The Fork at TIEC Celebrates Twenty Years

Apr 8, 2022 - 7:29 PM

Liz Halliday-Sharp Leads CCI 4*-S and CCI 3*-S Divisions

Doug Payne and Fenix Rouge Du Claux Dominate CCI 2*-S Division

Marissa Griffin and Conguistador Conquer Dressage Day in CCI 1*-S Division

Doug Payne and Tamie Smith Lead Advanced Divisions

Adalee Ladwig and Argenta MSF Ace Open Training Division

Open Novice Led by Annika Weisjahn and Old Number 7

For Immediate Release

Sarah Madden for TIEC

Mill Spring, NC – April 8, 2022 – In its twentieth year of existence across two venues, the historic Eventing competition known as The Fork kicked off at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) with Dressage to launch three days of international and national Eventing competition, with 225 entries presenting in the sandbox. Competition is open to the public and will continue through Sunday, April 10. Read below for updates and scores.

Liz Halliday-Sharp Leads CCI 4*-S and CCI 3*-S Divisions

As eventers often say – cautiously or with relief – after the first phase, this weekend is not a Dressage show. However, if it were, Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) would be smashing it, and has set herself up with the lead in two divisions after her tours down centerline. In the CCI 4*-S division, Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Moonshine, the 2012 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Kings Master) owned by The Monster Partnership, lead a field of 24 and hold a score of 26.0. Their nearest competitor at the moment is Will Coleman (USA) with Off the Record, who received a score of 27.2 with the 2009 Irish Sport Horse Gelding (VDL Arkansas x Ard Ohio) owned by Off The Record Syndicate. Also sub-28, Boyd Martin (USA) and Tsetserleg, the 2007 Trakehner gelding (Windfall *PG* x Buddenbrock) owned by Christine, Thomas IV and Tommie Turner, earned a score of 27.7 to sit in third heading into the Show Jumping phase.

Halliday-Sharp-Cooley MoonshineFork22brinkman4-8dressSB1-19320Liz Halliday-Sharp and Cooley Moonshine
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Recovering from an injury, Halliday-Sharp reported that her tests were not at the level she knows they could be, but that it still felt good to be on top. “They’re both really, really lovely horses, and both somewhat inexperienced at this level, I suppose.” Cooley Moonshine did “a couple” four-stars last year, and it’s Shanroe Cooley’s debut at the CCI 3*-S level.

Coleman W-Off The RecordFork22brinkman4-8dressSB1-19119Will Coleman and Off the Record
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

“I suppose the best part was that I came out of both tests saying, ‘well, that wasn’t quite as good as it will be,’ knowing that they both need to get stronger,” Halliday-Sharp mused. “And there were a few bits that weren’t quite as polished as it could be. So, it’s always nice to get that sort of score knowing that it’s not the very best test they’ve ever done. I think the world of both of them, I think they have a huge future, and it was nice to come out and be able to be at the top.”

Martin (USA)-TsetserlegFork22brinkman4-8dressSB1-19408Boyd Martin and Tsetserleg
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Halliday-Sharp also sits in tenth place at the moment with Cooley Be Cool, who she called a much stronger horse this season as he grows into the four-star level. “Actually, I went a little spacey in his test, and sort of did a three star movement in the middle of it, which is a bit silly of me. But it was very, very windy, and he spooked a few times at an R that had blown over. There were a few little green moments, but actually, I think his overall quality this year is so much better,” she detailed.

“That’s really exciting, because he’s only a nine-year-old this year. So, he’s still relatively new to this level. And I definitely think he’s a much stronger, better horse than last year. The good bits were very good, which is really exciting for the future, because I think he’s got a very big future ahead.”

Halliday-Sharp (USA)-Shanroe CooleyFork22brinkman4-8dressSB1-19705Liz Halliday-Sharp and Shanroe Cooley
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

The CCI 3*-S Division may be a bit smaller than the CCI 4*-S cohort, but Halliday-Sharp and Shanroe Cooley nevertheless turned in a score of 26.4 to hold first position after day one. Lucienne Bellissimo (GBR) and Dyri, the 2012 Holsteiner gelding (Diarado x King Milford XX) owned by Horse Scout Eventing, are in pursuit with a score of 27.8, while third position currently belongs to Phillip Dutton (USA) and Cooley HHS Calmaria, the 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x unknown) owned by Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp, after their 28.6 point performance.

Bellissimo (GBR)-DyriFork22brinkman4-8dressSB1-19671Lucienne Bellissimo and Dyri
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Halliday-Sharp and the 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Dallas VDL x Unknown) owned by Ocala Horse Properties, are debuting at the CCI 3*-S level this weekend, and assessed that the Cross-Country track set by Captain Mark Phillips (GBR) is “big, bold and forward, how Mark always designs it, which I think is good. I don’t think there are any overly technical questions,” she continued, “but the ones that are there need to be respected. And I know the time here is always quite difficult to get, so you’ve got to be really organized with your lines and be really prepared early on where you want to place the horses.”

Dutton (USA)-Cooley HHS CalmariFork22brinkman4-8dressSB1-18811Phillip Dutton and Cooley HHS Calmaria
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Notably, Halliday-Sharp has handed the reins of Cooley HHS Calmaria, 2013 Irish Sport Horse mare (Cyrano 145 x unknown) owned by Elisabeth Halliday Sharp, to Phillip Dutton, since the mare needs a strong Cross-Country ride and Halliday-Sharp is still recovering from a recent fall. “My owners have all been really supportive. I’m really grateful to him [Phillip] because she’s a very strong horse on cross-country, and I didn’t have multiple strong rides in me just yet! I absolutely love that mare, but I was trying to do what was right for her.” She concluded, “I’m just glad to be here with these horses because they all need the run.”

