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.
If your farm has the space to set up a cross-country schooling course, it can be to your advantage to have cross-country jumps available for schooling purposes. Safety should be the number one priority when designing and building cross-country jumps, and an expert should be consulted whenever possible.
By this time I am sure that you have received the news that the 2020 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) has been canceled. I sincerely apologize for the difficulty this has caused everyone involved. I want to commend the USEA Board of Governors for making an extremely hard decision.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The Whidbey Island Horse Trials take place in Oak Harbor, Washington (Area VII) in early July of each year and offer Beginner Novice through Advanced/Intermediate horse trials. The Whidbey Island Horse Trials lost their venue in 2019 but are working on finalizing a new venue for 2021.