Lexington, Ky.—April 28—Cooley Be Cool wasn’t always the flashy horse that people stopped to look at in Halliday-Sharp’s barn, but he’s been coming into his own this year as he prepares for his five-star debut later this summer. This morning, his consistency paid off in the dressage ring, where he slid into second place in the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S on 25.5, just 1 penalty point behind Halliday-Sharp’s leading horse from Thursday, Cooley Nutcracker. Tamie Smith and Sologuayre California were bumped to third place (27.3), and Smith rode Elliot V to a tie for fourth (28.4) with Sara Kozumplik and Rock Phantom.
“I was really thrilled with him,” said Halliday-Sharp. “I thought he was very professional and stayed with me the whole way. He’s come out a really professional horse this year. His half passes were beautiful today, and there was a lot of really good flow. He’s not the flashiest horse, but he’s very consistent. We only had one little wobble in the first change where he was a little keen and changed behind before the front, but otherwise I think he would have been on the same score as the other horse, which is really exciting. He’s sort of the horse that people haven’t always thought much of, but I've always said he's a very, very good horse, and he's starting to really prove that this year.”
Halliday-Sharp’s had “Dave,” a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Heritage Fortunus x HHS Carlotta) owned by Ocala Horse Properties and The Monster Partnership, since he was 6. He was sourced by Richard Sheane and Cooley Farm and competed at the low levels before coming to the U.S.
“I remember Richard Shane said, I don't know that he's going to win that much as a young horse, but he's going to be a top five-star horse for you,’” Halliday-Sharp recalled. “I really believe that he's starting to come into his own. He's got incredible scope. He's extremely arrogant and very brave, which I think makes him a really good horse.”
While Dave can be a bit “cheeky,” Halliday-Sharp knows he’ll be a world-class horse and is happy to have a big atmosphere this week for the gelding. She’s excited to take on Derek di Grazia’s cross-country course tomorrow.
“I think he’s built a kinder track this year; the last two years were extremely intense and right from the beginning very intense. This year it kind of lets the horses get into the track a little bit more,” she said. “I think it's an amazing experience for the horses to get up in this big arena and still have to jump here on the last day. I usually bring the younger horses here. I think it'll be a fabulous experience for them.”
The Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S will resume tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. EST with Edith Rameika's Ruben's D'Ysieux leaving the cross-country startbox with Sara Kozumplik in the irons.
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United States Eventing Association (USEA) members at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention were in for a treat on Friday as the U.S. Eventing Team was on hand to discuss their accomplishments this year at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.
“Test the best without hurting the rest,” said show jumping course designer Chris Barnard as he and fellow designer Marc Donovan led a lively discussion for nearly 50 participants at the Show Jumping Seminar on the first day of the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention.
This afternoon, USEA President Louise “Lou” Leslie welcomed U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors members, USEA staff, and USEA Annual Meeting & Convention attendees to the first of two Board meetings which will take place during this year’s Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, with the teaser that 2024 is going to be full of initiatives for more opportunities to access the eventing experience, some of which attendees might get first wind of during this year’s gathering. The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention takes place Dec. 7-10 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel.
Welcome to the Show Me state and to Area IV USEA members! The 2023 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention kicks of tomorrow and features four full days of educational seminars, committee meetings, and social gatherings all with one aim—to bring the eventing community together to continue to improve upon and celebrate the sport that we all love. This year’s Convention takes place in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Marriott St. Louis Grand in downtown St. Louis from Dec. 7-10, and we have rounded up everything you need to know to make the most of your time in the heartland.