Fernhill By Night is no stranger to the top spot on the leaderboard after the dressage phase of an event and today’s CIC3* at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event fit right in with his tradition. A night of storms and a brisk morning (for Florida) made for some tense horses and only two managed to break into the twenties, but “Blackie” kept it together to earn a 27.2 with Liz Halliday-Sharp.
“We did our typical no warm-up and got him as hot as possible. He did drop me a little bit in the ring. He was very lazy as he can be, but it was still a fairly tidy test,” said Halliday-Sharp of the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Radolin x Argentina XII) she co-owns with her mother, Deborah Halliday. “I think they are judging very tough today. I was disappointed with [my other horse] Deniro Z’s score, but I think he did go in and try and he is feeling very well and is excited to be at the party.”
Halliday-Sharp splits her year between England and the U.S. so has just arrived back stateside after the summer and fall abroad. “[Blackie] has been great – we are lucky to have such a great cross-country course at our place so he has had a bit of a tune up over there. He hasn’t run since Millstreet in August – we sort of preserve our runs since he is getting a bit older. That makes him fresh when he comes to the party which is where we want him.”
Halliday-Sharp has competed at the Ocala Jockey Club all three years of the event’s existence and praised the event. “It is amazing. I think the ground should be perfect and every year this event gets better. It’s like a mini European event really so we always try and make sure we can be here.”
Just a bit over two points off the lead is last year’s winner, Phillip Dutton, who has reunited with his longtime partner, Fernhill Fugitive. Dutton rode the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Lux x Barnadown Ramiro) for five years – including competing at four CCI4*s and the 2015 Pan American Games – but in 2017 Fernhill Fugitive went to compete with co-owner, Tom Tierney’s, daughter, Caitlin. Fernhill Fugitive has recently been sold, so Dutton is back in the irons for the new owner.
Sitting in third place is Felix Vogg and is 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games mount, Colero. Jurgen Vogg’s 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Captain Fire x Bonita) scored a 30.8 which puts them less than a rail behind the lead.
The CIC3* will have a day off tomorrow before they tackle Chris Barnard’s show jumping on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and finish their weekend on the cross-country course on Sunday.
The CCI3* takes their turn in the dressage arena tomorrow beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Tamie Smith and Mai Baum were the highest placed combination of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ The Netherlands hosted at the Military Boekelo CCIO4*-L in Enschede, the Netherlands, earning a final score of 31.9 for 11th place out of a competitive field of 97 starters. The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team, comprised of Tamie Smith, Liz Halliday-Sharp, Jennie Brannigan and reserve Matt Flynn, was led under the guidance of Chef d’Equipe Erik Duvander.
Mya Poulos and Vanessa Stroh were the junior and adult amateur recipient of the award at the Otter Creek Farm Fall Horse Trials, September 13-15, 2019, which hosted the Area IV leg of the Charles Owen Technical Merit Award. The Charles Owen Technical Merit Award takes place in each of the 10 USEA Areas and rewards one junior and one adult amateur riders for their safe and effective cross-country riding.
The 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is only two months away! Multiple keynote speakers, three-day eventing inspired films, and a 60th anniversary celebration – the schedule is packed with special highlights that will make this year unforgettable. The 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention is on Dec. 12-15 in Boston, Massachusetts at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
In the thrilling finale to the FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ 2019 series at Boekelo, The Netherlands today, Team Germany posted their fourth win of the season while league leaders Sweden held on to take the series title. However, some of the biggest smiles were on Swiss faces when they pulled Olympic qualification out of the bag.