Mill Spring, NC – April 8, 2022 – In its twentieth year of existence across two venues, the historic Eventing competition known as The Fork kicked off at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) with Dressage to launch three days of international and national Eventing competition, with 225 entries presenting in the sandbox. Competition is open to the public and will continue through Sunday, April 10.
Liz Halliday-Sharp Leads CCI 4*-S and CCI 3*-S Divisions
As eventers often say – cautiously or with relief – after the first phase, this weekend is not a Dressage show. However, if it were, Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) would be smashing it, and has set herself up with the lead in two divisions after her tours down centerline. In the CCI 4*-S division, Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Moonshine, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Kings Master) owned by The Monster Partnership, lead a field of 24 and hold a score of 26.0. Their nearest competitor at the moment is Will Coleman (USA) with Off the Record, who received a score of 27.2 with the 2009 Irish Sport Horse Gelding (VDL Arkansas x Ard Ohio) owned by Off The Record Syndicate. Also sub-28, Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas IV and Tommie Turner, earned a score of 27.7 to sit in third heading into the Show Jumping phase.
Recovering from an injury, Halliday-Sharp reported that her tests were not at the level she knows they could be, but that it still felt good to be on top. “They’re both really, really lovely horses, and both somewhat inexperienced at this level, I suppose.” Cooley Moonshine did “a couple” four-stars last year, and it’s Shanroe Cooley’s debut at the CCI 3*-S level.
“I suppose the best part was that I came out of both tests saying, ‘well, that wasn’t quite as good as it will be,’ knowing that they both need to get stronger,” Halliday-Sharp mused. “And there were a few bits that weren’t quite as polished as it could be. So, it’s always nice to get that sort of score knowing that it’s not the very best test they’ve ever done. I think the world of both of them, I think they have a huge future, and it was nice to come out and be able to be at the top.”
The CCI 3*-S Division may be a bit smaller than the CCI 4*-S cohort, but Halliday-Sharp and Shanroe Cooley nevertheless turned in a score of 26.4 to hold first position after day one. Lucienne Bellissimo (GBR) and Dyri, the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Diarado x King Milford XX) owned by Horse Scout Eventing, are in pursuit with a score of 27.8, while third position currently belongs to Phillip Dutton (USA) and Cooley HHS Calmaria, the 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x unknown) owned by Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, after their 28.6 point performance.
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