Where else can a Beginner Novice competitor rub elbows with international-level riders? The Event at Rebecca Farm runs divisions from Beginner Novice all the way up to the CCI4*-L from Wednesday, July 19, through Sunday, July 23, in Kalispell, Montana. Over 300 competitors faced some of the hottest weather of the short Montana summer. Friday, the final day of dressage, featured the CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S and at least a breeze to go along with the bright, hot sun. Judges for the classes were Bobby Stevenson (USA), Sue Baxter (GBR) and Gretchen Butts (USA).
Liz Halliday-Sharp Dominates the CCI4*-L
With marks of 71.25, 73.75 and 78.33, Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Moonshine impressed the judges and scored a 25.6, the only one under 30 in the division of 14 entries. Owned by The Monster Partnership, Cooley Moonshine is a striking black 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding from the Netherlands. The last event the pair completed was the Tryon International Three-Day Event CCI4*-S in May where they finished sixth.
Buck Davidson in Second
Buck Davidson and Business Class, a 2010 Selle Français gelding, had a mistake-free test to finish second on a score of 30.8. Coming all the way from their home base in Pennsylvania, the pair are competing in only their third event together. “He certainly has the ability,” said Davidson. “I just don’t know him that well.” Business Class was bred in Ireland and is owned by Katherine O’Brien. Their last event together was at the Tryon International Three-Day Event where he won the CCI3*-S. However, Davidson said the horse was still learning to be more competitive in the ring. “Hopefully that will come.”
Third after dressage was James Alliston and Karma, owned by Alliston Equestrian. Their score was 32.6. Karma is a 2014 Oldenburg mare bred in the U.S. by Patricia Crowley.
CCI4*-S Top Three
Only five pairs tackled the CCI4*-S class, and the current queen of U.S. eventing, Tamie Smith, took the lead with a strong score of 29.2 aboard the 8-year-old KWPN gelding Kynan. They finished well ahead of second-place Lucia Strini and Excel Cool Quality at 35.4. With a score of 36.9, Emilee Libby and Toska landed in third.
Tamie Smith’s “Exciting Horse”
Smith had nothing but praise for her young horse. “He was super today. It’s his first Advanced test, first four star, and I was ecstatic with him. He really went in there and tried and was with me the whole way. I’m really proud of him.”
Bred in the Netherlands and owned by the Kynan Syndicate LLC, Kynan is competing for the first time at the four-star level. In their last competition, they placed second in the CCI3*-L at the Tryon International Three-Day Event.
Ian Stark’s cross-country course is full of interesting decorations and Montana-inspired themes. Smith and Davidson both commented on the challenging water complexes and long open gallops. They both agree that the courses are appropriate for the four-star level.
Follow along with Practical Horseman as we cover cross country and stadium jumping over the next two days. Coverage sponsored by Cosequin®.