by Katherine O. Rizzo with photos by Chelsea Spear Photography

Well it is official! The inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is underway with the first horse inspection taking place on Wednesday, October 13. Maryland is well represented with three Maryland-based riders, two PA riders who grew up in Maryland and several horses bred or owned by Marylanders! Below is a list of entries with Maryland connections to keep an eye on this week.

Ema Klugman of Clarksburg is competing with her longtime partner Bendigo, who is still going strong at the age of 19! Klugman and Bendigo completed their first five-star event earlier this year at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event where they placed 33rd overall and Klugman was the highest placed young rider. Bendigo comes into the Maryland 5 Star well rested and ready to go! You can read more about this pair here:


Valerie Pride of Harwood is riding her own 13-year-old Oldenburg Favian. Together they made their five-star debut in Kentucky as well but had an unfortunate fall on cross-country. Both horse and rider walked away unharmed and went on to complete the Jersey Fresh International CCI4*-L and most recently, the CCI4*-S at Stable View Oktoberfest in SC. They also placed 22nd at Intermediate at this year’s American Eventing Championships.


Colleen Rutledge of Frederick is the most seasoned Maryland entry in the Maryland 5 Star having competed at and completed all five of the Northern Hemisphere five-stars… with the same horse! She and Shiraz flew around the globe a few times to compete in all the five-stars except for Adelaide in Australia. Now she is competing the Maryland-bred Covert Rights, a 15-year-old gelding by BFF Incognito. Together, Rutledge and Covert Rights have completed both the five-star in Kentucky and Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England.


Former Marylander Lillian Heard is now residing in PA and competing LCC Barnaby at the Maryland 5 Star. The pair finished 16th at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2019 and 18th at Burghley that same year. Most recently, they placed eighth in the CCI4*-L at Plantation Field Horse Trials in PA. Heard and LCC Barnaby have graced The Equiery’s cover more than once and as we like to say… once a Marylander, always a Marylander!


Heard also has a three-star mount with Cooley Gentleman. Heard moved the seven-year-old Irish Sporthorse gelding up to Intermediate earlier this spring with a fourth place finish at Pine Top Spring Horse Trials in GA. They completed both the Great Meadow International (VA) and Plantation Field Horse Trials (PA) in the CCI3*-S divisions finishing seventh at Plantation.

Daniel Clasing is another rider who grew up in Maryland but has recently moved out of state and is now living in Lovettsville, VA. He is riding the Maryland-bred Olney Uncle Sam, bred by Ami Howard of Olney Farm in Joppa, in the CCI3*-L. Olney Uncle Sam is a 14-year-old Trakahner gelding that Clasing just started riding this spring. The grey gelding had been previously ridden to the Advanced level by Emily Beshear. Clasing’s most recent event with Olney Uncle Sam was a fifth place finish in the Open Intermediate division at the Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown earlier this month.

Oliver Townend of Great Britain, ranked number one in the world at the moment, is riding a former mount of his with Ulises, owned by Juli Hutchings-Sebring of Elkton. Hutchings-Sebring has been campaigning the horse since this past June when they won the Open Training division at the Seneca Valley Pony Club Horse Trials and as since been competing at Preliminary and the CCI2* level.


Young Event Horse East Coast Championships
In addition to the five- and three-star competitions at the Maryland 5 Star, the Young Event Horse East Coast Championships take place on Thursday and Friday with many horses connected to Maryland.

Clasing is riding in the YEH-5 with Denis Glaccum’s homebred Jaguar My. The pair earned a qualifying score of 75.25 at the Hunt Club Farms Horse Trials YEH-5 in May.

Klugman has a YEH-4 entry with FVF Wildflower. The Oldenburg mare is a recently new addition to Klugman’s barn and scored an 81.4 at the Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm’s September YEH-4 competition.

Rutledge also has a YEH-4 star mount this year with Karisa T, a Holsteiner mare bred by Andras Szieberth. The pair won the YEH-4 at Applewood Farm in SC with a qualifying score of 85.85!

Savannah Fulton of Finksburg is riding Islander and Innspired in the 4-Year-Old division as well as Velvet Alley in the 5-Year-Old division. Islander is an Oldenburg owned and bred by Ursula Ferrier while Innspired is a Swedish Warmblood owned and bred by Shari Rayne. Velvet Alley is a Thoroughbred mare bred by Nick Wilson and owned by Lauren Axselle.

Lia McGuirk of Monkton is riding her own Thoroughbred mare Virginia Peach, bred by Ray and Patricia Pennington in the YEH-4 division. The mare had a brief racing career before McGuirk bought her to bring along as an event horse. They won the YEH-4 division at Hunt Club Farms Horse Trials this past May.

John Secan of Brookeville is also entered in the YEH-4 division. Secan is riding Sing To Me Cooley for owners Hedgerow Farm. The Irish Sporthorse mare was bred by Jaclyn Whitaker and earned its qualifying score at the YEH-4 at Waredaca Farm Horse Trials in August.

Alexandra Green Kerby is riding the Maryland-bred Oldenburg Lanakai in the YEH-4 division. Elizabeth Callahan of Oxford, MD bred this gelding out of her mare Avalon.

Don’t forget to follow all the action here: