An extra CCI4* looks set to join the international calendar from 2019.

Fair Hill International, in Maryland, has been given the go-ahead to host a four-star by US Equestrian (USEF) board of directors.

The state-owned Fair Hill park currently runs a CCI3* in October.

Five US venues applied to host the new top-level event. The other four of these were Ocala Jockey Club in Florida, Great Meadow in Virginia, Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina and Morven Park in Virginia.

The USEF board narrowed this down to Great Meadow and Fair Hill in January and has spent months researching the venues, meeting with organising committees and conducting site visits.

“The plans for the Fair Hill redevelopment are extensive and this event will be the premiere feature at a brand new venue,” said a USEF spokesman.

He added the “state-of-the-art” multi-use venue will also host racing.

This redevelopment is a joint effort between the Fair Hill Foundation, Maryland Horse Industry Board, Maryland Sports Commission and Cecil County Government.

“The recommendation for Fair Hill International will be put forward to the FEI for consideration this autumn,” said the FEI spokesman.

“The date will be approved as part of the 2019 FEI calendar after review by the USEF calendar approval process.”

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H&H reported last year (news, 22 December) that USEF had invited bids from venues to host a four-star in 2018 or 2019.

This will be the second event of this level in the US and the seventh globally.

The current four-stars are held at: Badminton, Burghley, Adelaide (Australia), Lexington (US), Pau (France) and Luhmühlen (Germany).

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