October 10, 2013 -- The first U.S. horse-and-rider combination performed their dressage test Thursday for the FEI Nations Cup competition at the Military Boekelo CCIO3*. Elizabeth Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night took to the dressage arena in front of the judging panel of David Lee (IRL), Andrew Bennie (NZL), and Ciska Van Meggelen-Peek (NED) at the historic venue in Boekelo, The Netherlands.
Halliday-Sharp (East Sussex, United Kingdom) 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 CCI3* 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, who looks to have a bright future. "Unfortunately he threw in 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 (JPN) and Chippieh lead the field with a 38.2. Michael Jung (GER) and fischerRocana FST sit in second place with a 39.0, while Geoffroy Soullez (FRA) and Madiran du Liot*HN lie in third place on a score of 39.2.
Dressage continues tomorrow 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 will perform their dressage test on Friday at 11:55am local time, followed by Boyd Martin and Trading Aces at 4:18pm local time.
For more information on the Military Boekelo CCIO3*, visit http://www.rechenstelle.de/2013/boekelo/.
Follow the 2013 Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team here.