Burnett Wins 2012 Dansko Fair Hill CCI3* in Style

The final day at the 24th annual Dansko Fair Hill International at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in the scenic countryside of Fair Hill, MD, proved to be the best and possibly the most exciting with both the CCI3* and CCI2* eventing competitions wrapping up on this perfect autumn day.

Hannah Sue Burnett and Harbour Pilot (StockImageServices.com)

Maintaining her lead throughout the week to win the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI3* Event, Hannah Sue Burnett of The Plains, VA, riding Jacqueline Mars’ bay Irish Sport Horse gelding Harbour Pilot finished on 43.0 penalties, fault-free in both cross country on Saturday and show jumping today.

On winning her second three-star event at Fair Hill as well as winning the two-star in 2009 Hannah Sue said, “It’s kind of unreal, the first day I got here I went up to the main arena and it really reminded me of Dick Thompson (former owner and sponsor), it really brought back a lot of memories. That’s the most special thing to me about this place.” Hannah attributed her recent successes to focusing more on her show jumping and working with Australian show jumper Scott Keach over the summer.

Marilyn Little, Frederick, MD, had one rail down on the 7 year-old grey Wurttemberger gelding RF Smoke on the Water owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc and Phoebe Manders. This combination finished the CCI3* as reserve champion on a penalty score of 52.4. On her other horse, RF Demeter, Marilyn finished just two places behind in 4th place. “I was really pleased to see him make such a great effort,” said Marilyn of RF Smoke on the Water’s show jumping round.

Phillip Dutton, West Grove, PA, rode Fernhill Eagle, the bay Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by Team Rebecca, LLC, to a faultless show jumping round. Phillip finished 3rd in the CCI3* just behind Marilyn on his dressage penalty score of 53.2. Phillip said of Fernhill Eagle, “I am optimistic that we will be a fair bit more competitive next spring”

The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) presented awards to the top placed US riders in the CCI3* division. The USEF Fall CCI3* Championship went to Hannah Sue Burnett on Harbour Pilot, reserve champion went to Marilyn Little on RF Smoke on the Water and third place was awarded to Phillip Dutton on Fernhill Eagle.

Winning the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI2* was 19 year-old Connor Husain of Great Falls, VA, riding Piece of Hope, a Swedish Warmblood gelding owned by Connor and his parents, Leslie and Najaf Husain. With a clear show jumping round, Connor and Piece of Hope finished the weekend with no additional penalties added to their dressage score of 44.7. Connor, a full time student in Business Management at George Mason University, trains on his family’s property Morningside Training Farm. When asked about his win Connor said, “It’s unreal; it’s absolutely amazing, I am so lucky. I don’t even know how to describe it.”

A close competition at the top of the CCI2* saw Australia’s Clayton Fredericks on Hayley and Pat Parker’s Selle Francais gelding Pigrela Des Cabanes moving up to 2nd with a final score of 43.6. Clayton, recently relocated from England to his new training base in Ocala, FL, is competing and training the horse for Hayley while she is away at University in South Africa.

Jennie Brannigan of West Grove, PA, the leader after cross-country in the CCI2* on Nina Gardner’s 7 year-old Dutch-bred gelding Indie, added just 4 jump penalties to their dressage score of 43.9 on the final day. Unfortunately the one rail down dropped the pair to 3rd place. Jennie said of the young Indie, “Honestly, I just wanted him to run and have a good round. He is still very green and very spooky.”

The top-placed American riders in the CCI2* division were awarded USEF Fall CCI2* Championship honors. The championship went to Connor Husain riding Piece of Hope, reserve was presented to Jennie Brannigan on Indie and third place was awarded to Doug Payne, Pottersville, NJ, on his own and Amelia and Larry Ross’ Crown Talisman.

The Dansko Fair Hill International Festival in the Country benefits Union Hospital in Elkton, MD.  The hospital, whose mission is to enhance the health and well-being of the residents of Cecil County and its neighboring communities, has been caring for area families and neighbors for more than 100 years.

An innovative comfort footwear leader, Dansko stands at the forefront of sustainable and ethical business practices. It all began 22 years ago when wife and husband team Mandy Cabot and Peter Kjellerup discovered the very first Dansko shoe. This single shoe launched a comfort phenomenon. Now 100% employee owned, this American company offers sandals, boots, heels, flats and many, many types of clogs all designed to keep you comfortable, no matter where life takes you.

For more information about the 2012 Fair Hill International Festival please visit http://www.fairhillinternational.com