Aug 31, 2023

Miks Master C Makes Easy Work of the Cross-Country at $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final

By Lindsay Berreth - USEA Staff | Press Release
Miks Master C and Liz Halliday. USEA/Lindsay Berreth photos

Lexington, Ky.—August 31— With the Pan Am Games in Chile this fall on her mind, Liz Halliday galloped out of the start box on Miks Master C in the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final at the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) presented by Nutrena Feeds this morning with a competitive mindset, hoping to make sure the gelding was checking all the boxes along the way.

The pair cruised home easily over Jay Hambly’s track, finishing with a clear jumping round and adding 3.2 time penalties to sit on 26.3 and maintain their lead.

“He’s an amazing horse,” she said. “He made everything feel very easy. He was with me the whole way. I had a little moment when some people ran in front of me in front of a jump, so I actually slowed him up a bit at the end. I think I would have made time otherwise.”

Halliday (Lexington, Kentucky) carefully guided “Mikki” over the final combination of narrow trakehners, which caught a couple of the 29 competitors out.

“I wanted to organize him a bit to the second-to-last and make sure he jumped the last few fences well thinking ahead to the Pan Ams,” said Halliday. “There were plenty of questions to do. I think a lot of things came up thick and fast at the end, but honestly everything rode pretty much to plan. A few of the distances rode a little shorter than I thought.”

Mikki, an 11-year-old U.S.-bred Swedish Warmblood (Mighty Magic x Qui Luma CBF) who’s owned by Ocala Horse Properties LLC and Deborah Palmer, has had a banner year with Halliday. They finished in the reserve spot in the Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L Eventing National Championship at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event this spring and went on to earn a silver medal with the U.S. team at the Aachen CCIO4*-S (Germany) in June.

Phillip Dutton and Z.

While the Pan Am course will be at three-star difficulty, Halliday is still thrilled with the opportunity to represent the U.S. and give Mikki a good experience at a championship without the pressure of a higher level.

“I think it’s great,” she said. “I think it will be a great opportunity to ride around [a course by] the course designer from the Olympics with him because I hope he’s my Olympic horse. Mikki’s done a lot of amazing, big things in the last year. I think it will be really useful for him ahead of next year.”

Phillip Dutton rode his longtime partner Z, a 15-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Asca Z x Bellabouche) owned by Evie Dutton, Ann Jones, Suzanne Lacy, Caroline Moran, Thomas Tierney, and Dave and Patricia Vos, to a fast, clear round, adding 4 time penalties to their score. They maintained their second place standing, now on 31.5. Dutton also rode Azure, an 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Omar x Cavalier Roselier) owned by Anne Moran, Caroline Moran, and Michael Moran, into third place, moving up from 11th after dressage. They’ll head into tomorrow’s show jumping on a score of 32.0.

“He’s such a professional cross-country horse,” said Dutton, West Grove, Pennsylvania. “It’s his first run since Aachen. I wanted to be competitive, but I didn’t want to go 100 percent. I didn’t measure the course, so I didn’t know where the minute-markers were, so I just stuck to the speed that I thought was efficient and competitive, and ended up a little bit over. He didn’t have a bad fence. He’s such a pleasure to ride cross-country—once I get him to the startbox! I think he genuinely loves the cross-country. He doesn’t hold a grudge if you’re a bit long or a bit deep. He just keeps charging on.”

Phillip Dutton and Azure.

Azure won the Mars Bromont CCI4*-L (Canada) in June, and this was her first run back.

“She’s such a naturally fast-galloping horse, and she’s really efficient,” he said. “Slowing down for the jumps, she’s still going really quick, and she gets away from the jumps without me doing anything. She turns on a dime. She’s very speedy. It’s her first run since Bromont, and she felt well within herself. It wasn’t that hard on her. She’s a real, genuine, galloping horse—she’s what I would think would be a five-star horse.”

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About the USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC)

The USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC), presented by Nutrena Feeds, is the pinnacle of the sport at the national levels. Held annually, the best junior, adult amateur, and professional competitors gather to vie for national championship titles at every level from Beginner Novice to Advanced. This ultimate test of horse and rider draws hundreds of combinations from around the country to compete for fabulous prizes, a piece of the substantial prize money, and the chance to be named the National Champion at their respective levels. In fact, the 2021 AEC garnered over 1,000 entries and now stands as the largest eventing competition in North American history. The 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds will be held Aug. 29—Sept. 3 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Click here to learn more about the USEA American Eventing Championships.

The USEA would like to thank Presenting Sponsor: Nutrena Feeds; Advanced Final Title Sponsor: Adequan; Platinum Level Sponsor: Bates Saddles; Gold Level Sponsors: Capital Square, Horse & Country, Parker Equine Insurance, Smartpak, Standlee; Silver Level Sponsors: Auburn Labs, Ecogold, Kerrits, The Jockey Club; Bronze Level Sponsors: 70 Degrees, Athletux, Black Petticoat, The Chronicle of the Horse, Devoucoux, D.G. Stackhouse and Ellis, Dubarry of Ireland, Equestrian Team Apparel, Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, Horseware Ireland, Majyk Equipe, Retired Racehorse Project, Ride EquiSafe; Contributing Level Sponsor: CrossCountry App, Georgetown – Scott County Tourism, Lexmark, L.V. Harkness, Mountain Horse, Mrs. Pastures Cookies, #WeRideTogether; Prize Level Sponsors: Coach Daniel Stewart, EquiFit, Equilab, Equiluxe Tack, Equine Essentials, Equine Pulse Performance, FarmVet, Achieve Equine/FLAIR Equine Nasal Strips, Horses 4 Your Consideration, Hound & Hare, I Love My Horse Eventing Boutique, Jack’s Favorites, Jane Heart Jewelry, Kinetic Equine Services, LeMieux, Levade Kentucky, Mare Modern Goods, OneTouch Fly Spray, Parkmore Supplements, Practical Horseman, Sidelines Magazine, Spy Coast Farm, Strides for Equality Equestrians, and VTO Saddlery.

About the $60,000 Adequan USEA Advanced Final

The $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will take place at the 2023 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, Aug. 29—Sept. 3, 2023. Thanks to Adequan’s amazing support, the Adequan® USEA Advanced Final will bring together the country’s top riders to vie for $60,000 in prize money and the title of Adequan® Champion. To qualify for the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final at the AEC in 2023, competitors will need to complete a minimum of two events without cross-country jump penalties at any USEA recognized Advanced horse trials, CCI4*-S, CCI4*-L , CCI5*-L, World Championships or Olympic Games. Click here to learn more about the $60,000 Adequan® USEA Advanced Final.

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