May 17, 2022

Four U.S. Based Pairs Set Sights on Luhmühlen CCI5*-L

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
Photos: USEA/ Meagan DeLisle and EMS photo

Five-star season is well underway and four U.S.-based pairs have turned their focus toward the CCI5*-L at the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials which takes place June 16-19 in Salzhausen, Germany. We caught up with each rider to get their thoughts on their decision to make the trek overseas and what they hope their horses glean from the experience.

U.S. Based Canadian Rider Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes

Karl Slezak and Fernhill Wishes. EMS photo


Slezak and the 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Fernhill Wishes (Chacoa x KEC Galway Bay) who Slezak co-owns with Kirk Hoppner rerouted to Luhmühlen following retiring on cross-country at the five-star at Badminton earlier in May.

U.S. Rider Matt Flynn and Wizzerd

Matthew Flynn and Wizzerd. EMS photo.

Also hoping to have a better outing overseas at the five-star level are Matthew Flynn and A. Patrick and Kathleen Flynn and Merry Go Round Farm's 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Wizzerd. The duo had two refusals on the five-star cross-country course at Badminton, leading to Flynn's decision to save the horse for another day.

"Wizzerd is in prime condition, and I am looking forward to getting back out and getting another five-star under our belt at Luhmuhlen," shared Flynn. "I have heard amazing things about the venue and I am excited for the opportunity."

U.S. Rider Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver

USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

Coming off of a first-place finish in the CCI4*-S at the 2022 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event isn't a bad way to go into your first five-star of the year, and that is exactly what Liz Halliday-Sharp is doing with The Monster Partnership's 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding Cooley Quicksilver.

"Since last year, the plan has always been to take Cooley Quicksilver to Luhmühlen," Halliday-Sharp said. "For these young horses, I really like to have a plan and stick to it. I really felt like Luhmühlen would suit him. I have a lot of hard pullers and he is not a hard puller at all. He is very nippy and efficient and Luhmühlen has a track that is a lot through the trees and a lot of wiggling around that can sort of turn and surprise the horses. He has always been quite game like that. He learned a lot at Pau, it was a tough five-star last year. Luhmühlen is a track where I think he can hopefully make the time, whereas Kentucky, Burghley, and Badminton are big, bold galloping tracks. I think Luhmühlen is more technical and twisty which is a good fit for him."

U.S. Rider Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus

USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

Lauren Nicholson has taken it easy with Jacqueline Mars' 15-year-old Anglo Arabian gelding Vermiculus (Serazim x Wake Me Gently) since their 12th place finish at the 2021 Maryland 5 Star last October. The horse has had one full outing at the Intermediate level, which he won, at Rocking Horse in Ocala, Florida this March, and then withdrew following dressage at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event in preparation for their trip to Germany.

"I’m very excited to take Bug to Luhmühlen, it will be my first time competing at the venue but I have been told it’s an incredible event," shared Nicholson. "I’m so lucky to have Ms. Mars's wisdom and support, when I had to make a decision to go to Plan B with Bug's spring plan she 100% had my back. We are heading over to be competitive and Bug is ready to roll."

In addition to these four five-star pairs, U.S. rider Will Coleman is slated to compete in the CCI4*-S also taking place at Luhmühlen aboard Hyperion Stud's 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding Chin Tonic (Chin Champ x Wildera).

Access the full entry list here.

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