While the CCI5*-L dressage kicks off this afternoon, the first group of riders to go down the centerline at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event were those competing in the CCI4*-S. Judged by Peter Gray and Bea di Grazia, a total of 24 horses executed their dressage tests in the Rolex Stadium on Thursday morning.
Leading the pack after dressage is Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by the Monster Partnership and ridden by Liz Halliday-Sharp. Cooley Quicksilver aka ‘Monster’ and Halliday-Sharp set the bar high as the first pair to compete at 8:00 a.m. by earning a 25.7 from the judges. “I’m really proud of him, there were still a few moments that could have been better. But, to be first out today, early in the morning, I’m absolutely thrilled,” said Halliday-Sharp of her leading ride.
Last year, Cooley Quicksilver completed his first five-star event at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and then went on to successfully complete another CCI5*-L at Pau. He also placed second in the CCI4*-S at Rebecca Farm and third in the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final. “The primary decision [of running the CCI4*-S] is because we plan to take him to Luhmuhlen – and that was always the plan from last year," Halliday-Sharp shared. "I think that’s a track that will really suit him, he’s a horse that loves to travel, and I thought since he’s done Kentucky and Pau, it would be great for him to go to Luhmuhlen. It’s been a long-time decision. He’s a quite quirky, wiggly, goofy type of horse. But, he was very professional in the ring. He tried hard for me today, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Right behind ‘Monster’ is Halliday-Sharp’s second ride of the day, Cooley Moonshine (Cobra x Kilpatrick Duchess) a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership scored a 26.8. “Cooley Moonshine [aka Billy] is a slightly less experienced horse but probably one I think is my very best horse for the future. He’s an incredible jumper and galloper, and he does beautiful work on the flat. There were a few moments where he got behind me and was a little tense in there but, all in all, I was really pleased with him. As time goes on, he’s only going to keep on improving. I really do believe he is world-class and a wonderful horse for the future,” Halliday-Sharp reflected.
“Most of my top horses, I’ve had since they were 5-year-olds. Cooley Quicksilver was a very green 5-year-old, I don’t think he could turn right so, he’s come a long way. They are both very different horses - [Cooley Quicksilver] is kind of like riding Gumby, and [Cooley Moonshine] is a stiffer horse that needs more suppling. But, that’s the fun thing about young horses, learning their personalities.”
Halliday-Sharp has three horses entered in the CCI4*-S and will finish out dressage on her third horse, Cooley Be Cool (Heritage Fortunus x HHS Carlota) a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership, tomorrow morning at 9:10 a.m.
Rounding out the top three is Helen Alliston and her own Ebay (Escudo x Komtessa) a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding who scored a 28.7.
Bobby Meyerhoff and Lumumba, his 11-year-old Mecklenburg mare (Levisonn x Lamara), were eliminated for wearing a flash on a double bridle in the dressage, so one less competitor will move forward to cross-country.
Don't forget to follow the USEA event coverage on social media!
Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels. You can access this guide by logging into your online services account.
I’m not one for the spotlight. As the voice of the Association, you don’t need to know my personal views, political, eventing, or otherwise. So despite my byline appearing on thousands of articles on the USEA website and magazine, this is probably only the second time I’m writing about myself (the first was about my love for lessons, and reading it now makes me laugh as I am still 100% addicted). But as I am now just a USEA member I thought I would share a bit of my journey to add to our member spotlight series, Now on Course.
You’ve likely spent some time scouring the USEA Calendar to line up your 2022 competition schedule. Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to plan some cross-country schooling outings to make sure you and your horse are as ready as possible. If you own or manage a facility that welcomes guests for haul-in schooling, you’ve likely noticed horses and their humans showing up in droves to get their practice in. A successful off-site schooling day has many, many moving parts. From paperwork and payment to safety, these best practices for hosts and guests will help everything go as smoothly as possible.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team for the CHIO Aachen CCIO4*-S at CHIO Aachen World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, from July 1-2, 2022. The team will be led by Chef d’Equipe Bobby Costello.