Mary Ann Ghadban - A Win on Home Turf
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!n 2015, the Great Meadow Foundation was presented with an n 2015, the Great Meadow Foundation was presented with an opportunity to further its mission of preserving open space by purchasing the 174 acres adjacent to the steeplechase course.
Brought together by the Great Meadow Foundation, the donors of the Fleming Farm Project are a group of local philanthropists who funded the acquisition and protection of the land for equestrian sport. Fleming Farm now features a state-of-the-art riding arena and fully irrigated cross-country track. This thoughtfully designed venue is home to the MARS Great Meadow International held annually on the third weekend of August, the Middleburg Horse Trials, and several Pony Club events.
One of the original donors of the Fleming Farm Project is Mary Ann Ghadban, a longtime supporter of Great Meadow, accomplished horsewoman and owner of several high performance eventing horses.
Of Fleming Farm, Ghadban said, “Great Meadow is a superior venue for all levels because of its location and exceptional turf and footing. It provides horses and riders with the opportunity to do their best. The new arenas are great and the cushioned turf has upgraded show jumping and dressage venues to a world class level and the cross country track attracts the highest level athletes and horses. It is not only a destination in itself but provides a stepping stone for national and international competitions.”
"One of the highlights of my experiences at Great Meadow was when Lynn Symansky on Under Suspection won the 2019 MARS GMI."
In 2019, Olympian and Pan-American Games Gold Medalist Lynn Symansky piloted Ghadban’s “Under Suspection” to a thrilling victory in the MARS Great Meadow International CCI4*-S. The 2004 Holsteiner mare led the event wire-to-wire, clinching the exciting win with a double-clear cross country trip.
“What a thrill!”, said Ghadban. “Lynn is a rider with exceptional skill and integrity and Under Suspection is a horse that loves to compete. Their symbiotic relationship proved to be a winning combination. It was so rewarding to all of us to have this win in our own backyard. And for me, as an amateur, I love being able to compete on the same ground as the top athletes do.”
Just two months prior to Under Suspection’s big win, Ghadban rode her own Capture The Spirit, a 2009 Westphalian mare, around Great Meadow to a top three finish in the Novice Sr. division of the 2019 Middleburg Horse Trials. With the addition of Fleming Farm, Great Meadow has been able to serve a broader range of equestrian competitions, including the Middleburg Horse Trials, organized by the local Middleburg Orange Pony Club.
Be it in the cheering section or in the irons, the thrill of competition exemplifies Great Meadow’s mission of stewarding open space for equestrian and community use. If you would like to support your “Home Turf” of the Great Meadow Foundation, consider a gift prior to December 31st to become a 2020 “Friend of Great Meadow.”