Fair Hill International 2014

October 28, 2014

October 18, Zoe and I went to Fair Hill for the FHI CCI** and CCI*** cross country. It was an early morning and a late night for me, but it was totally worth it, and Zoe was the perfect person to share the adventure with.

We packed up a backpack, my camera with the ~new lens~ and Daisy Dog, and headed out. We arrived, parked and took the shuttle bus over and into the park just in time to watch the Pony Club President’s Cup competition. It was an exhibition competition of the top four placing teams in the senior division at Pony Club Championships in July, and was held next to the vendors. The arena was surrounded by MGAA Jackets worn by MGAA members and we settled down with Wendi, Bonnie and Devon and took in the games.

I think this was particularly interesting for Zoe, who grew up in California, and not part of a Pony Club making this her first Pony Club games experience. We were reminded that in PC you cannot cheer using riders’ names or give instructions during play. We had to keep our big mouths shut which was a challenge. They played 20 races, back to back, which is not typical pony club style. They played some races that were usual for MGAA competitions like mug shuffle and high low, but they also played ones that are not part of MGAA like egg and spoon and ball and racket. I was surprised to not see a single rider loose an egg, but there were balls all over the place in the latter.

When the Pony Club games were done we checked out the vendors. There were not that many, but we still found some interesting things to look at. We picked Daisy up a new heavier blanket by Weatherbeata for the colder winter months. It came complete with a belly guard and pop up neck collar. We had some crab cakes and crab soup and then headed down to one of the water combinations to catch some of the CCI** cross country.

We got to see Marilyn Little, who rode with my sister in Frederick Pony Club when they were kids, take on the water complex, as well as an array of other top of the line riders.  Later, during the CCI*** we saw one of my old teammates, Colleen Rutledge clear a nice combination.  It is really exciting for me to follow these former allies in their equestrian careers.  Colleen in particular, since we spent so much time traveling internationally and riding on mounted games teams together for the US in the 1990s.  I recognized Colleen coming over the hill from her position alone, and as she drew closer, by her red flushed face.

Zoe and I moved around the course, taking in different sections.  There were three water complexes, which are always thrilling to watch.  We saw one horse pulled up by his rider, and pulled from the course.  He was nearly complete but seemed to have pulled up lame after clearing a fence.  Some of the fences and combinations were more challenging than others.  We saw quite a few awkward  efforts on the particular combination we caught Colleen on.  And we were very impressed with how Colleen flew through the section, making it look smooth and easy.  There was one lady rider on a gray about midway through the CCI***, we were unsure who it was.  We watched her come out of the first water combination with such skill and a determined look on her face.  Zoe commented that she was a rider ‘out for business’ as we watched her race away and down one of the gallop lanes to the next fence on the course.

It was extremely exciting.  Zoe and I stayed until the end, managing to catch up with quite a few friends we were not expecting to see.  On the way home we stopped at Ihop for some much needed sweetness.


boyd 01

Boyd Martin

Liz Riley

Liz Riley


Colleen Rutledge


Marilyn Little

Allie Sacksen

Allie Sacksen

alexandra knowles

Alexandra Knowles



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