Liz Halliday’s busy end to the 2012 season continued in Ireland last weekend (14-16 September) where the professional dual sportswoman and her Chailey Stud stable enjoyed a very encouraging CIC** outing at the Ballindenisk International Horse Trials.
Despite this being Liz’s first taste of Irish eventing and Cooley’s (HHS Cooley) maiden two-star appearance, the pair made an excellent start in the Dressage to lie fifth. Meanwhile Bud (Newmarket Malt), who has previous experience at this level, was just as impressive on his way to recording the section’s second best score.
Although Ireland’s Cross Country courses tend to be quite different to their British counterparts, Bud clearly felt right at home and covered the testing route fault-free and inside the time. Cooley also made no mistakes and demonstrated considerable talent during his first outing over a two-star course. Being the less experienced of the pair however saw him pick up four time faults around the tight but fast layout.
That left both horses in with a chance of victory on Sunday ahead of the Show Jumping. Cooley was up first and kept his cool to record a clear round that would ultimately help him finish sixth in the competitive field. As the leader after Cross Country Bud was the last to jump, but saw his chances disappear with two rails down and eventually finished seventh.
Liz Halliday: “Both myself and the horses had a great time in Ireland. It was my first time competing there but it certainly won’t be my last! The organisers were very accommodating and helpful and nothing seemed like too much trouble. The event itself was flawlessly run and I really enjoyed meeting so many great people. The horses performed very well and learned a lot from the experience, I think. Although I’m a bit disappointed to have lost the win, I know that Show Jumping has always been the weakest phase for Bud. He is such a big, strong horse and sometimes his excitement gets the best of him! I was extremely impressed with Cooley though. That was a great effort for his first two-star event and I really think he is a special horse. I’m planning to run him in the CCI** International at Osberton next week so hopefully he will be feeling well prepared after his trip to Ballindenisk.”
The week before her Irish exploits Halliday travelled to West Wilts where two more of Chailey Stud’s horses – Trevor (Endymion Entrechat) and Oscar (Viscount Oscar) – finished inside the same top six.
Trevor in particular has enjoyed an excellent season thus far and his rich vein of form continued in the Intermediate Novice section where three impressive performances helped him finish fourth.
Oscar meanwhile produced the Dressage test of his career, before backing that up with a strong Show Jumping performance, to occupy third heading into the deciding Cross Country round where time penalties would ultimately drop him to sixth.
With the end of the season now in sight, Liz will be travelling to her local event – South of England – this weekend (22-23 September) where Trevor and Blackie (Fernhill By Night) will take on the CIC* and Oscar is entered in his first Intermediate. Next week will see Cooley in the CCI** at Osberton before the season comes to a close at Aldon International (Oct 18-21) with Trevor taking on his first CCI*.
For more information on Liz Halliday, please visit www.lizhalliday.com.