Aiken, S.C.—April 8—
Liz Halliday-Sharp’s been on a hot streak this spring with her group of FEI horses—she’s won four international events from two-star to four-star, including last weekend at The Event At TerraNova CCI4*-S (Myakka City, Florida) on Cooley Be Cool.
Today at the Stable View CCI4*-S, she extended that winning streak with Cooley Quicksilver, maintaining her overnight lead and jumping clear over Mark Phillips’ cross-country course to win the division.
Halliday-Sharp had a few seconds in hand over second-placed Woods Baughman (C’est La Vie) and third-placed Will Coleman (Off The Record), and she used them, adding 1.6 time penalties to finish on 25.5
When Baughman retired on course after two refusals at 12c, a right-handed corner on a mound, the win was Halliday-Sharp’s. Coleman was the only one to make the optimum time of 6 minutes 14 seconds with Off The Record (27.0), and they took home second place. Doug Payne and Quantum Leap leaped up the leaderboard from 24th after dressage to finish in third (37.1). Of 25 to start, 23 finished. Baughman and Tracey Bienemann and Reg The Ledge retired on course. Three pairs picked up jumping penalties.
“That actually was a tough course,” said Halliday-Sharp. “He was fantastic. I think he was good, and I’m just kind of always trying to fine tune the ride on him. He's a very consistent horse and knows his job, and he enjoys it. He's a fighter.”
She said “Monster,” a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal) owned by The Monster Partnership, likes being ridden with a bit of pressure, and always rises to the occasion. “That has always suited his brain,” she said. “I think he had a good time today. Some of the distances were pretty long, but he's not a horse that overjumps anything. He never lands far off the jump, so I definitely needed to commit to the distances. But he was a good boy, and he fought for me the whole way.”
The pair is headed to the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L in Germany in June via the Kentucky CCI4*-S in three weeks. She also finished fifth with Miks Master C and sixth with Deniro Z, both of whom will contest the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.
“I feel good about where they're at,” she said. “I sort of went out with a plan for them, and I feel like they accomplished it. They all ran well. They all finished feeling great. I think there were a lot of good questions here and plenty of terrain, which was useful, in the run up for the five-star especially. [It was a] good fitness run for Monster as well. I thought it was a good course and plenty to do enough to keep us working for it, which is good.”
Coleman is also headed to Kentucky with Off The Record, a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (VDL Arkansas x Drumagoland Bay) owned by the Off The Record Syndicate.
“‘Timmy’ was amazing,” he said. “He just honestly just skipped right around. He was a little on the muscle. He missed the run at Carolina because I fell off [in show jumping.] So he was really happy to be out here doing cross-country today. I felt like the horse was smiling ear to ear the whole way around. Maybe a couple of times he was a little almost over-exuberant, but he was just class. I was slowing down at the end. He just flew around. I was really, really happy.”
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