a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse owned by Steven Guy. Lainey had an unfortunate runout at the B element of fence 5, which she attributes to pilot error, but had a fabulous round otherwise. If you have your sound on, don’t worry: that’s Lainey being hard on herself, not her horse! We are own worst critics.