The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation has awarded the Jacqueline B. Mars National Competition & Training Grant to Liz Halliday-Sharp, and her mount, Cooley Quicksilver (Womanizer x Kylemore Crystal), a 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding owned by The Monster Partnership.
As the recipient of the grant, Halliday-Sharp, who is an athlete on US Equestrian’s Eventing High Performance Pre-Elite Training List, will receive $10,000 to support her trip from Lexington, Kentucky, to Temecula, California, to compete in the CCI4*-L at the Galway Downs International Three-Day Event on October 28-31, 2020.
“It’s very, very exciting, and it makes a big difference to the owners as well—we’ve got to support the good owners in the sport as much as we can,” said Halliday-Sharp of receiving the grant. “We’re very grateful to the [USET] Foundation. It’s an expensive sport, and you don’t get a lot of prize money. [This] really makes it all possible."
“I think next year, we’ll start to think about five-star competition for [Cooley Quicksilver],” Halliday-Sharp continued. “I very much hope he’ll be considered for the Olympic Games, and that’s part of our reasoning for going to Galway."
Each year, the Jacqueline B. Mars Grant is awarded to eventing riders who have been identified and recommended by the USEF Eventing Selectors, with an impressive record and the potential to represent the United States in future international competition. Halliday-Sharp, who has not yet represented the U.S. at an Olympic Games or international championship, received this select distinction following a strong performance as part of the 2019 FEI Eventing Nations Cup Team at the Military Boekelo CCIO4*-L in Enschede, the Netherlands. According to Erik Duvander, US Equestrian’s Performance Director for Eventing, it will be important for Cooley Quicksilver and Halliday-Sharp to receive the opportunity to produce a competitive performance, as the pair trend toward joining the Elite list.
Thanks to the Jacqueline B. Mars Grant, Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Quicksilver can continue their training with the goal of representing the United States in future international competitions.
It was a great day of cross-country riding at the Maryland 5 Star. There were 35 horses who crossed the finish and 11 of those finished double clear. With British, French, New Zealand, Canadian, and American riders coming through the finish flags – it was a true world class competition. The USEA was at the finish to see what the riders thought of the very first Maryland 5 Star cross-country track designed by Ian Stark.
Weren’t able to spend your morning glued to the livestream of the 2021 Maryland 5 Star cross-country? Couldn’t be there in person to trek up the hills? We have you covered with a play-by-play of what happened on Ian Stark’s cross-country course which gave both the designer and the riders many sleepless nights, but ended up riding quite well for the majority of the field.
Kurt Martin maintains his lead in the USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship with a score of 23.5. He piloted D.A. Lifetime, Debbie Adams’ 9-year-old mare, through a fault-free cross-country round over the new Ian Stark-designed course.
The forecasted downpours held off until the last horse and rider crossed the finish flags during the CCI5*-L cross-country at the Maryland 5 Star today, confirming the event’s decision to move up the start. The majority of riders had sunny skies and a cool breeze as backdrop to tackle Ian Stark’s five-star course across the sprawling grounds at Fair Hill in Elkton, Md. Before cross-country there was much chatter about the testing terrain, but 11 pairs managed to make the time despite the hills. At the end of the day, the top three riders held onto their podium positions going into show jumping tomorrow with overnight leader Oliver Townend and Cooley Master Class (Ramiro B x The Swallow) impressing all who watched at each and every question.