Equestrian 2019: Fair Hill International Cross Country OCT 20

Phillip Dutton (USA) and Fernhill Singapore clear an obstacle during the Cross Country Test at the Fair Hill International 3-Day Event at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Area in Fair Hill, Maryland. This is the final year of a 31-year run of the event at this location. In 2020, the event moves to a new facility in the Fair Hill area and will eventually be upgraded to one of two CCI 5-star events in the United States.

ELKTON – The Cecil County Breeders’ Fair and Fair Hill Foundation today announced the 86th Fair Hill Races will take place on Saturday, May 23, 2020 at Laurel Park with a 12:30 p.m.

The Maryland Jockey Club agreed to host the races this year while the recent upgrades to the historic turf track at Fair Hill are completed. 

This temporary move of the Fair Hill Races to Laurel Park allows the event’s tradition to continue, which began in 1934. The Fair Hill Races is a six-race card highlighted The Valentine Memorial Handicap Hurdle and wagering on the races will be available to spectators at Laurel Park.

The Fair Hill Races will return to Fair Hill in 2021.

Construction to The Turf Course at Fair Hill began just after The Fair Hill Races in 2019. Upgrades to the track include realignment, adding advanced irrigation, and building out wider, sweeping, and banked turns to enhance safety measures. The surface was also upgraded to a Kentucky Bluegrass mix that needs time to mature this spring before it can be used for competition.

“We are thankful to Laurel Park and the Maryland Jockey Club for allowing us to host the Fair Hill Races this year and keep its tradition going,” said Nancy Simpers, President of the Races, and member of the Fair Hill Foundation. “Laurel Park is a historic venue in its own right with a top-class turf track. It’s a tremendous venue for our competitors, sponsors and spectators this year while we wait to return to Fair Hill in 2021.”

The Turf Course at Fair Hill will be ready for competition later this year and will be used for the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill October 15-18. A 5 Star is the pinnacle of the sport of Eventing and Fair Hill will become one of seven locations hosting a competition at this level. Maryland will join Kentucky as the only states that host a 5 Star equestrian event and a Triple Crown race. The track’s upgrades also allow Fair Hill to expand racing days and provide opportunities for boutique turf meets, training and other world-class equestrian events.

This is a developing story and we will have more information soon. Please keep checking back in the Cecil Whig or on cecilwhig.com. Thanks for supporting community news!

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