Raeford, NC — “It’s fun to have him still loving [the sport],” said Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (USA) of her mount, Fernhill By Night, after they took over the lead following CCI4*-S show jumping at the Carolina International Horse Trials.
Halliday-Sharp and “Blackie” went double clear in the 1.25m course on the derby field on day two of competition. With a time allowed of 77 seconds, the pair zipped around the 15-obstacle track without time faults or knock-downs, pushing them into the first place position. Halliday-Sharp sat in second place with a score of 23.00 after dressage, but her efforts in show jumping helped overtake day one leader Phillip Dutton (USA) and his mount Carlchen.
“I thought all the distances were actually quite short. [The course] rode short, so it took a bit of organizing throughout because you have to keep moving for the time but then all the distances you needed to be a little settled for,” commented Halliday-Sharp on the demanding course. “I was pleased with [Fernhill by Night]. I couldn’t ask him to try harder than he does right now. He seems to get better every year,” she said about her Irish Sport Horse gelding.
“I thought Blackie was great. We’ve been together a long time, he’s like my old friend now. He tried really, really hard in the ring. He still really loves the sport, which is great, because he’s 18 this year. It’s fun to have him still loving it.” Halliday-Sharp and Blackie have been competing together since 2012 and have established their presence at the CCI4* level over the years.
Thinking ahead to the country phase tomorrow, Halliday-Sharp shared, "We'll do our very best tomorrow. I'm looking forward to seeing how the ground has held up. We've had a lot of rain, so I think that will be a challenge. The course is a big, bold, attacking course, so I think [Fernhill By Night] will go out and fight for me and we'll do our best."
Dutton and Caroline Moran's 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Carlchen, put in a solid show jumping round on day two. The pair had just one rail down and were .40 seconds over the time allowed, adding 4.4 to their score of 22.60 to make it a total of 27.00. “Carlchen had a really nice round. Just a bit of an unfortunate rail, but I'm really happy with him,” Dutton commented on his ride.
Also moving up the rankings, Matthew Flynn (USA) and Wizzerd, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Kathleen and Patrick Flynn, finished day two in the third place position. After dressage, Flynn held the fourth place spot with a score of 27.30. Following a speedy double clear in show jumping, Flynn moved up to third place and maintained his score of 27.30.
“Wizzerd jumped fantastic today. I was really happy that there was a good atmosphere with the tents and wind," shared Flynn. "I have been doing some practice at the new World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Ocala and I think that was really good for him to get more exposure to the atmosphere.” Flynn also added, "The [cross-country] course looks good. It’s big not to be taken lightly.”
CCI4*-S competition at the Carolina International Horse Trials will resume Saturday, March 20, at 10:30 a.m. with the cross country phase.
For more information, carolinainternationalcci.com.
Results After Day Two
1. Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp / USA / Fernhill By Night / 23.00 / 23.00
2. Phillip Dutton / USA / Carlchen / 22.60 / 27.00
3. Matthew Flynn / USA / Wizzerd / 27.30 / 27.30
4. William Coleman / USA / Off The Record / 27.50 / 27.50
5. Woods Baughman / USA / C'est La Vie 135 / 28.60 / 29.00
6. Doug Payne / USA / Star Witness / 29.90 / 29.90
7. Doug Payne / USA / Quantam Leap / 30.00 / 30.00
8. Phillip Dutton / USA / Sea Of Clouds / 30.70 / 30.70
9. Will Faudree / USA / PFun / 31.20 / 31.20
10. Clayton Fredericks / AUS / FE Strormtrooper / 31.40 / 31.40