A busy weekend of competition saw dual sportswoman Liz Halliday regain her CIC*** qualification at the Chatsworth International Horse Trials on Saturday and Sunday, with a strong performance on Fox.
The British-based Californian, who combines careers as a 3 day eventer and a racing driver, made her return to Advanced /CIC*** level competition for the first time in three years at the Derbyshire venue with Oscar and Fox, and competed with Harry on Friday in the Open Intermediate at Aston-le-Walls in Northamptonshire, UK.
Fox bounced back well in the CIC*** class despite a poor opening dressage test. After having just one rail down in the Show Jumping section, a superb Cross Country saw him go clear and climb back up the rankings for a positive finish.
“He was very tense and wound up in the dressage,” Halliday said. “To be honest it was very disappointing, but he came back into contention after the Show Jumping and Cross Country. He was fantastic and gave me a great ride around a difficult cross country course. It was an awesome round, probably one of the best we’ve ever done.
“The most important thing is that I’ve now got my CIC*** qualification which enables me to soon move back up to CCI*** level competition. I had the necessary qualification before, but haven’t competed at that level for three years due to my motor racing commitments, so I have had to build them up again.”
In contrast Oscar, making his debut in Advanced level competition, produced a stunning Dressage to sit third overall in the high quality field. Unfortunately, five rails down in the Show Jumping test concerned Halliday and she took the decision to withdraw him from the Cross Country as a precautionary measure.
“He just wasn’t himself,” she admitted. “The Dressage was superb and we were right up there challenging Olympic-class horses at the top of the leader board. But for the Show Jumping he was a bit flat and didn’t feel like himself in our warm-up. He’s jumped so well this year so far, so to have so many rails down is not really like him. He’s fine, but it was very hot and he’d had three days of travelling and I think he was just a bit worn down. He is very special and I am not worried at all that he will be fantastic at this level, so it was best to just save him for another day.”
On Friday Halliday had competed at Aston-le-Walls on Harry in the Open Intermediate category. After a good dressage and clear round in the Show Jumping test, a mistake in the Cross Country cost him a strong result.
“We had a run out unfortunately, but that was his only mistake of the day,” Liz explained. “He just glanced off a tricky narrow fence after jumping out of the water. Its unfortunate, but these things happen and we’ll work hard on it before the next event at Houghton Hall.”
Halliday returns to action on 22-25 May with Harry in the CCI** category at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, UK.
For more information on Liz Halliday, please visit www.lizhalliday.com.
photo Getty Images