I think we fell into another magical spot with the weather at the Fair Hill International, just like at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon last month. Even Sunday was wet at Fair Hill with rain overnight, and it’s good to get lucky. I wish we’d gotten that lucky at Plantation Field a few weeks ago! Fair Hill is a consistently known, guaranteed product that the venue and Derek are able to deliver again and again. It’s got good ground with well established turf, it’s always good course design, the competition is always fair and the best horse and rider win. The cross country is never a giveaway, but you never have huge numbers of eliminations or anything out of the ordinary. It’s slow to change and that’s not a bad thing, it delivers the sport a consistent result.
The USEF live streaming was great to have this year, it let people all over the world see the event and hopefully new people saw it and were impressed and will come see it in person one day.
We’re looking forward to adding the new five-star (current four-star) course. The course will start and finish behind the current racecourse grandstands, which event riders may know as being near the horse trials stabling. It’s a really nice piece of property.
They are busy trying to hire a course designer, which is taking some time because it’s state-funded and they are currently going through the bidding process. Once they’ve hired someone, they will complete the design and then I can bid on the building project. I’ll do everything I possibly can to continue to work there and build the five-star. I’ve crossed the WEG off my bucket list, now building a four (five) star and an Olympic Games are on my list!
I hope the process gets worked through this winter because ideally construction will start in the spring. Obviously the amount of funding will need to be determined as well: are we keeping the turf or improving it? Are we building bridges or crossing streams? All of those design elements will help determine the costs and the amount available to build out the horse jumps with. I really keep my yearly calendar by Fair Hill, it determines my sense of time, my compass, it’s really an integral part of my year. Every year it’s a lot of fun.