Just as the sweat of the day started beading up on foreheads, CCI4*-L competitors entered the dressage arena at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana, ready to bring on a heat of their own. In many ways, this initial phase makes a first and lasting impression—a score that will be relentlessly chased throughout the weekend as the jumping phases stack up on the westward horizon.
Mill Spring, N.C.—May 13—Liz Halliday-Sharp had nearly 4 points of time in hand as she headed out onto Mark Phillips’ CCI4*-L cross-country course at the Tryon International this morning, and she had to use most of it as she heard Cooley Nutcracker’s shoe come off when he took off from fence 7.
Mill Spring, N.C.—May 12—No one could crack Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Nutcracker’s score of 27.4 during the final day of dressage at the Tryon International CCI4*-L, but Jacob Fletcher and Fabian put in a strong test to challenge them. Scoring a 31.2, they’ll head into tomorrow’s cross-country in second place.
Mill Spring, N.C.—May 11—While Liz Halliday-Sharp has only had the ride on Cooley Nutcracker since last year, the pair have made big strides in getting to know each other.
A trip to the Tryon International for “Bali’s” first CCI4*-L last November ended in a bad luck fall at the end of the cross-country course, but the gelding’s come out much stronger and more educated this spring, according to Halliday-Sharp.
Lexington, Ky.—April 30—Tamie Smith headed into the Rolex Stadium this afternoon with a lot of weight on her shoulders. She’d missed out on the Land Rover Kentucky win in 2021 when Mai Baum dropped a frangible pin on cross-country, and last fall, two uncharacteristic rails in show jumping at the FEI World Eventing Championship (Italy) dropped her out of medal contention.
Lexington, Ky.—April 29—Hot Bobo has always been a a little tricky and sensitive on cross-country, so when Karl Slezak decided to bring her to the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S, he knew it wouldn’t just be Derek di Grazia’s course that would be a challenge—it would also be the crowds of people at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Lexington, Ky.—April 29—Tamie Smith has been partnered with Mai Baum for eight years, and they’ve been all over the world together. With a top-10 finish at Badminton Horse Trials (England) last spring and a top-10 finish and team silver medal with the U.S. team at the FEI World Eventing Championships (Italy) last fall, 17-year-old “Lexus” has only been getting better as he moves into the twilight of his career.
Lexington, Ky.—April 27—While Tom McEwen has enjoyed soaking up the local Kentucky bourbon and racehorse culture this week, the British rider came to the U.S. for a much more important reason—taking a shot at the top spot at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. He’s started his weekend off right, taking the lead on the first day of dressage with Jo and James Lambert and Deidre Johnston’s JL Dublin on a score of 22.6 in his first trip to the Kentucky Horse Park.
Lexington, Ky.—April 27—Liz Halliday-Sharp has barely had Cooley Nutcracker in her barn for a year, but she and the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding (Tolant R x Ballyshan Cleopatra) have forged a formidable partnership.
Formerly campaigned by French rider Astier Nicolas to the CCI3*-L level, Halliday-Sharp and the gelding won the Rebecca Farm CCI3*-L (Kalispell, Montana) last year and the Bromont CCI3*-S (Quebec, Canada) before moving up the Advanced level.
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.
Liz Halliday-Sharp has had Cooley Quicksilver from the very start of his career, and while he’s one of the quirkier horses in her barn, the gelding has always been one she can rely on.
“Monster” is aimed at the Luhmühlen CCI5*-L in Germany in June, and Halliday-Sharp brought him to Stable View this weekend to run the feature CCI4*-S division.