The first U.S. horse-and-rider combination performed their dressage test on Oct. 10 for the FEI Nations Cup competition at the Military Boekelo CCI***. Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night took to the dressage arena in front of the judging panel of David Lee (Ireland), Andrew Bennie (New Zealand), and Ciska Van Meggelen-Peek (the Netherlands) at the historic venue in Boekelo, the Netherlands.
Halliday-Sharp, who is based in East Sussex, England, rode a lovely test with her own 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, scoring a 51.8 and putting them in 28th place. The pair had a minor error coming down the centerline at the beginning when Fernhill By Night swapped leads, but otherwise they had a flowing test. Even though Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill by Night are representing the U.S. for the first time in an international team competition, they handled the pressure well, especially in the large atmosphere at Boekelo. This also marks the pair’s first attempt at the CCI*** level.
“I was quite pleased with him today. He is very green at the three-star level, but he tried really hard,” said Halliday-Sharp of Fernhill By Night. “Unfortunately he threw in a flying change on centerline which didn’t put us off to a great start but I was quite pleased overall. We have some tidying up to do but he did some of the best trot work he’s ever done today.”
Following the first day of dressage, Kenki Sato of Japan and Chippieh lead the field with a 38.2. Michael Jung of Germany and fischerRocana FST sit in second place with a 39.0, while Geoffroy Soullez of France and Madiran du Liot*HN lie in third place on a score of 39.2.
Dressage continues on Oct. 11 for the remaining 50 combinations of the total 104 that are contesting the event, which serves as the final leg of the 2013 FEI Nations Cup Eventing series. Lauren Kieffer and Veronica, followed by Boyd Martin and Trading Aces, will compete for the United States.
Click here for more information on the Military Boekelo CCI***.
Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.