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.
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Lisa Pragg is a busy woman, but between her normal day job and competing her own 19-year-old Thoroughbred Impeccable she still prioritizes time to volunteer - both at horse trials and as a volunteer firefighter. Pragg understands the importance that volunteers play in the eventing community and makes sure to give whatever time she can back as a fair gesture.
Attention USEA members! Registration for the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is now open! The convention will be held in person on December 7-11, 2022 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah Hotel in Savannah, Georgia.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is proud to announce the selected Young Rider athletes for the Emerging Athletes 21 Program (EA21) national camp, now that the EA21 regional clinics have concluded. Twelve riders were accepted into each of the five regional EA21 clinics, taught by USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP) instructors, and now riders have been selected from the regional clinics to participate in the inaugural EA21 national camp this winter.
Ninety percent of training a horse is getting the horse to understand exactly what you want them to do. In general, horses are generous and willing creatures who want to please us; very seldom do they behave badly on purpose. Horses don’t come out and say, ‘Let’s make Mom’s (or Dad’s) life miserable today by going as poorly as possible - most prefer to do the right thing, as long as they know what that is.