It was a good day at the office for Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, who won the CCI2*-S and holds the top two placings after cross-country in the CCI2*-L at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) International.
A weather delay on Wednesday pushed the show jumping phase of the CCI2*-S to this morning, so competitors completed show jumping and cross-country back-to-back. Halliday-Sharp and Maryville Sir Henry were second after dressage on a 26.1. They lowered one rail in show jumping but moved into the lead. A fault-free cross-country round secured their win.
“He was first to go in dressage and did a really smart test considering he is still quite green,” Halliday-Sharp said. “I heard them announce we were in the lead as we were going into the startbox. He was brilliant cross-country. He’s come a long way.”
Maryville Sir Henry is a new partner for Halliday-Sharp, who has competed him now just three times.
“He’s a very nice horse and he’s this incredible jumper and amazing athlete,” she said. “I’d like to do a long format on him this year. If he’s ready for Intermediate at the end of the year, great, but he’s very careful and we’re not in a hurry. He will tell us what he’s ready for. I think a lot of him and he gave me a great feel on the cross-country.”
Katarina Midgley and Ditch finished second in the CCI2*-S, moving up from seventh after dressage thanks to two double-clear jumping phases. Candace Elizabeth Bell and Fernhill Philm Star placed third.
Halliday-Sharp's success continued in the CCI2*-L division. After dressage and cross-country, she sits first and second with half-brothers Cooley Be Cool, owned by The Monster Partnership and Ocala Horse Properties, and Cooley Seeking Fortune, owned by Ocala Horse Properties. Neither horse added cross-country jumping or time penalties to their dressage scores of 24.7 and 28.6.
“Both of them did very good tests and put up scores that would have them up there [on the leaderboard] at any long format. They were super today and finished well,” Halliday-Sharp said. “They found the course good and made the time easy. I’m hoping they will both jump clear tomorrow. They are good jumpers and have a bit in hand which is a nice place to be in."
“They are both seven but started eventing last year. They needed a long format. I’m hoping to get some horses qualified for [the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships for Young Horses at] Le Lion and this is part of the path to get there.”
It’s been a busy week for Halliday-Sharp, who recently moved to Kentucky to permanently base herself in the United States instead of splitting time in the United Kingdom. “My girls have been awesome. There are five horses here, it’s been busy enough. I have a good team.”
Andrew McConnon leads the way in the CCI*-L with D'Luxe Steel on a two-phase score of 29.6.
McConnon and Wakita 54 are third before the final phase in the CCI2*-L.
If you were involved in equestrian sports at all last year, you probably noticed how COVID incentivized the industry to make a few changes in day-to-day business operations. The United States Eventing Association (USEA) caught up with the STRIDER leadership team to learn more about recent industry trends after their trip earlier this month to EQUITANA USA at the Kentucky Horse Park.
US Equestrian is pleased to announce two additional competitions approved by the USEF Board of Directors to host CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced level events during the 2023-2027 competition cycle under the new Eventing Calendar Process. The Florida Horse Park has been allocated the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, and Advanced levels on Week 16 and the Advanced level on Week 40.
If you take one look at Jim Moyer’s Facebook page, you will see it is filled with sweet sentiments from the lives he has touched through his work in the equine industry. Moyer’s involvement with horses began when he met his future wife Jean 50 years ago. As Jean went on to become a prominent instructor in eventing, Moyer found that their friend circle was full of horse people, so it was only natural that he should find his place in the community.
Horses and riders in 12 divisions, from Starter to CCI4*-S, tackled the show jumping phase of competition Sunday at The Event at TerraNova, over a track designed by Nick Granat in the world-class setting of the main arena. Prize money was awarded in all divisions.