Oh Carolina! It’s Cross Country Day! Live Blog from the 4* Cross Country at Setters’ Run Farm Carolina International CCI.

‘The Hard Pass.’ Photo by Sally Spickard.

It’s a beautiful day in Carolina for cross country day and here at EN we’re primed and ready to bring you all of the action from Ian Stark’s course. As well as this live blog, make sure you check out EN’s Ultimate Guide for the low-down on all things Carolina and keep eyes on for our full round up, coming soon. You’ll find all of our Carolina content here. We’ve got a whole bunch of great IG content happening too, courtesy of our boots on the ground (headed up by Chinch) @goeventing.

If you want to watch along live H&C+ has your back (subscription required) and if obsessively watching the live leaderboard is your jam, here’s what you need.

Right, onto the course. Ian says he’s made no major changes this year as last year’s run was so successful. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” he says. Indeed. It’s his last year course designing and he acknowledges that next year someone else will come in and put their own stamp on things.

One thing he’s sure will be influential is the time, which is set at 6 minutes and 28 seconds. There are 23 numbered fences along the 3685 meter track, with 35 jumping efforts, which are made up of fourteen single fences, four treble combinations, and five doubles – three of which come in quick succession near the end of the course. The reaction to one of them (19AB) from a member of the EN team (who shall remain nameless): “I mean, there’s just no !**!ing way I would ever jump something like this”. It’s been re-named ‘The Hard Pass’ at EN HQ.

For more on the course, check out our full course preview here.

We’ll be kicking things off with Liz Halliday and Cooley Quicksilver – they’re due to leave the start box at 11:50am ET / 3:50pm GMT.

The top 10 as things stand will go in reverse order because we eventers love to keep things exciting right up to the last millisecond – that means our clubhouse leader Liz Halliday with Miks Master C is due to leave the start box at 1:26pm ET / 5:26pm GMT and so around 6 and a half minutes after that, we’ll have our winner. However, as Liz has THREE rides in the TOP 5 (!!!) – although we know she’s a speed queen and superstar and could totally pull off vaulting onto a horse in the starting box from the horse she’s galloping through the finish on – it’s probably only fair that she’ll ride out of order. There is news on the Liz front – second place overnight Cooley Moonshine has been withdrawn as part of Liz’s plan for this event.

A quick catch up with what’s been going on:

Leading after the dressage was Liz Halliday with Miks Master C who delivered a beautiful test for 22.5. Liz had the overnight podium all to herself, with Cooley Moonshine sitting in second on 25.5 and Cooley Quicksilver on 27.1. EquiRatings’ predictions were 3 for 3 in terms of the rider, but there was a slight shake-up between Cooley Moonshine and Liz’s fourth ride Cooley Nutcracker, who finished the day in 5th place on 28.7, rather than the second place the stats guys foresaw. Pan-Ams individual gold medalist Caroline Pamukcu split up Liz’s rides, slotting into 4th place with HSH Blake on a score of 27.9.

Fun fact: After the dressage, Will Coleman was the only male rider in the top 10. We’re not biased or anything, but go the girls!

Yesterday’s show jumping shook things up slightly. Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake were on the rise after their clear – and Liz Halliday‘s pole with Cooley Quicksilver – bumped them up into 3rd and Liz down to 6th. She remains at the top with Miks Master C after a clear round kept them on their dressage score. Cooley Moonshine also jumped clear to stay in 2nd, but his withdrawal has shifted things about slightly. Liz’s other ride, Cooley Nutcracker, delivered her a another clear, stepping up a place into 4th. Rounding out the top 5 was Meghan O’Donoghue and OTTB Palm Crescent, who stay on their dressage score of 29.3.

Right now the top 5 going into cross country looks like this:

1st Liz Halliday and Miks Master C – 22.5.
2nd Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake – 27.9.
3rd Liz Halliday and Cooley Nutcracker – 28.7.
4th Meghan O’Donoghue and Palm Crescent – 29.3.
5th Liz Halliday and Cooley Quicksilver – 31.1.

