FAIR HILL -- A number of Maryland horsemen and horsewomen are competing in world-class combined driving and Day events today through Sunday at the 5,000-acre Fair Hill Natural Resources Center near Elkton.
At stake, in the driving part of the event, is selection of U.S. representatives for the 1993 World Pair Championship held in Gladstone, N.J. National championships in the Four-In-Hand and Single Horse division will also be decided as well as the East Coast title for single pony championship.
Combined driving is an increasingly popular horse sport in which horse-drawn vehicles are judged on accuracy and speed during three days of dressage, cross country and obstacle competition.
Bob Cook and Bill Lower of Mount Airy and Gary Stover of Chesapeake City are entered in the world pairs qualifier. Galvin Gentry of Freeland, Jane Ramsey of Elkton and Chandler Irwin of Chesapeake City are represented in the singles competition.
In addition to the combined driving tests, a separate internationally rated 3-Day event for horse and rider will also be contested. Among Marylanders in the event are Grant Schneidman of Glyndon, Gayle Molander of Upperco and Beale Wright of Chesapeake City. Marion White of White Hall also owns a horse competing in the 3-Day event.
Today's activities start at 8:30 a.m. with the dressage phase of the Equestrian 3-Day. Driving dressage begins at 9 a.m.
Tomorrow is perhaps the most exciting phase of the competition. The driving marathon, in which horses and carriages compete over a 5.7-mile course through a series of natural hazards, starts at 8 a.m. The cross country of the Equestrian 3-Day begins at noon.
On Sunday, the driving obstacle competition and the 3-Day stadium jumping concludes the triathlon test.
Officials hope that nearly 15,000 spectators will attend the daily triathlon competitions.
In addition to the horse competition, there is a "Festival in the Country" exposition featuring 84 shopping booths, pony rides for children, a classic car exhibition on Sunday and the appearance all weekend of the Coors 6-Horse Belgian Hitch.
Admission is $6 per day. Children under 12 are admitted free.
The event is located about an hour from Baltimore. From I-95, take exit 100. Turn left onto Rt. 272 north. Go 5.4 miles and turn right onto Rt. 273 east. Go about 10 miles past the Fair Hill Race Course. Turn right onto Gallaher Rd.
For information, call (302) 428-4253.