As the 2021 eventing community began the season with cautious optimism, Liz Halliday Sharp kept her head down and continued to focus on the spring competition season leading up to The Land Rover Kentucky 3 Day Event. History appeared destined to repeat itself in early 2021, when the event organizers announced another cancellation due to covid restrictions and their financial inability to run the event without the income from spectator ticket sales.
Thanks to the unyielding determination of Ocala based event rider Sara Kozumplik Murphy, a small glimmer of hope began to emerge. Together with Dorothy Crowell and Lynn Symansky, these women lead the charge in rallying the troops to save the 2021 LRK3DE. Through this remarkable grass root effort, fans of the sport and several key corporate donors raised the necessary funds to run the event without spectators.
Due to these selfless efforts, the Team at Ocala Horse Properties was given the opportunity to attend this event through our ownership of Liz’s horses; Ocala Horse Properties’ Deniro Z, The Monster Partnership’s Cooley Quicksilver and The Monster Partnership’s Cooley Moonshine. For that opportunity, we are truly grateful.
Success Leading Up to Kentucky
Leading up to the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event (LRK3DE), Liz remained laser focused on her training and fitness programs with her entire string of horses. Fortunately, several other FEI events throughout the country had been able to run, allowing Liz great preparation and success with all three of these talented horses.
The Monster Partnership’s Cooley Moonshine, the most recent talent added to the ownership team of the Desino’s, Renee Lane and Deborah Halliday, came to the USA with a well-established European record. In 2018 he won 6 events in England and Europe, including two international 2* titles and a bronze medal at the Six-Year-Old World Championships in France. ‘Billy’s’ 2019 highlights included a second-place finish at the Ballindenisk CCI3*-S in September, and a Silver Medal at the Le Lion d’Angers Seven-Year-Old CCI3*-L World Young Horse Championships. He also received the Connaught Grant, which is given by the USEA to a horse that is seen as a potential candidate to represent Team USA on an international level. Here in the USA, he continued that success with top 3 finishes at the Ocala Winter Horse Trials, Rocking Horse and Red Hills International.
Billy ran in the CCI4*S, and his performance was nothing less than brilliant, beginning his competition at the LRK3DE with 28.1 dressage penalties heading into cross country. Carrying his 3rd place position into XC, he tackled the technical track during a torrential downpour. Adding just a few time penalties to his score, he was 5th after XC, but he jogged up sound and had an incredible double clear show jumping round to finish 3rd on a 42.4. We couldn’t be more pleased with his performance and look forward to a bright future with this rising star!
The Monster Partnership’s Cooley Quicksilver stepped up to his first CCI 5* at the LRK3DE – and his performance was noteworthy as well. During 2018, ‘Monster’ won his first CCI3*L and finished 7th in the 7-year-old CCI3*L World Championships in France. He came to the states in 2019, winning his very first Advanced and finishing second at the Ocala International CCI3*L. He was named the Traveling Reserve for Team USA at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and finished out the year in the Top 10 at the Millstreet CCI4*S and competing at the Boekelo CCIO4*L Nation’s Cup for Team USA. In 2020, he won the Pine Top Advanced class and had multiple top 4* finishes at Great Meadow, Plantation Field, and Galway Downs International.
Stepping into the Rolex Arena at Kentucky, ‘Monster’ executed a very respectable test with a score of 33.2, placing him middle of the pack. His cross-country run was very solid, with one green moment with an unfortunate glance off at a tricky corner, but he jogged up sound the next day and delivered a great show jumping round to finish his first LRK3DE.
Ocala Horse Properties’ Deniro Z did his first event in July of 2015 and since then he has enjoyed multiple wins and top placings at every level including a top 10 finish in his first CCI5* at Luhmuhlen in 2018 and a top 15 finish in his first Burghley CCI5* in 2019. Throughout his earlier career here in the US, he has wins and top placings at Pine Top, Fair Hill and Carolina International. In 2020, he won the CCI4*-S at the Great Meadow International and at Plantation Field International. He also finished in 5th in the CCI4*L at the Tryon International Horse Trials. These results helped Liz finish the 2020 season as the USEA’s Rider of the year, a title that hadn’t been awarded to a woman in 39 years!
Ocala Horse Properties was thrilled with Niro and Liz’s performance this year in Kentucky. They proved their international competitiveness in the dressage arena, earning a score of 27.4 and 8th place heading into cross country. On cross country, Niro lived up to his potential, boldly jumping clear and up the leader board to 5th place heading into show jumping. Although Liz was disappointed with a few rails which dropped them to 10th, Ocala Horse Properties was thrilled to watch this combination join the victory gallup!
Reflecting on the LRK3DE
After a few days to decompress, Liz made the following statement about her experience in Kentucky.
“We had a very busy week at the Land Rover Kentucky 5* and 4* and I am only just finally taking a breath…. I am so proud of what all three horses achieved this weekend in challenging conditions with some serious courses to tackle and a strong field of competitors.
“Deniro Z, owned by @ocalahorseproperties, was pure class all week, and finished a respectable 10th place in the 5*. While it was hugely disappointing to have two rails down on a horse that jumps so well, I mainly had a horse that was a bit too fresh, which is a good problem to have at 5* I guess! He has had an outstanding 12 months and I am so lucky to be his rider.
“Ten year old Cooley Quicksilver, owned by The Monster Partnership, took on his first 5* and proved that he definitely has what it takes, despite some green moments XC, and he finished the weekend full of confidence – I am excited for his future!
“Cooley Moonshine, also owned by The Monster Partnership, was in the new CCI4*S section, and was so impressive around a tough track in difficult conditions, ultimately finishing 3rd- at just 9 hrs old he is definitely a special horse with a big career ahead!
“It has been an intense few months and I owe so much to my wonderful team who work so hard to keep the horses looking and feeling their best! A massive thank you also goes to my amazingly supportive family, owners, sponsors and supporters. This is a big year and we have even bigger goals, and as a team we will keep working hard to achieved them!”
The Team at Ocala Horse Properties feels equally as grateful to Liz for the opportunity to be involved in ownership at the international level of the sport. Liz is a true professional, who always has the health and success of the horses in mind. With her goal of being selected to represent the USA, she has worked steadfastly and patiently to develop our horses correctly, and we’re honored to be part of her team.
For the eventing fans who pulled together to insure the 2021 running of the Land Rover Kentucky 3 Day Event, we salute you! Don’t forget, the event will also be receiving nationwide television coverage this Saturday, May 2nd, 12:30 – 1:30pm EST on NBC and Saturday May 15th from 1-2pm EST on NBCSN!
For the entire list of results please go to the Kentucky Three Day Event Website.
For a playback of the USEF livestream coverage, please go to their website and congratulations to this year’s USA National Champion, Boyd Martin and the Turner’s On Cue!
We hope that you’ll join us in cheering for Liz and her talented string of horses. In fact, you can now follow them now on Instagram!
- Follow Deniro Z @deniro_z_
- Follow Cooley Moonshine @cooley_moonshine
- Follow Cooley Quicksilver @cooley_quicksilver