Darren Chiacchia Takes Eventing Lead After Dressage
at Fair Hill International
Merriam Leads USA National Single Horse Driving Championship
HILL, MDOctober 25, 2002Darren Chicchia of Springville,
NY moved into the lead of the U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Fall Eventing
Championship following the completion of the dressage phase at the
Fair Hill International.
the USA National Single Horse Driving Championship, Fred Merriam
of Newfane, VT, individual Bronze Medalist at the 2002 World Singles
Driving Championship, completed the dressage phase in first place.
moved ahead of Sydney Olympic Gold Medalist David OConnor
of The Plains, VA when he received a dressage score of 36.80 penalties
on Windfall, a 10-year-old, black stallion owned by Dr. Timothy
Holekamp. OConnor, who led after Thursdays opening round,
now stands second with his score of 37.01 penalties on his Olympic
Gold Medal mount, Custom Made, a 17-year-old Thoroughbred owned
by Xandarius LLC. OConnor also stands third on Texas Pride,
a 10-year-old Thoroughbred owned by Claud Schoch of Bethesda, MD,
with a score of 40.20.
is my second year together with Windfall and things are going very
well, said Chiacchia. The first year with a horse is
often a case of getting to know each other and weve gotten
to the point where we have a real cooperation out on the course.
This, of course, is doubly important when youre dealing with
has announced that this years Fair Hill International is Custom
Mades final competition and OConnor is hoping that he
can repeat the dramatic farewell appearance of one of his earlier
successful mounts, Wilton Fair, whom OConnor rode to the Fair
Hill Championship in the horses final appearance in 1993.
would be great to have the same thing happen with Custom Made, but
weve got a lot to do before that happens, said OConnor
who won last years USET Fall Championship at Fair Hill on
The Native. We gave it a lot of thought before deciding to
compete him here, but we thought it would be a real nice way to
end his three-day career.
eventing championship continues with the cross country phase on
Saturday and then concludes with the stadium jumping phase on Sunday.
This years Fair Hill International has 78 eventing entries,
with riders representing Australia, Belgium, Canada, Pakistan, The
Netherlands, and the United States.
Fair Hill Internationals driving competition began Friday
with the dressage phase and Merriam took the lead in the USA National
Single Horse Championship when he finished with a score of 39.67
driving his Bronze Medal World Championship horse, Gadwood Lightwing,
owned by Nicholas Mercede. Standing second is Merriams World
Championship teammate, Nancy Johnson of Lincoln, MA, who received
a score of 41.00 with her Canequins Look Out.
Weber of Ocala, FL drove his team to a dressage score of 46.40 to
take the lead in the Four-In-Hand horse division. Jim Fairclough
of Newton, NJ, driving a team owned by Jane Clark, was second with
a score of 48.27. Weber and Fairclough were teammates on the USETs
Silver Medal World Championship team at the 2002 World Equestrian
Games in Jerez, Spain in September.
the Pairs division, Lisa Singer of Chadds Ford, PA, who earlier
this month won the USET Pairs Championship for a record sixth time,
took the lead with a score of 40.80 penalties driving her pair owned
by Mimi Thorington. In second with a score of 48.80 is five-time
USET Pairs Champion Larry Poulin of Boxford, MA driving a pair owned
by Natasha Grigg.
the pony competitions, Jack Wetzel of Aiken, SC took the lead in
the Singles competition with a score of 44.00 with his pony, Harry.
Sara Schmitt of Glen Gardner, NJ was second with a score of 51.67
with her pony, High Country Doc.
the pony Pairs competition, Tracey Morgan of Beallsville, MD took
the lead with a score of 54.93 driving the pair show co-owns with
Susan Deutermann. She is followed by Muffy Seaton of Bluemont, VA
who received a score of 55.20 with her pair. In the pony Four-In-Hand
division, Katie Whaley of Southern Pines, NC scored 56.00 to take
the lead with her team over Kelly Valdes of Unionville, PA who received
a score of 58.93 with the team she drives that is owned by Claire
Fair Hill driving competitions feature the final legs of both the
FEI North American Driving Challenge and the Triple Crown of Combined
Driving, presented by Driving Essentials/Glinkowski Carriages. Driving
competition will continue with the cones competition on Saturday
and will then culminate with the marathon on Sunday.
Shops, fine and casual dining, dog agility competition and entertainment
add to the fun, making the Fair Hill International a family-friendly
fall outing with something for everyone.
thanks go to the Fair Hill International sponsors - American Home
& Hardware, Artesian Water Company, Bit of Britain, Cosequin
/ Nutramax Labs, County Banking & Trust Company, Dansko, First
Union National Bank, General Mills, Inc., Glenmede Trust, Intervet,
Nowpac, Inc., Scudder Financial Services, Sentman Distributors,
Southern States / Agway, The National Bank of Rising Sun, Thornhill
Enterprises, Thoroughbred Charities of America, Ltd.
or shine, gates are open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are
$12 a day on Saturday and Sunday. Children under 12 are admitted
Fair Hill International will host the 2003 Pan American Eventing
Championships as part of its eventing competition, October 23-26,
2003. The best eventing horses and riders from North and South America
will compete for team and individual championships.
more information about Fair Hill International, please call (410)
398-2111 or visit www.fairhillinternational.com.