Land Rover Great Meadow International presented by Adequan is hopping with preparations for the FEi Nations Cup™ and the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team’s Olympic Prep Trial. It’s going well, and construction of the new arena, visible across the Gold Cup Course, is well underway. In another month, the berm will be seeded, and Attwood Services will complete the subsurface wither their drainage engineering topped with GGT footing.

Tickets are on sale with all sorts of options from VIP to Tailgating to General Admission. This is the first Nations Cup™ held outside of Europe, and it’s happening at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia, July 8–10. Come out and cheer and enjoy the action.

Cross-country is the heart and soul of the Nation’s Cup™ CICO*** and final outing for the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team. Unlike the Virginia Gold Cup where numerous horses run and jump together, the cross-country phase of eventing is a beautiful and magnificent solo flight by one horse and rider navigating 32 to 33 jumping efforts over 3500 meters or a little over two miles. Each duo leaves the start box about five minutes apart, so there are often several horses at various stages on the course at any given time: excitement — up close and personal.

Michael Etherington-Smith, who has spent his working life as event director in England and six years as Chief Executive of British Eventing, brings all that experience with him to the GMI team He’s thrilled to be out from behind a desk and back to his first love, course design, having been responsible for the cross-country courses for the 2000 and 2008 Olympics and 2010 World Equestrian Games, to name only three.

Etherington-Smith’s involvement began at the very beginning when U.S. Chef d’Equipe David O’Connor and Great Meadow President Rob Banner kicked around the idea of creating an international and unique boutique eventing venue, now known as Land Rover Great Meadow International.

“The Nations Cup™ is always a great competition, and it’s already taken off in Europe,” said Etherington-Smith. “It’s a very costly step to bring it here. There’s been a lot of investment, and a lot of people have been involved. This is the first ever Nations Cup held outside Europe. All horse sports on the international level need to do something to get that sports presentation. This GMI showcase is a very positive one.”

Start making plans for July 8–10 at Land Rover Great Meadow International. All the action happens in two days: dressage in the morning and afternoon on Saturday, show jumping in the evening and, on Sunday, cross-country and the awards ceremony. Remember: there’s nothing like it in the nation.

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