Liz Halliday-Sharp had big plans this spring. Plans that included a trip this past weekend to the Land Rover Kentucky 3 Day Event with her top competitive partner, Ocala Horse Properties’ Deniro Z. While FEI competitions have been suspended and the world awaits a return to normalcy, Halliday-Sharp is not squandering opportunity while at home in Ocala.
Equestrians are well known for their grit and resilience. During mid-March, when it became apparent that “social distancing” would become the near term norm, Liz Halliday-Sharp quickly re-assessed her stay at home orders and training program. Niro and Monster, along with the younger horses were awarded several weeks of rest in preparation for their well calculated return to work.
The Desino’s, who have greatly enjoyed being owners for Liz with Niro, were enthusiastic in expanding their role of ownership with Liz and The Monster Partnership. Following in step with Niro’s world class talent are several other young horses waiting to make their mark on the international eventing community.
It’s well known that Liz has a strong affinity for the Cooley horses, and last summer she and the Desino’s traveled to Ireland to tour the farm. The result of that trip was the expansion of Liz’s line-up with a future string of top international talent that she’s been carefully curating in partnership with the Desino’s and The Monster Partnership.
We wanted to introduce you to a few of her new stars…….
Cooley Seeking Fortune
Oscar is a 7 year old chestnut Irish gelding that Liz has had in her program since May of 2019. He started eventing the end of year season after a strong start in show jumping in Ireland. Oscar competed in the 5 year old championships in Dublin before Liz started competing him with strong results at Goring Heath, Brightling Park, Nunnery International and Borde Hill.
By the same sire as Cooley be Cool, Oscar comes from Heritage Fortunus jumping sire line and the Dam’s line is Selle Francais. Ocala Horse Properties is his sole owner.
In speaking with Liz she enjoyed characterizing Oscar. “He’s very arrogant and an exceptionally good jumper. He moves so big it’s taking more time to develop him, but he’s turning into a really great XC horse. He leads XC at most events, and finished 2nd at Red Hills during his first 2* of the 2020 season. We plan to let him tell us his schedule, but we hope to be up to long 2* or 3* end of 2020.”
Here’s a video of Oscar in the aqua-tred at Lane’s Mark Farm.
Cooley Be Cool
‘Dave’ is a 2013 dappled grey ISH gelding, also by Heritage Fortunus out off HHS Carlotta mare. He is owned by The Monster Partnership, who consist of Liz & Al, The Desinos, Deborah Halliday and Renee Lane. Liz has had Dave in training since last October, but he’s made quite an impression with his debut in the US, winning the 2* at Red Hills.
Liz refers to him as ‘The Complete Dude’, a nickname he earned as a reflection of his confidence. “He’s got a lot of blood, character and fight. He’s new to the sport, but he also jumped in 5 year old championship in Dublin. My hope would be to Lyon this year, if traveling to international competitions open back up.”
Notable is Liz’s gravitation towards horses with strong character, an indication of athletic talent and a predictor of the mental fortitude needed to be winners in the sport of eventing. Her ability to source talent is. one of the reasons the Desino’s enjoy being in partnership with Liz. The Desino’s also enjoy the process of traveling to select horses and the adventure of attending eventing competitions to watch these horses progress. As prior eventing competitors, there is great enjoyment for Rob and Chris in being part of Liz’s team and giving back to the sport. The team at Ocala Horse Properties and The Monster Partnership are truly her biggest fans.
Liz continues to focus on flat work and gymnastics while the horses remain at home in Ocala. She’s also has daily access to Lane Mark Farm’s aqua-tred, which gives these horses a big advantage with their strength and conditioning during this unusual down-time. There is light at the end of the tunnel, with states beginning to relax stay at home orders. Once allowed, Liz’s next step will be to train intensively with Robert Dover in Wellington.
End goal: Safely return all horses to competition, poised and ready to win!