Interview with Jeff Newman- President and CEO, Maryland 5 Star Event Committee

Jeff Newman

CEO and President of the Maryland 5 Star and the Fair Hill Hosting Organization Committee

Hi guys! The Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill will take place from Oct 13th-16th, 2022 in Cecil County Maryland. We have an interview here with Jeff Newman who is the CEO and the President of the Maryland 5 Star. Make sure you come out and watch the competition, do some retail shopping, and eat some delicious food. Below you can read about Jeff, how he got involved with the 5 Star, and a highlight of the schedule.

Do you have an equestrian background/connection? I have a live event production background and was hired to make the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill a commercial and spectator driven property to help create tourism and economic impact to northeast Maryland (Cecil County) while showcasing its rich equine tradition.

Do you ride horses? I do not ride horses but have come to appreciate how incredible these animals are and how passionate those that own and ride them are and the joy they bring to people.

Boyd Martin won the 2021 Maryland
Boyd Martin won the 2021 Maryland 5 Star riding On Cue (c) Shannon Brinkman

When/why did you get involved with marketing and producing live sport and entertainment events? I have been involved with producing events since 1994. The gratification of putting together large-scale events and the teamwork involved and seeing it come to fruition is a great feeling and never gets old.

Tell us some of the history of the Maryland 5 Star. The company I work for is the Sport & Entertainment Corporation of Maryland which was formed to move Maryland forward through sports. One of the company’s first action was bidding on the 5 Star (in partnership with Fair Hill International) which simultaneously led to the upgrades made to Fair Hill and creating the newly constructed Fair Hill Special Event Zone. These upgrades were a key factor in being awarded the bid by the FEI.

How did you get involved with the 5 Star? I’ve known Terry Hasseltine, President of the Sport Corp for many years and when he introduced the opportunity to run an event that only occurs in 6 other places in the world (now 7), at a newly created facility, with the history of the state’s horse industry, I instantly became interested and threw my hat in the ring.

 

Oliver Townend placed second on Cooley Master Class in 2021 © Shannon Brinkman

What is the typical day for you being the President and CEO of the Maryland 5*? Sponsorship sales promotion and awareness, while managing a amazing group of staff and partner organizations.

It takes a village. Who are some of the key people that help you develop the 5 Star throughout the year? Our Event Director, Marissa Melzer is the glue that keeps it all together. And the great folks at Fair Hill International, our competition partner.

Highlight the schedule of Oct 13-16:

Full day of action from 8AM – 4PM, 3 Star competition in the morning followed by start of the 5 Star in the afternoon. Also see the Young Event Horse Competition throughout the day on Thursday and Friday. Maryland Craft Beer, and Wine Festival is on Saturday with our Maryland Fresh Food Fest on Sunday. New for 2022, Corgi Cup races on Sunday morning. Also, check out the new Sawmill Carb Shack serving up crabs by the crab water complex on Saturday of Cross Country. We’ll also have over 100 retail vendors for some great shopping throughout the event, amazing Maryland style food and beverage, lots of tailgaters and more. And certainly, bring out your dog to check out the MARS VIPet! If you can’t make it out, tune in to Maryland Public Television, The USEF Network, Horse & Country (International) and ESPN3.

Doug Payne at the water jump 2021 (c) Charles Mann

What is your favorite memory from the 2021, 5 Star (the event made its debut last year)? Simply that we pulled off a great event in its first year, with enthusiastic support from athletes and spectators while still dealing with the effects of a pandemic.

Thank you, Jeff for the interview with Horses 4 Your Consideration!

Tickets for the 5 Star can be found here:

Maryland5tstar.us/tickets or visit the onsite box office starting Wednesday

Follow the 5 Star on Facebook at MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill p/b Brown Advisory | Facebook

Address for the Maryland 5 Star for your GPS:

4600 Telegraph Road, Elkton, MD (Cecil County)

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