Liz Halliday-Sharp was out for redemption this year at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event. Last year she was leading the CIC3* after dressage and show jumping, but a 20 on cross-country but a kibosh on her win. With a clear cross-country round and just 2.8 time penalties, Halliday-Sharp took home the win with Fernhill By Night, the 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Radolin x Argentina XII) she co-owns with her mother, Deborah Halliday.
“I was nearly more nervous here than I have been at all the events he’s done in Europe, which were probably collectively harder courses throughout,” said Halliday-Sharp. “But I suppose having had a mistake last year and being back home again, it’s hard to go out when you’re in the lead.”
“But Blackie’s been amazing this year. He’s really been brilliant everywhere he’s been. I just kept thinking to myself, he’s done a lot of hard questions this year, and he’s good enough to do this. He was absolutely fantastic through all the tough questions like the corners and the angled brushes. He was perfect there. I was really proud of him,” continued Halliday-Sharp.
Halliday-Sharp and Blackie have been together for six seasons and this year Halliday-Sharp changed the plan for the now 15-year-old gelding including running him less and no longer does CCIs with him. In fact this run is Blackie’s first event in three months. While Blackie has had a checkered cross-country record, this new plans seems to be paying off. “When he comes out now to an event, he’s really excited to be there—pumped to be at the party. He knows he can do a good job. I actually think that was part of it. Getting him to that place where he’s like, ‘I know I can do this, I’m the big man, a super star.’”
“The horse deserves this because we’ve had a long time together, and he’s never won a three-star. This is his time to win, so I’m very happy for him,” concluded Halliday-Sharp.
While Halliday-Sharp maintained her top spot on the leaderboard, the CIC3* cross-country shuffled the placings quite a bit. Jonathan Holling moved up from fourth to second with Avoca Druid, Team Rebecca LLC’s 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (King's Master x Knockanree Nell).
Jacob Fletcher had a fall off his first CIC3* ride, so set off on his second determined to finish with a clean round. Fletcher and Bacardi W, Fletcher Farms’ 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Good Times x Sjerlette W) put in the fastest round of the day – crossing the finish line with just 2.4 time penalties.
Phillip Dutton filled fourth and fifth with Fernhill Singapore and Fernhill Fugitive respectively. The remainder of the division all ran into trouble with Felix Vogg, Katherine Coleman, and Nilson Moreira Da Silva all having runouts at the same double brushes that were a bogey on yesterday’s CCI3* course.
This is it! The weekend we've all been waiting for is finally here - the return to competition has arrived! After nearly three months of suspended competitions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the country and the world, riders are shining up their boots and preparing to trot down the centerline. While our "new normal" will certainly look different than things did before the pandemic, these new regulations are in place for all our safety.
The return to competition upon us! This week on the show Nicole Brown is joined by Sinead Halpin Maynard to talk about how you can make sure you and your horse are prepared to get back to competing.
The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced the inaugural Maryland Five-Star at Fair Hill will take place October 14-17, 2021. Health and safety factors, in addition to other challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to a final decision to postpone the international three-day eventing competition originally scheduled for this October at the newly constructed Special Event Zone at Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area in Cecil County, Maryland.
Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts (Area I) was scheduled to host two one-day events in 2020 offering Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice divisions. Their May event was forced to cancel due to COVID-19, but their September event is planning to run as scheduled.