The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International is one of the most prestigious international three-day events in the world, located at the Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area in Fair Hill, Maryland. Riders come from all over the world to compete in dressage, cross-country and show-jumping over the beautiful, rolling terrain of Fair Hill.
Ashley competed her upper-level horse, D.A. Vittoria, aka “V,” in their first CCI 2* division together and also competed her young horse, Cinco, in the USEA Young Event Horse Championships for 5-year-olds. She arrived at Fair Hill on Monday, October 13th to settle-in to the stabling area and prepare for competition. She spent the next day hacking out, and getting her horses used to the show grounds.
On Wednesday morning, over 130 CCI2* riders and CCI 3* riders (including Ashley!) prepared with a rider briefing and course walk. Later that day, she had her formal inspection and jogs in the afternoon. Ashley and V passed the jog with flying colors, which meant she had the green-light for competition.
Thursday afternoon, Ashley competed Cinco in the USEA Young Event Horse dressage phase followed by a horse inspection and jog. Cinco did very well considering the lack of experience he has had as a young horse who wasn’t started as an eventer.
Friday was an extremely busy day for Ashley as she rode Cinco in the USEA Young Event Horse Championships Jumping Phase in the morning and then competed D.A. Vittoria, “V,” in the CCI2* dressage test later that afternoon. Cinco was doing very well in the jumping portion until an unfortunate loss of a front shoe caused him to lose his footing and become unsure of a fence. Ashley did get him through it, but sadly, it put him at the end of the division.
V put in a good dressage test, however with a division of over 130 people (the largest CCI2* division since Fair Hill’s start!) it wasn’t enough to put her in the top of the group.
Saturday was the big cross-country day and it proved to be more then challenging for several horses and riders! Out of the 130+ riders who started cross-country, only 75 finished the cross country course and of those 75, less than ten riders went double-clear! Ashley and V soared through cross-country with ease and had no-jumping penalties, and a few time penalties. This moved them up over forty places in the division!
Sunday was the final day of competition. All the remaining horses and riders had to do another jog and horse inspection Sunday morning and once again, V passed with flying colors and received the official okay to go into the final phase of show-jumping. Later that day Ashley took V around a tough show-jumping course and finished with a double-clear round! V’s talents and athleticism really showed on Sunday as many other horses were pulling rails left and right. By the end of the competition, Ashley and V finished in 53rd place out of over 130 riders!
Written by Tara N. Shegogue
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