The Fair Hill Organizing Committee announced on June 4 that the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place Oct. 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland. Event organizers and partners are now focused on producing the maiden event next year that will welcome a field of international competitors, as well as spectators traveling to the event from around the world.
The FHOC made their decision after a thorough consultation with the Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill planning committee, its competition management partner, Fair Hill International, as well as other key constituents including the State of Maryland and Cecil County. The consensus was made that not being able to guarantee the health and safety of everyone and producing the event in a limited capacity was not favorable for the Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill’s inaugural year.
“It was a very difficult decision, and we are very disappointed for the competitors, fans and eventing community,” said Jeff Newman, president of the Fair Hill Organizing Committee. “The Fair Hill Organizing Committee was created and tasked to plan and produce the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill as a world-class, international sporting event that includes an abundance of fan offerings drawing spectators from around the world to Cecil County and surrounding region.”
Newman added, “From the start of the pandemic until now, like many sports and entertainment properties, we’ve fully vetted out different scenarios ranging from a scaled-back event with some fans, a competition-only event without spectators, or postponing the event to 2021. Ultimately, we felt that the uncertainties and risks that will remain throughout the year are too great to overcome. As a result, with the support of our sponsors and key constituents, postponing the inaugural event to 2021 best enables us to achieve our original goals and set the foundation for a tradition that will continue for many years.”
The Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill is the newest CCI5*-L competition added to the international eventing circuit. The event is one of only seven five-star competitions in the world, and second in the United States. At the time of this announcement, only Pau (France) remains on the calendar.
The 2020 USEF CCI3*-L National Championship, which was going to run alongside the five-star will be reallocated, with information about its new location forthcoming. The USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championships and USEA Young Event Horse East Coast Championship will run concurrently with the CCI5*-L competition in 2021.