According to EquiRatings’ stats, no one’s ever had a rail and won Carolina 4* – that gives each of our top 4 a chance for the win, but as we know, anything can happen in eventing.

Here’s how things look scores-wise as we head into the cross country (although the placings have scooted up following Cooley Moonshine’s withdrawal):

Images from EventEntries.com

If you fancy a bit of eventing bingo, here’s some cool stuff to spot in the field this afternoon:

🐴 A pony in a 4*!
🥇 The reigning Pan-Ams individual gold medalist.
❗Liz Halliday’s hattrick of rides.
🥈 The entire US silver medal team from the Pan-Am Games in Santiago.
🚀 Barry, the high-flying horse.
⚾ A bunch of baseballs.

If you’re following along live, don’t forget to refresh this page periodically. If you’re reading this later, scroll down ⬇️ and read up ⬆️.

So, eyes on, enjoy the ride, and go eventing!

Carolina International CCI & H.T. (Raeford, NC) [Website] [Schedule] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [4* Cross Country Map] [Live Scores] [Live Stream] [EN’s Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Coverage]

1:37 ET And there we have it. Carolina 4* is over for another year and Liz Halliday has taken the win with Miks Master C on a score of 22.5 – finishing on their dressage score, in what’s been a stunning display across all three phases. What a rider! What a horse! What a competition!

Coming in 2nd is Caroline Pamukcu with HSH Blake on 30.7.
3rd place goes to Meghan O’Donoghue with Palm Crescent on a score of 30.9.
4th is Sydney Elliott with QC Diamantaire on 33.3.
And rounding out the top 5 is Liz Halliday with Cooley Nutcracker on 33.5.

EN’s round-up of the whole dang thang will be up shortly – eyes on! You’ll find all of our Carolina content here.

Thanks for following along! It’s been a blast and for sure a fitting way to whet our appetite for everything else that’s to come this season.

Always go eventing!

1:33 ET Liz has 8.2 penalties in hand to win this class. They go through the combinations at 19, 20 and 21 as though they’re demonstrating a masterclass. Beautiful. Two to go for them… She’s at the last… and through the finish… Liz is grinning… CLEAR AND EXACTLY ON THE TIME! Liz Halliday and Miks Master C take the win!

1:31 ET Blake’s a little backwards coming into the first part of Fence 19AB but Caroline encourages him forward and they make it through that section of the course clear. They’re just two from home now. Liz and Miks Master C are absolutely flying! Miks Master C is just eating up this course. They drop into the Lighthouse water at 14ABC and Liz gives him a really bold ride through there. Caroline and HSH Blake are through the finish – they’ve added just 2.8 time penalties and take the lead. They’ve squeaked in there – just 0.2 ahead of Meghan and Palm Crescent – man it’s close up there at the top! We just have Liz and Miks Master C on course now.

1:28 ET We’re onto the last to go! In just over 6 minutes we’ll have our winner! Overnight leaders – in fact, leading from the start with a score of 22.5 in the dressage – Liz Halliday and Miks Master C are on the course! They were individually 7th at the Pan-Ams in Santiago last season, where they took team silver for the US, 3rd in the 5* at Kentucky and 2nd here in the 4* last year. Will they go one better this time around? EquiRatings has them down as favorites for the win. Will the stats add up and equal 1? Let’s see! Meghan and Palmer finish with 1.6 time penalties and go into the lead! They’ll definitely have a podium finish. Caroline and Blake do a great job through the middle water and then pop up and over the Normandy Bank no trouble.

1:27 ET Sydney and QC Diamantaire go into the lead as things stand – they added just 1.6 time penalties. She can end up no worse than 4th. Caroline’s wasting no time with Blake at the early part of the course. Meanwhile, Meghan and Palmer look great through 19, 20 and 21 – what a horse that is, and clearly still loving his job at 18 years old.

