Defending champion Liz Halliday-Sharp returned to Bruce’s Field in Aiken on a mission. A good dressage and clear jumping round left her in second place on Deniro Z (Zapatero x Zonne-Trend) after the first two phases, and after the overnight withdrawal of the leader Boyd Martin, she found herself in pole position going into the cross-country.
After a long and busy day at Bruce’s Field in Aiken, it’s winter local Boyd Martin who holds the $50,000 LiftMaster Grand Prix Eventing overnight lead on Tseterleg (Windfall x Thabana), Christine Turner's 13-year-old Trakehner gelding, consolidating his 30.7 dressage score with a double clear show jumping round.
As predicted both jumping phases proved influential at the $50,000 Mars Eventing Showcase. Five combinations withdrew overnight, leaving 33 horses coming forward to show jump over a big track designed by Andy Christiansen. Of those, only 11 jumped clear within the time allowed which saw some significant re-shuﬄing on the leaderboard.
After a few days of record-breaking rain, wind, and storms that have left huge swathes of the country, and the eventing community in Aiken in particular reeling, it’s slightly surreal for eventers to find themselves in the midst of the Wellington Equestrian Festival in South Florida for the $50,000 Mars Equestrian Eventing Showcase.
Francis Whittington is an extremely popular, British Eventing accredited trainer, and clinician. He has jumped clear around Badminton & Burghley, and will be vying for a place on the British Olympic team in London for 2012. For more info www.whittingtoneventing.co.uk