Athletes participating in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill woke up to foggy weather on Wednesday, but the clouds did not detract from the stylish outfits and world-class horses presented in the event’s first horse inspection.

Over 100 horses (52 in the CCI5*-L, 76 in the CCI3*-L) were presented to their respective Ground Juries along a new jog strip recently put in by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). All horses but one – Sharon White’s (USA) 5 Star entry, Cooley On Show – passed the inspection.

The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, one of only two 5 Star level events in the United States and just the seventh worldwide, runs October 14-17 at the newly constructed Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Elkton, Maryland (Cecil County). The event’s prestigious 5 Star (CCI5*-L) designation is the pinnacle of the Olympic sport of Eventing.

The 5* competitors, which include Canadians Jessica Phoenix, Lisa Marie Fergusson, Karl Slezak, Hawley Bennett-Awad, and Holly Jacks-Smither. (© Shannon Brinkman)


In addition to the 5 Star competition (CCI5*-L), the event also features a 3 Star competition (CCI3*-L), which is serving as the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship, and The Dutta Corp. USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championships Presented by Dubarry of Ireland. The four days of Eventing competition features Dressage (Thu-Fri), Cross-Country (Sat) showcasing the new Ian Stark designed courses, and Show Jumping (Sun).

Hound & Hare sponsored the horse inspections’ Best Dressed Awards, which were presented to three riders for their magnificent looks. Astier Nicolas (FRA) was named the Best Dressed Male of the 5 Star entries, with Lauren Nicholson (USA) the Best Dressed Female. Meghan Pellegrini (USA) took home the award for the 3 Star athletes.

The entire CCI5* is available via livestream presented by MARS Equestrian. It can be accessed through USEF Network in North America and through Horse & Country outside North America. USEF Network is also providing exclusive coverage of the CCI3*. A link to the livestream is available on the event’s website via the USEF Network player. Additionally, press conferences are being livestreamed through the event’s Facebook page.

Results here.