1:24 ET Matthew and Trudeau canter through the flags carrying that 20 and adding 16 time penalties. Syd and QC Diamantaire have flown round and are now going through the three combinations at 19, 20 and 21. It’ll be exciting to see their time – QC is for sure one of the fastest horses in the field. Meghan and Palmer are easily through the coffin complex at 11ABC. Our penultimate combination are Pan-Ams Individual Gold and team silver winners Caroline Pamukcu and HSH Blake – they’re off and running. They were 3rd in the 3* here last season finishing on their dressage score. Can they pull off that feat again? With a clear in the show jumping yesterday, adding nothing to their dressage of 27.9 to leave them in 2nd overnight, they’re right on track!

1:21 ET Oh no! Matthew and Trudeau have had a run out at the second part of the Normandy Bank combination at 17ABC. They come back around and clear it, but that 20 will have dropped them down the standings. Sydney and QC Diamantaire make light work of the Lighthouse water whilst Matthew and Trudeau fiddle their way though 19, 20 and 21 – it’s a little disorganized and Trudeau shows just how honest he is as he jumps through clear. Meghan O’Donoghue and OTTB Palm Crescent are away! They were 17th here last season after 20 jumping penalties across the country – Megan will be looking to put that right this time around. ‘Palmer’ delivered a beautiful dressage test to go sub-30 – 29.3 to be exact – and topped that off with a clear in the jumping yesterday. They were in 4th after the show jumping – will end up even better?

1:19 ET Matthew and Trudeau manage the terrain through the combination at 6AB really well – they make a smooth pair. Meanwhile Will’s showing us all how it’s done through the combinations at 19, 20 and 21 with Diabolo – so balanced, just beautifully ridden. Matthew and Trudeau squirrel through the coffin in another display of great riding. They’re flying along this course. Sitting in 6th place after the show jumping on a score of 31.7, Sydney Elliott QC Diamantaire join us on the cross country. Part of the Pan-Ams team silver medal for the US in Santiago last season, where they finished 8th individually, they also have a top 10 finish in the Kentucky 5*, a third place in the 4* and top 20 at Luhmuhlen under their girth. They were 4th here last year delivering a speedy clear inside the time. Can they do it again? Meanwhile, Will and Diabolo are at the finish and add just 3.6 time to their scorecard.

1:16 ET Will is giving Diabolo a peach of a ride in the early stages of the course. Boyd steadies Miss Lulu through the water combination at 19AB, but she listens and they pick their way through the next two doubles also. Will and Diabolo rattle the MIM through the coffin complex, but nothing to worry about for them. Making their FEI debut outside New Zealand, Matthew Grayling and Trudeau are out of the start box. They finished up last season with a hattrick of wins. They were in 7th here on 31.9 after jumping clear yesterday. How will they find the Carolina course? We’re about to find out! Will and Diabolo are beautifully through the Lighthouse water at 14AB. Boyd and Miss Lulu are through the finish and have picked up 6 time penalties.

1:13 ET Doug goes through the tricky combinations at 19, 20 and 21 with no right stirrup! That is impressive. Quantum didn’t even notice. Now we have Will Coleman – last year’s winner with Chin Tonic (and winner in 2021 and 2022) – here this time around with new ride and Aussie import Diabolo, who finished up last season with two consecutive top 3 places at 4*. They were 8th place after the after the show jumping on a score of 32.3. Boyd and Miss Lulu show off some fancy footwork before the drop into the water at 14ABC, she balances herself beautifully and skips on through. And we have another double clear! Doug and Quantum Leap are clear inside the time!

1:11 ET We have our first double clear! They did it at Bruce’s Field, and they’ve done it here too – Waylon and OKE Ruby R are clear inside the time!

1:10 ET Waylon and Ruby are getting the job done as they near the end of the course. Briggs and Corture are through the finish with 9.6 time penalties to add. Doug and Quantum make absolutely nothing of the coffin combination – a beautifully ridden line through there. And we’re into the top 10! Sitting in 9th overnight on a score of 33, Boyd Martin and Miss LuLu Herself are out on course. Boyd took on the ride in 2022 and came to Carolina last season for the 4*, where they jumped clear across the country adding just time penalties to their dressage score. Will it be another clear for this mare? Eyes on!

