Shore Time: Pinnacle of Equestrian Prestige
Compiled by Manning Lee | ECLIPSE SPORTSWIRE; Photo By Shannon Brinkman
An aerial view of Maryland’s 5 Star competition fields in Fair Hill, located in Elkton, MD.
Maryland 5 Star Event | October 15-18, 2020
A 5 Star event is the pinnacle of the sport of eventing. It consists of the most advanced form of competition as it pertains to the skill level executed in the field of dressage, as well as, tougher fencing and obstacles in both cross country and stadium jumping. There are only seven 5 Star events in the entire world, two in the Western Hemisphere, and now two in the United States.
From the French word meaning “training,” dressage was originally created to show the horse’s submission and ability to perform intricate movements required for cavalry exercises. Today’s dressage still consists of an exact sequence of movements. The goal remains that horse should demonstrate balance, rhythm, suppleness and obedience based on the riders cues or “aids.”
Equestrian Ariel Leamore rides horse Master Plan at Fair Hill where the Maryand 5 Star will be held in October.
The cross-country phase typically takes place on the second day of competition, but always after the dressage phase. Cross-country is the cornerstone of eventing, and proves the speed, endurance and jumping ability of the horse over varied terrain and solid obstacles.
The third phase, show jumping, tests horses and riders precision over a series of colorful fences made of lightweight rails which are easily knocked down. This final phase tests the stamina and recovery of the horse after the very tiring cross-country phase. Consisting of 12 to 15 jumps in an enclosed arena, show jumping requires exact riding as the slightest bump could cause a rail to fall, resulting in four penalty points.