The MERRILL LYNCH HUNTER JUMPER CLASSIC is the most important equestrian sporting event in Greater Cleveland. First held in 1965, the competition was the first major equestrian grand prix in the Western Hemisphere. In 1981 the Cleveland Grand Prix became part of a series of 33 North American competitions overseen by the American Grand Prix Assn. and sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of North America, Inc., and Anheuser-Busch, Inc. From 1980-90 the Cleveland-based investment, banking, and brokerage firm PRESCOTT, BALL & TURBEN, INC., undertook local sponsorship. Currently, the event is sponsored by Merrill Lynch and titled the Merrill Lynch Hunter Jumper Classic. It is staged by the Chagrin Valley PHA (Professional Horseman's Association) Horse Show, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization, with proceeds benefiting a variety of local organizations. Generally held in July, the show consists of 4 days' competition at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in the South Chagrin Reservation in MORELAND HILLS. Annual attendance averaged 25,000 throughout the 1990s.

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