1:06 ET Canada’s Waylon Roberts is away with OKE Ruby R. Apparently this mare is not an easy ride and Waylon really gets a song out of her. They’ve got one 4* completion on their record when they came 2nd with a clear inside the time. Super impressively, they were the only double clear cross country at the recent Grand Prix of Eventing at Bruce’s Field. They sat tied for 17th after yesterday’s jumping, on a score of 36.4. Waylon is very quick through the combination at 8 and make nothing of 9. Meanwhile, Briggs and Corture are at the water at 19. The distance is long but Corture stretches to the edges of her skin and they ride on through as though she’s at least 4 hands taller than she is. Waylon and Ruby are popping along nicely at the early part of the course. Doug Payne Quantum Leap Five 5* top 10s under his cinch. 6th here last year finishing on their dressage. They’re on track to repeat that after a clear round in the showjumping. They came into today in joint-12th place on 34.9.

1:03 ET Oh no! Rock Phantom hangs a leg on the drop into the first water at 14ABC and Sara is pitched over his head and takes a swim. Rock Phantom is totally fine, Sara’s very wet.

1:01 ET Sara Kozumplik and Rock Phantom join us on course. This is the former ride of Brazil’s Nilson Moreira da Silva – Sara took over the irons for the 2022 season. They come into today on a score of 38.1 in 20th. Meanwhile, Will and Pfun are through the doubles at 19, 20 and 21, making it look like a Pony Club course. They’re almost home. Sara gives Rock Phantom a great ride through the coffin complex. Briggs Surratt and itty-bitty Corture are off and running. You may be thinking that Corture looks kinda pony-like, and you’d be right – standing at 14.2hh on her tippy toes, she’s a total powerhouse that’s for sure. Fun fact – Couture was bred by fellow competitor Elisa Wallace. They go out in 32nd on a score of 51.5. Will and Pfun are through the finish and have added just 3.6 time penalties. Briggs and Corture are absolutely flying! The little gal is making nothing of these huge fences! Sara and Rock Phantom are still motoring along looking full of run and to be having a great ride.

12:58 ET Now out on course we have Will Faudree and long-time friend and campaigner PFun, who were 3rd here last season with a speedy clear inside the time across the country. They dropped from 8th to 11th after rolling a pole in the show jumping and come into today’s test on 34.4. Come on boy, let’s see one of your classic cross country clears! We also have Cassie Sanger and Fernhill Zoro out on course – sorry, I missed them start. They clocked up the air miles last season, competing not only in the US and Canada, but making the trip to Europe for Boekelo in the Netherlands and Strzegom in Poland. They come into this in 15th place on a score of 35.5. Although we haven’t seen much of them, they appear to have been having a great round and are coming to the end now. Elisa and Renkum Corsair finish up with 19.6 time penalties. Will and Pfun are handy through the water with Pfun showing every bit of his experience as he makes this course look very, very easy. They are class through the Normandy Bank combination. Cassie an Fernhill Zoro finish with just 4.4 time penalties.

12:53 ET Brooke gets thrown forward going down the massive drop into the water at 19, but gets herself right and makes it through that tricky section of the course clear with Cooley Space Grey. Eventer and mustang trainer, Elisa Wallace is away from the start box with 2022 USEF CCI3*-L National Champion Renkum Corsair. They were 15th here last season, jumping clear and adding some time. They sat in joint-17th place overnight on a score of 36.4. Brooke and Cooley Space Grey have finished with 6.4 time penalties. Elisa and Renkum Corsair have a very tricky moment at the first water – Renkum Corsair climbs all over the second element but they work together to make it through clear.

12:47 ET We here the MIM rattle as Alexa and Just to be Clear come through the coffin complex, but it stays up and they gallop on without giving it another thought. Brooke Burchianti and Cooley Space Grey join us on course. They’re making their eighth FEI start here this week. They climbed a couple of spots after jumping clear yesterday, and now sit in 29th on 44.2. They take the red flag at 6AB but are through no problem. They’re steady through the treble at 8ABC but clear through and on their way. Jennie and FE Lifestyle are home with 1.6 time penalties. OMG! There is some real stickability going on through the combinations at 19, 20 and 21 for Alexa and Just to be Clear – save(s) of the day for sure! She’s pitched right out of the tack, loses her stirrups, but fiddles her steering, gets pitched again, sits up and makes it all the way through. Meanwhile, Brooke and Cooley Space Grey take their own route through the coffin but it seems that Brooke had a plan and stuck to it and is through clear.

