About Fair Hill International
Since 1989, Fair Hill International has offered one of the most prestigious international three day events in the world, located at the Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area in beautiful Fair Hill, Maryland.
Eventing is the ultimate test of a horse and rider and has been referred to as the Triathlon of equestrian sport. Through tests in dressage, cross country, and show jumping the horse and rider work together to show that they can compete in the most demanding and highest levels of equestrian sports.
The Dutta Corp FHI CCI** and CCI*** events are, essentially, two separate three-day eventing competitions. The CCI 3* riders jump slightly larger fences and have a more challenging dressage test. The CCI 2* event is designed to qualify horses and riders for 3* competitions. The CCI 3* event is one of only four 3* events in the USA. Horses and riders who do well in the 3* event may qualify to compete internationally or at the Olympics or World Championships.
Many well-known and talented eventers have won at the FHI CCI***. In 2006 Gina Miles and her mount McKinlaigh traveled to Fair Hill from California, won the event, and went on to win an individual silver medal at the 2008 Olympics. Karen O’Connor, David O’Connor, Phillip Dutton, Boyd Martin and Bruce Davidson have all won the FHI CCI***. All are Olympians. Derek di Grazia won the event in 1991 with Our Busby, and now earns his fame as one of only a handful of International level cross country course designers residing in the United States. Derek designs Fair Hill International’s CCI 2* and 3* cross country courses.
In 2013 FHI joined forces with title sponsor The Dutta Corporation in what we hope will be a lasting partnership. The Dutta Corporation is a leading international horse transportation company that was recently named the Official Shipper for the US Eventing Team.
When folks ask us what Fair Hill International is all about, we have a simple answer: EDUCATION. We offer opportunities for horses and riders of all levels to continue their learning. Whether it is an Olympic hopeful galloping over our 3* course in October, a pony club member competing at one of our recognized horse trials in hopes of qualifying for Pony Club Championships, an adult amateur conquering the drop into the water on one of our schooling nights, or a green horse jumping a ditch for the first time, Fair Hill is a key to their progress. Our wonderful volunteers continue learning as they branch out into different disciplines – working the vet box at the Foxcatcher Endurance Ride or at one of the hazards at the Elk Creek Driving event. FHI is a place where it is fun and safe and rewarding to try new things.
Fair Hill International has been hosting Horse Trials since 1998, based out of the Cecil County Fairgrounds in Fair Hill, Maryland. FHI holds three Starter Trials and three Recognized Horse Trials every year, and then caps off the year with the CCI** and CCI*** three day event in October. Fair Hill International is the ONLY place in the world where a rider can begin competing at the Introductory level with 18” fences and can move up the levels to compete in a CCI*** and potentially qualify for the Olympics. Allie Blyskal-Sacksen competed in Beginner Novice at Fair Hill in May of 2001. In October 2013 she won the Dutta Corp FHI CCI** event. Caitlin Silliman rode in the Elementary division in 2001 (riding a walk-trot only dressage test). In October 2013 she competed in the Dutta Corp FHI CCI***.
Combined Driving Events are similar to eventing in that there are three phases of competition – Dressage, Marathon, and Cones. Horses can be single, in a pair, or in a four in hand. Competition is held over one, two, or three days. In 1991 the Fair Hill Fall Combined Driving Event joined weekends with Fair Hill International Three-Day Event, so spectators could watch eventing and driving at the same venue on the same weekend. FHI hosted numerous USET National Driving Championships at the Advanced level from 1991 through 2007, the final year FHI held a fall driving event. From 1996 – 2000 FHI CDE was the final jewel of the Jaguar Triple Crown of Driving which sent the winner on an all expense paid trip to the Royal Windsor Horse Show in England including the free use of a new Jaguar while there. While we no longer host a fall CDE, Combined Driving has continued to be represented at Fair Hill with the Elk Creek CDE in June, which offers all levels of competition to allow everyone a chance to experience the beautiful Fair Hill property.
Endurance is, in a nutshell, a marathon on horseback. A traditional endurance race is 100 miles long, must be completed within 24 hours, and the first horse across the finish line wins. There are numerous veterinary inspections throughout the course, and all horses who cross the finish line must be declared “fit to continue” to earn a completion. There are also 50 mile and 25 mile endurance rides. FHI began hosting a spring endurance ride, the Foxcatcher Endurance ride, in 2001. Foxcatcher offers a 50 mile and a 25 mile division, and has also hosted Ride and Tie events for the past several years. From 2002 through 2005 FHI also hosted a fall endurance ride in conjunction with the FHI Three Day Event. The fall endurance ride offered a 100 mile and a 50 mile division. In 2005 FHI hosted the 100 mile North American Endurance Championship, with teams from across North America competing for individual and team medals.