Great Meadow lives up to its name once again. Under four days of cloudy to overcast skies (the best kind when it’s 90 degrees outside), horse lovers, local and from out of town alike, watched world-class eventing at the MARS Great Meadow International. Two hundred thirty-four equine athletes competed in the *4, 3*, 2*, Preliminary 1 and 2, and the Piedmont Equine CCI2*, 3* and 4* for riders under 25. Lush from consistent rain this past month, the David O’Connor designed cross country track gave fans dozens of perspectives to watch up close many of the sport’s best as horse and rider galloped by. It takes a special kind of courage and grit to compete as a three-day eventer, achieves the wins, endures the disappointments, and humbly enjoy the surprises. No one closer or more involved in the sport, Jacqueline Mars and her guests cheered everyone on from a hilltop view. Lauren Keifer Nicholson took third place on Mrs. Mars’ handsome bay Vermiculus (32.5) and fourth place on her Landmark’s Monte Carlos (35.4), a gorgeous grey, both homebreds. Her Landmark Monaco with Kimmy Cercere aboard placed 19th, and fan-favorite Marilyn Little, leading at the time, valiantly smiled as both she and RF Scandalous recovered from a fall at the first water jump. Out of 39 entries, Phillip Dutton and Fernhill Singapore, owned by David Vos, Ann Jones, and Tom Tierney, won the 4* event with a score of 31.2. Fernhill Singapore is a handsome 12-year old bay Irish Sport Horse gelding headed for the inaugural Maryland 5* next month at Fair Hill. Just .8 seconds behind, Will Coleman and Off The Record (barn name Timmy) earned second place; they’ll be headed next month to Aachen, Germany, to compete in the CCIO4* as a member of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team. Coleman earned fifth place on Chin Tonic HS, a 9-year old Holsteiner gelding owned by Hyperion Stud, with a time of 35.4. The winner of the 3* was Caroline Martin, owner, and rider of Redfield Dexter. Kurt Martin on D.A. Lifetime was second, and Buck Davidson earned third on Sami Crandell’s DHI Showman. Alyssa Phillips on her Cornelius Bo won the 2*; Caroline Martin won second on her Galwaybay Blake and also earned third on HX Group Redfield King’s King’s Especiale. The winner of the Preliminary 1 was Sharon White on her I-Quid J; Kurt Martin was second on Debbie Adam’s D.A. Got Game. The Preliminary 2 winner was Ryan Wood on his Bellavista; second went to Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp on Cooley Starship. For the under 25’s, Alyssa Phillips won the Piedmont Equine 2* on her Cornelius Bo, Isabel Finemore got second on Odaria Finemore’s Heartbeat. In the 3* and 4*, Woods Baughman was first on Manderly LLC’s Hopak de Greenbay Z, and Mia Farley on David O’Connor’s Phelps was second. Safe and speedy trips, everyone, in your next adventure!