12:43 ET Arden and Sunday Times have a moment – Sunday Times drops his legs right in the ditch. But Arden sits up and helps him out and they carry on clear. Jennie and FE Lifestyle take a huge jump into the Lighthouse water at 14 – they’re flying! Alexa Thompson and Just To Be Clear are underway in their first 4* on home soil. Her debut came last season at Strzegom while she was based with France’s Maxime Livio – she finished 7th, beating out Michael Jung – what a debut story for her! With just seven FEI competitions under their belt, they’ve got a 100% clear cross country jumping record. Will the gelding’s performance live up to his form – and his name – today? They head out in 26th place on a score of 43. Jennie and Lifestyle do a great job at the Normandy Bank at 17ABC and make it look easy. We have a new fastest round of the day! Arden and Sunday Times are home just 2 seconds over – 0.8 to add for them.

12:39 ET Liz and Nutcracker make the Normandy Bank look like a Pony Club fence – this pair just look class. He’s full of running and they’re obviously such a great partnership. They pop through the three doubles at 19, 20 and 21 – a total masterclass from Liz. Arden Wildasin and Sunday Times are in the Carolina 4* for the first time, but jumped clear across the country in the 3* last season. They were 28th after the show jumping, sitting on a score of 44.1. Doug and Quiberon’s time is is – 27.6 penalties. They have that 20 on their card too. We have another new starter also – winners of the Best First-Timer award at Burghley last season where they finished 12th next up is Jennie Brannigan with FE Lifestyle. They were also 12th in the 5* at Kentucky. They come into today just inside the top 10 on a score of 33.3 after jumping clear in yesterday’s show jumping. And we have Liz and Cooley Nutcracker home with just 4.8 time penalties – that puts them ahead of Liz’s first ride, Cooley Quicksilver.

12:35 ET Ah! Doug gets pitched forward at 14ABC, but he manages to get his knitting back together and they carry on straight over the second element in the water. Impressive reactions from Doug. Out of order as Liz has a date in the start box with current leader Miks Master C as the last of the day, Liz Halliday and USEF CCI4*-L National Champion Cooley Nutcracker have now joined us out on course. This guy has been top 10 in his last six FEI runs. He’s on track for a podium finish here – currently sitting in 3rd on 28.7 – will he pull it off once more? Meanwhile, Alison and Vandyke are through the finish carrying that 20 penalties and adding 18.8 time. Oh my! Doug’s taken a very wiggly route through the water at 19AB – he was trying very hard not to cross his tracks. Not sure if he navigated it though. He’s been given 20 but it’ll be reviewed.

12:31 ET Wow! Sit up Emily! Corvett bounces Emily right out of the saddle as they drop into the water at 19AB but it’s a great save from Emily. This pair know each other so well. They motor on to the finish flags and add 7.6 time to their score. Doug Payne and the nine-year-old Quiberon have now joined us on course. They jumped clear across the country in the 3* here last season – can they do it in the 4* this time around? They sat in 25th coming into the cross country, on a score of 41.6. Alison and Vandyke bounce up the Normandy Bank and make absolutely nothing of the combination. Vandyke looks to be full of running and thoroughly enjoying himself galloping along the Carolina turf. Doug’s giving his young stallion Quiberon a really solid ride over the first half of the course. Oh no! Alison and Vandyke have a run past at the second element of Fence 19AB in the water. Her reins were long after the drop and the steering was lost for a second. A shame as they were going really nicely.

