Liz Halliday-Sharp was wire-to-wire with Cooley Be Cool, owned by Ocala Horse Properties and The Monster Partnership, to clinch the title of the Cordelia Family Foundation CCI3*-S. “Dave,” a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Heritgae Fortunus — HHS Carlota), wasn’t the fastest of the group, but his 23.1 dressage result gave him plenty of breathing room for the 1.2 time penalties he picked up today, all of which were in Liz’s plan to prioritize rideability and control for the gelding’s first run back since an injury last spring.
“Cooley Be Cool hasn’t had a run since last summer and he felt totally world class. He was just brilliant. I knew that I had a bit of time in hand so I wasn’t necessarily trying to make the time, but I wanted to be quick enough to win. And I wanted to test the brakes out because I was completely out of control at the four-long at Tryon. So we kind of re-jigged that this year. He found it easy and everything in stride. He’s just such a class horse and I think he’s even better than anyone knows he is,” Liz said.
Her first ride of the day on Cooley Nutcracker gave her key insights on the three-star track, adding 3.6 time penalties as Liz focused on efficiency with the 9-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Tolant R — Ballyshan Cleopatra, by Cobra). They round out the top five in this division.
Caroline Martin clinched both second and third place on a pair of 8-year-old geldings both under the Hutchinson Sport Horse moniker. Her top ride today, HSH Double Sixteen, is a relatively new mount — she took over the ride last year from Leila Barker, who produced the full Thoroughbred (Robin Des Pres — Azaria) since he came off the track as a five-year-old in Ireland. This is just their third competition together and Caroline has nothing but great things to say about their biggest weekend together yet, which saw them finish on their dressage score of 28.6.
“He was fabulous in the dressage this weekend. He’s finally learning how to do extended trot, which I’m so proud about. Cross-country, he’s a little machine. He’s a little bit unorthodox in his jump and he doesn’t have a massive step because he’s only like 15.2, but he’s very brave. It’s just fun to ride quality horses that love their job,” she said.
It really was an excellent day in the office for Caroline, who also rode HSH Blake to a double clear round finishing one-tenth of a penalty point behind his stablemate. This was the Irish Sport Horse’s (Tolan R – Doughiska Lass) first outing since the pair’s tenth place finish in the 7-year-old FEI Eventing World Breeding Championships at Le Lion last fall.
“I didn’t feel like he needed to go out until now because he’s pretty experienced at the three-star level, so my idea was just to go out and give him a nice ride. I wasn’t really chasing the clock, I just wanted a nice positive ride,” Caroline told us. “I just know him so well; I’ve had him since he was a five-year-old, so it’s nice to ride a horse that you produce from the beginning. I don’t even have to think, I just kind of stand up in two-point and steer him at all the jumps.”
Allison Springer and No May Moon, a feisty Connemara cross owned by Nancy Winter, earn fourth place after a speedy round collected just 1.2 time penalties. Allison and the 9-year-old mare (Catherston Dazzler — Ebony Moon) finish with a score of 29.7.
Dom Schramm was a wall-to-wall winner in the Breezeway Sporthorse and Diagnostic Clinic/Friendship Mobile Veterinary Imaging and Sports Medicine CCI2*-S with his exciting up-and-coming ride Quadrocana. The 10-year-old Dutch Sport Horse mare (Quadrofino x Roxana II) has competed through the three-star level already in her career, but Dom made the decision to enter her in the two-star to increase her fitness before moving back up.
“Quadrocana is a class horse and, I’ll be honest, I had a lot of just niggly little bad luck last year. I felt like there was always just one itty bitty piece of the puzzle that always kind of went awry which prevented her from getting some really big results,” he said. “So I’m really happy that she finally pulled through and got the win. I feel like she’s deserved it for a while now.”
They finished on their dressage score of 22.7.
Caroline Martin was second aboard her own and Sherrie Martin’s Redfield Champion. The 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Diarado x Calinka) was just one second too slow, but his final score of 24.8 was still enough for second place.
Fenix Rouge Du Claux claimed third for rider Doug Payne. The 8-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Chef Rouge x Pixie Queen), owned by Anna Antrobuis, finished on his dressage score of 25.8.
Caroline Martin claimed yet another top finish, this time in the CCI1*-S. She won the class with Cascadella 8, an 8-year-old German mare (Cascadello I x Chaluna, by Ciacomo), who previously as an International show jumper. In her first FEI eventing appearance, she finished on her dressage score of 28.3 with only 3.6 time penalties added.