This past weekend, Ocala Horse Properties traveled to Aiken, South Carolina as a sponsor of the Liftmaster’s Grand-Prix of Eventing, and to cheer for Liz Halliday-Sharp and all of our friends and clients hailing from Ocala. This was an incredible USEF sanctioned event, which offered $50K in prize money to top eventing athletes looking for a unique competition leading up to the Land Rover Kentucky 3 Day Event!
The vision for the Grand-Prix Eventing at Bruce’s Field is to showcase the best of the sport of eventing over a two day period; holding the dressage and show jumping on day one and concluding with a “grand-prix” cross country showcase on the final day. The dressage and show jumping phases tested horse and riders at the 5* level, while the XC phase consisted of 22 XC jumps strategically placed throughout 3 arenas and on the grass race track. The show jumping track, designed by Michel Vaillancourt, and the cross country course, designed by Captain Mark Phillips, were equally technical and challenging.
Ultimately, the cross country optimum time proved quite difficult for the majority of the competitors – but Liz and Ocala Horse Properties’ Deniro Z and The Monster Partnership’s Cooley Quicksilver stopped the timers without time faults. The final phase of XC ran in reverse order of go, resulting in a nail biting conclusion to the competition. Liz rode all 3 of her horses brilliantly, and after finishing Niro clear and under the time, hopes were for a 3rd year of victory at this event. With 6 seconds in hand, Tamie Smith and Mai Baum showed grit out on the course, adding nothing to their dressage score to hold onto their lead and the win with a 23.3.
Narrowly missing her 3rd consecutive win at the Liftmaster’s Grand-Prix of Eventing, Liz still had a massively impressive weekend, with all 3 of her horses finishing in the top 5! Deniro Z, owned by Ocala Horse Properties, finished 2nd on his dressage score of 25.8, Fernhill By Night, owned by Liz and Deborah Halliday, finished 3rd on a 28.4, and Cooley Quicksilver, owned by The Monster Partnership, rounded out the top 5 on his dressage score of 30!
Liz had the following to say about her weekend in Aiken. “I was totally thrilled with my boys for all finishing in the top 5 placings in the Aiken Eventing Grand Prix this weekend! All three horses performed their best 5* tests to date and jumped super clear rounds in the SJ and XC – they all tried so hard and I couldn’t ask for more!”
In addition to the USEF competition, the LiftMaster GPE divided riders into teams, who were paired with local charitable organizations. The top three finishing teams earned a check for their respective charity, and Liz captained her Team Orange to victory, bringing home a monetary contribution for the Tri-Development Center of Aiken County.
Liz and all of her horses are now safely back in Marion County, using their remaining winter days in Ocala to train before they head to The Fork, Carolina International, and ultimately the Land Rover Kentucky 3 Day Even. Ocala Horse Properties and members of The Monster Partnership will be counting down the days until the end of April, when Deniro Z and Cooley Quicksilver will be tackling the 5* at the most legendary 3 day event in this country!
To view the video highlights from the weekend’s action and the full results, please go to their website at