12:26 ET Emily Hamel and everyone’s favorite high jumper, Corvett are away. ‘Barry’ really is a high-flying kind of guy! They were top 10 in the 5* at Kentucky last season, top 20 at Burghley and 11th at Maryland. This is Emily’s first time in the 4* class here, but Barry’s been here before with Phillip Dutton. They sat in 21st overnight on a score of 38.3. Sharon does a great job with Claus through the Normandy Bank combination. She’s put that run out right to the back of her mind and is focusing on what’s ahead. Meanwhile, Emily and Corvett make a fabulous bend into the final element of the coffin complex – what a pro Barry is! Sharon and Claus have another moment at the first part of 19AB into the water, but they’re pushing on along and are now through the flags with 20 on their scorecard and 22.4 time. Allison Springer and Vandyke are up and running. They’ve got two previous 4* completions on their record – let’s hope they make it three here today. They started off the day in 24th on a score of 41. Caroline and She’s The One picked up 10.8 time.

12:23 ET Caroline and She’s The One look to be having a great time out on course. They’re over 17ABC and clear so far. Sharon White and Claus 63 have now joined us on course. They were 10th individually at the Pan-Ams in Santiago last season, taking silver with the US team. They sat in 22nd after yesterday’s show jumping, staying on their dressage score of 39.1. Claus looks to be full of run at the early part of the course. We have a score in for Rachel and High Tide – just 2.4 time penalties to add for them. Caroline really sets up for the drop into the water at 19AB. She takes it steady and approaches that trio of doubles very methodically – a really great job done. Oh no! Sharon and Claus have had a run out at the final element at 17ABC. They’re quick to come back around though and waste no time on their second attempt.

12:20 ET Bobby and Lumumba are the fastest so far – just 1.6 time penalties for them. Allie and Morswood finish with 12.4 time penalties. Overnight 2nd place with her other ride – and Pan-Ams individual gold medalist – Caroline Pamukcu heads out with She’s The One. They were sitting in 14th coming into this on a score of 35.1. They were 7th in the 3* here last season, when they jumped clear inside the time. Will they finish up on their dressage in the 4* this time around? There’s every chance! Rachel and High Tide are brave into the water at 19AB – they’re very quick through the three combinations out there. They hit the upright gate behind as they motor towards the finish flags, but the MIM isn’t activated and they’re safely over.

12:16 ET Allie sits back after the big drop at 19AB and makes it through that tricky combination. Bobby and Lumumba have a slight moment coming out of the complex at 11ABC, but they’re through and away to the first water. The mare finds the distance in the Lighthouse water at 14ABC very short, but she shows off her fancy footwork and does a fantastic job. Lumumba looks to be loving her job, flying every fence. Bobby’s taking some white flag chances, but nothing to worry about. Rachel Lawson and High Tide are out of the start box, making their Carolina debut here this week. When she’s not eventing, Rachel helps ex-racehorses find new careers once they’ve finished on the track, a passion inspired by OTTB High Tide. Rachel has a moment at 6AB – she gets popped out of the tack a little and has to pick her stirrup back up. There’s another heart in mouth moment for them through the coffin at 11ABC but Rachel’s riding forward.

12:12 ET Phillip and Possante finish up with 16.8 time penalties – that was a great round with a new ride. Ariel and Leamore Master Plan get a good shot at Fence 18 and come round to the scary drop into the water. They make their way through, with Ariel steering at the end of the rein between the rollercoaster of As and Bs there – three doubles in a row! Impressive riding. Meanwhile, Bobby Meyerhoff and his mare Lumumba are now away. They finished top 15 in the Maryland 5* last season. 12 faults in yesterday’s show jumping dropped them down the rankings to 30th on 44.3. Lumumba looks like she is so ready for this! They waste no time through the first few fences and stride out along the course. Further along the course, Allie and Morswood make absolutely nothing of the Normandy Bank at 17ABC – they pop through and on they go.

