DSC05834Great Meadow is excited to announce that the United States Eventing Technical Committee has approved its application to host a CIC3* eventing competition at Great Meadow on June 19-21, 2015 that will be called, Great Meadow International.

In 2014, Great Meadow was the host for a unique Preparatory Event for the U.S. Eventing Team heading to compete in the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France. The Prep Trials attracted over 900 spectators to the dressage phase, 3000 spectators for cross-country and nearly 5000 spectators to the jumping phase, held on Saturday evening.

In 2015, high-performance eventing will return to Great Meadow now as a sanctioned event. “It is a fantastic opportunity for Northern Virginia to have an international level event of this stature. Great Meadow is by far one of the most spectator friendly sites in the country; everyone can see so much from any vantage point feeling like they are a part of the action,” said US Eventing Coach, David O’Connor. “The sport of eventing is thrilled to have such a wonderful site to prepare our best athletes to represent the US in international championships,” O’Connor concluded.

No longer technically a training session, the Great Meadow International will now count for the horses and riders selected to compete there. In addition, riders will not just be competing for points, Great Meadow International will offer prize money and other awards for the top placers.

Great Meadow International will follow a similar format to the successful 2014 Prep Trails with Dressage occurring Friday evening, June 19. The following evening (Saturday) is the spectacular show jumping phase under the lights with a thrilling bareback puissance. Sunday morning brings the cross-country phase.

Great Meadow has secured internationally renowned course designer Michael Etherington-Smith, who will design next year’s course as well as an expanded course for future events. Great Meadow is hard at work constructing an all-weather stadium style arena.

Next year also brings an expanded vendor village in a new site on Festival Hill.  There will be additional hospitality events, including a cocktail reception Friday evening and a dinner on Saturday evening. Tailgate spots will available to view the cross country phase on Sunday, with a fashionable and fun tailgate competition on Members Hill overlooking the course and a brunch at the Summer House as well.

With more competitors, more exhibitor space, and more spectator-friendly viewing areas, next year’s event promises to be even grander than the prep event.

The excitement of the weekend is not limited to just Great Meadow. Also occurring the same weekend less than 20 miles up the road is the Surefire Horse Trials, located in Purcellville Virginia.  This established event is a lovely counterpart to the Great Meadow International with a two-day horse trials featuring hundreds of area horses and riders. This weekend will allow equine lovers to watch both our nation’s top international competitors bring along their future horse partners and local amateur riders compete at nearly every level of the sport. The June 19-21, 2015 weekend promises to be a Festival of Eventing in Virginia Hunt Country.

Sponsorship opportunities are available at a variety of levels, for more information, contact 540-253-5001.