Hannah Burnett of Ocala, FL, captured the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** in a nail-biting finish at the 22nd annual Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country.Hannah Burnett of Ocala, FL, captured the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** in a nail-biting finish at the 22nd annual Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country.
Fair Hill, MD -- Hannah Burnett of Ocala, FL, captured the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) CCI*** in a nail-biting finish at the 22nd annual Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country. Burnett, who won last year's CCI** at Fair Hill, was flawless on Sunday to win on her dressage score of 49.4 penalties, riding St. Barths, owned by Richard Thompson.
"I'm really excited," said Burnett. "I have been building up to this event all year. My horse just keeps on getting better and better, so I feel like I've improved over the year and my horse has too."
It all came down who could go clear on the final day. The riders competed in reverse order of penalties saving the best for last. Kristin Schmolze of Califon, NJ on Cavaldi had already gone clearfor a final score of 60.2 penalties wih three left to ride.
Phillip Dutton, of West Grove, PA, who just returned from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games as a member of the USEF Eventing Team, was next in the order on Fernhill Eagle, owned by Rebecca Broussard. They were only two rails out of first, so a clear round would put pressure on the remaining two. Unfortunately, they had a rail and finished with a penalty score of 57.0.
Burnett and St. Barths were next in the arena. Their clear round was greeted with thunderous applause and was a great relief to Burnett.
"Nike is a typical chestnut redhead. He sometimes comes out like a horse I've never sat on before, so it's difficult to guess who he is going to be on the third day," said Burnett of the 9 year-old Thoroughbred gelding. "I felt very good. I could tell over the first jump whether I am going to have to help him out or whether he is going to give me a good ride. Today I felt good."
Unfortunately for Nate Chambers and Rolling Stone II,it was not their day. The pair incurred 20 jumping penaltiesmoving them down to sixth placewith a final score of 66.6 penalties, leaving Duttonin second place andSchmolzein third. The only consolation for Chambers was thathe wasgiven the Best Sportsmanship award.
Earlier in the day, Clark Montgomery, 29, from Chatsworth, GA, swept the USEF CCI** at the Dansko Fair Hill International Festival In the Countryto win on his dressage score of 46.1 penalties riding Loughan Glen, owned by Holly Becker and Kathryn Kraft.
"It always feels fantastic to win," said Montgomery. "It solidifies that you are on the right path with these horses and what you are doing is working."
The riders competed in reverse order of penalties, so by the time Montgomery entered the arena on Loughan Glen, he had already secured a win on his other horse, Universe, owned by his wife, to finish with a score of 50.4 penalties.Phillip Dutton and Why Not moved upup from 15th in dressage to seventh in cross country and finallyto third placewith ascore of 54.9 penalties.Erin Sylvesterand No Boundaries had rails eventually finishing just out of the top ten.
"Once Erin had rails, the pressure was really off for me because I knew I had already won the class, saidMontgomery. "I came here feeling that I was very competitive and I couldn't see why it would not be first or second."
This year's Festival featured a wide array of family entertainment and attractions at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in the beautiful countryside of Fair Hill, MD. Among the favorite events to return to the Dansko Fair Hill International Festival In The Country was The Art and Sport of Falconry With Live Birds of Prey, featuring Master Falconer Mike Dupuy. The agility dogs were back as well as the Delta Dogs. Miniature Horse demonstrations and a Classic Car Show rounded off the variety of activities at the Festival.
Members of the United States Pony Club participated in the President's Cup Invitational Games again this year. Three teams competed in a variety of challenging and entertaining relay races with the team from Capital Situation winning the Cup. The winning riders were: Emily Nelson (PA), Addie Thornley (MD), Julia Gates (NC) Stephen Pancrazio (MD) and Sarah Stokes (MD).
This year's Dansko Fair Hill International also welcomes the Professional Riders' Organization (PRO), and is part of the 2010 PRO Tour Series. The Professional Riders' Organization was founded in 2009 by event riders Phillip Dutton, Buck Davidson, Craig Thompson, Laura VanderVliet and Allison Springer with the thought that professional event riders have a special obligation to promote and strengthen their sport. PRO is dedicated to improving the standards of competition and promoting safety while working to attract new fans, sponsors and participants to the sport of three-day eventing. PRO sponsored insightful cross country course walks with top riders on Friday.
The Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country also featured popular Country Shops, with over 40 vendors selling a wide variety of exceptional apparel and fine gifts. Visitors were offered the choice of fine dining or a more casual snack or meal at pubs around the Fair Hill grounds serving classic Maryland crab cakes and other treats. In fact, the Maryland Department of Agriculture named the Fair Hill International as a "Maryland Top Event!"
The Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital in Elkton, MD. The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.
Healthy feet, healthy body, healthy planet. That's the spirit behind Dansko. Founded in 1990 by husband and wife team, Peter Kjellerup and Mandy Cabot, both former horse trainers,Dansko shoes, boots, and sandals are now sold in over 2,500 premium retailer locations across North America. Dansko is the leader in all-day comfort footwear.
For more information on this year's Fair Hill, including results, please call (410) 398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.