12:08 ET Andrew and Ferrie’s Cello finish with 6 time penalties. Meanwhile, Ariel and Leamore Master Plan are making light work of the first few fences. They do a great job working out the distance at 6AB. They’re one of the fastest combinations in the field so it’ll be interesting to see how close they can get to the time. Phillip and Possante are beautiful through the Normandy Bank and they make light work of the final fences to finish clear. Score to come. Ariel’s just tempted the flag rule at the Coffin complex, which will be reviewed. They looked to squeak through though. Alexandra Knowles and her 5* campaigner Morswood AKA ‘Ginge’ have joined us on course. They finished top 10 at Pau last season and top 10 at Maryland in 2022; they were 11th here last year. They go out onto cross country in 27th on 43.4.

12:05 ET Score in for Will and Mama’s Magic Way – just 3.2 time penalties. They finish on 48.6. Phillip Dutton’s out of the start box with former Emily King ride Possante, who’s making his stateside 4* debut with Phillip. They were in 16th place after the show jumping on a score of 36.1. They’re clear over the treble combination at 8ABC. Meanwhile Andrew and Ferrie’s Cello are through the tricky second water at 19AB. The crowd there are really encouraging these riders on. Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan join us now. They’re back after a bit of a break last season but showed great form in 2022, finishing on their dressage for 11th place individually at the World Championships in Pratoni, completing Badminton in 15th and taking 3rd at Luhmuhlen. They jumped clear yesterday and ended up tied for 12th place overnight on a score of 34.9.

12:02 ET Andrew McConnon and Ferrie’s Cello are out on course. They were 13th in the 5* at Maryland last season and haven’t been here since 2021, when they were 6th in the 3*. Andrew and ‘Eddy’ were in 19th coming into today, on a score of 36.7. Doug and Camarillo are home with what looks to be a 19.6 time penalties – wow, they looked to be going along some so that’s kind of surprising. Will and Mama’s Magic Way are almost at the end now. Meanwhile Andrew makes the Coffin complex look like a gymnastic exercise – nicely done.

11:59 ET News in that Liz has 7.2 time penalties – Ian did warn us that the time would be tight. We have Will Faudree and Mama’s Magic Way off and running. This pair were 16th at Burghley last season, 13th in the Kentucky 5* and 8th here at Carolina, jumping clear across the country and adding just 4.4 time. They’re currently in 31st on a score of 45.4. Doug and Camarillo make nothing of the Normandy Bank and are still flying. It’ll be interesting to see his time as this round has looked quick. He makes the massive drop at the water at 19AB but Camarillo leaves a leg on the fence in the water. Great recovery! They continue on. Will and Mama’s Magic Way look to be going nicely. They’ve cleared the triple brush out of the water at 19AB to huge cheers.

11:56 ET Camarillo looks full of running as he flies through the first part of the course. Doug’s got his foot down, that’s for sure. He clears the double at Fence 6 nicely and motors on. Liz is still running along happily with Cooley Quicksilver. They’re at the second water. There’s a lot to do up there but they make their way through and are on their way to the finish flags. Doug and Camarillo make the bend through the coffin complex at 11ABC and they’re making this look very easy. Pretty sure it’s not though!

11:53 ET So far so good for our pathfinder Liz. They’re clear through Fence 8 and have no trouble with the baseballs and bats at Home of the Brave, Fence 9. Doug Payne and Camarillo are our second pairing out on course. This 10-year-old gelding finished top 10 in the 4*-S at Kentucky last season and were 16th here last year after a steady clear cross country. Two poles in the show jumping dropped them down the order a bit to 23rd. Meanwhile, Liz uses all of her experience at the coffin complex and manages to keep Quicksilver between her legs to squirrel through. Impressive, drool-worthy riding. They come through the first water and 14ABC and are on their way.

11:50 ET Going out of order as Liz has SO MANY horses in the top 10, currently in 5th place on a score of 31.1, Liz Halliday and Cooley Quicksilver get the 4* cross country underway! They were top 5 at Luhmuhlen 5* in 2022 and took the win in the 4*-S at Kentucky, just one of his four wins at the level on his record. And we’re off! Quicksilver flies out of the start and looks very keen to be running. They take on the first few jumps and have got off to a great start.

11:49 ET We’re about to get going! It looks like everyone and their dog is having a great time in the Carolina sunshine. It sure seems to be a glorious day for cross country. Bring it on!

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