Friday, October 24, 2014

The Fair Hill Experience

This past weekend, MLE intern Emily headed up to Fair Hill for a day of cross country. She chronicled her experience here!

Phillip Dutton galloping by!
    This past Saturday, I spent my day watching the cross country at Fair Hill. There is no other experience equal to that of a big international competition that brings such a large group of “horse-people” together. You can really feel the bond of fellow horse-people at an event like this. Of course, there is a competitive spirit but everyone is also rooting for all the riders to come home safely so there is a huge sense of community among hundreds of people. It’s very fun to cheer all of the riders on as they go by. It’s also very cool to get to watch your equivalent of a movie star do “their thing.”

    When you enter the fairgrounds you are immediately overwhelmed by all of the things going on. Do I go browse through the vendors? Do I try some food? Where should I stand to get the best view of the cross country? Did I mention there were over one hundred horses in the 2* and over fifty in the 3*? Cross country went from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It was certainly an action-packed day!

    Besides getting to walk around the cross country course and see your riding idols close enough to touch as they go by, there is an abundance of things to do at Fair Hill. Of course, there is great food and drinks, but there is a trade fair, pony rides, dog agility courses, tailgating, and anything else your equestrian heart might desire. I’ll admit, I left with a new pair of boots for my horse.

    Cross country day is something that can be appreciated by all. It’s like Nascar in the way that even if you aren’t familiar with the sport it’s still fun and exciting for anybody to watch. I brought my non-horsey boyfriend with me and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it a lot more than coming to my horse shows and he definitely enjoyed the food and all of the dogs there. The thrill of cross country is something everyone can enjoy. All equestrians should try to come out to Fair Hill or an event like it at some point; it’s a great experience! 

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