Doug Payne and Fenix Rouge Du Claux Dominate CCI 2*-S Division

Scoring the only sub-30 score of the CCI 2*-S Division, Doug Payne (USA) and Fenix Rouge Du Claux currently lead on a score of 29.9 points. Lisa Borgia (USA) and Silmarillion, the 2013 Thoroughbred gelding (Joey Franco x Little Missouri) owned by Lisa Borgia, scored 30.3 for reserve at the moment and Caitlin Romeo (USA) rode to a score of 31.8 for third with Fernhill B Good, the 2015 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Ramiro B x Lord de Luxe) owned by Caitlin Romeo.

PayneD-Fenix Rouge Du ClauxFK22brinkman4-8dSB3-10358Doug Payne and Fenix Rouge Du Claux
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Payne and the 2015 Selle Francais gelding (Chef Rouge x Fleuron de Dun) owned by Anna Antrobius have been working together as part of a tune-up for his young rider, Payne shared. “We’ve had him now just for a couple of months. But actually, after this competition, he’s going to go back to her, for her to campaign.

“He’s a lovely horse,” Payne reported. “He’s super consistent and steady, which is a really nice change. He’s not one that would get nervous, and he’s quite confident on the flat. Aside from one little miscommunication I thought he put in a very good test, really.”

On the whole, Payne noted, he’s riding horses at new levels where Dressage is their weakest phase, and he’s excited to tackle Show Jumping and Cross-Country in the coming days. “We’re very, very lucky to have a great group of horses here. They’re all quite strong in Jumping, you know, as a generalization, and conditions here are always very good. I’m absolutely looking forward to it.”

Marissa Griffin and Conguistador Conquer Dressage Day in CCI 1*-S Division

Marissa Griffin (USA) and Conguistador, the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Van Gough x Haarlem) owned by Marissa Griffin, danced to a score of 28.7 in the CCI 1*-S Division. Isabel Brunker (USA) scored 30.4 with her own 2008 Oldenburg mare (Riverman x Lycius), Allia, for reserve after Dressage, while third place belonged to Ashton Benfiel (USA) and Kingston Van Meerzicht, the 2015 KWPN gelding (Harley VDL x Indoctro) owned by Ashton Brooke Benefiel, after their 31.5 point performance.

Griffin (USA)-ConguistadorFork22brinkman4-8dSB2-10191Marissa Griffin and Conguistador
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Advanced Divisions Led by Doug Payne and Tamie Smith

Doug Payne (USA) piloted Starr Witness to the lead in the Advanced Test A division, scoring 28.0. Will Coleman (USA) and Don Dante, the 2010 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Pachio x Unknown) owned by Team Rebecca, LLC, earned a score of 30.5 to sit in reserve, while Sarah Kuhn (USA) and Mr. Cash van de Start, the 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Deauville van de Start x Toulon) owned by Deborah Kuhn, earned a 32.7 for third.

DougPayne_StarrWitness-3663Doug Payne and Starr Witness
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

“She’s just been an absolute pleasure to have,” Payne said of the 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare (Chello III VDL x Veneur) owned by Laurie H. McRee, Doug Payne and Catherine Winter. “We’re very lucky to have the support of [her owners] in with her, because she’s a very, very special horse. She’s 11 now, and she’s just getting there, really, where she’s strong enough and competent enough to really take a shot at it. I’m excited to see what the future holds for her.”

Payne is using this weekend to prep “Ginja” and others in his string for the 4*-L competition taking place at TIEC in May, noting that it’s always useful to gain experience at a venue in advance of competition. “I think it’s always good to get a bit of insight, and especially with horses that are just moving up and are a little bit green to the level, to give them a slight introduction to what I think would be a little bit tougher and obviously a little longer the next time,” he concluded.

SmithMaiBaumFK22brinkman4-8dSB3-10681Tamie Smith and Mai Baum
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Tamie Smith (USA) and Mai Baum, the 2006 German Sport Horse gelding (Loredano 2 x Rike) owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell, blew Advanced Test B Division competition out of the water, scoring a 21.1 for the lowest Dressage score of the day across all divisions. Leslie Law (GBR) and Tre Book’s Voltaire De Tre, the 2009 Selle Francais gelding (Gentleman IV x Socrate De Chivre) , scored 29.3 to sit in reserve. Will Faudree (USA) and Mama’s Magic Way, the 2011 Hanoverian gelding (Mighty Magic x Star Regent XX) owned by Jennifer Mosing and Sterling Silver Stables, sit on a score of 30.2 in third.

Smith seemed to ride at all the windiest moments of the day, she noted, but was proud of all her rides, she reported. “[Mai Baum] was phenomenal. He was a little bit wired, though I could feel it and you couldn’t really see it so much. He’s just so consistent now,” she emphasized. “They all felt really great, despite the weather.” Smith is also excited to jump in Tryon Stadium Saturday evening. “It’s so great to jump in that stadium under the lights, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Adalee Ladwig and Argenta MSF Ace Open Training Division

Producing a score of 28.1 in the sandbox, Adalee Ladwig and Argenta MSF, her own 2013 American Warmblood mare (Jesper x Callie), currently lead the Open Training Division. Sarah Snowden and Appalachia, her own 2013 Thoroughbred mare, sit on a score of 30.6 for reserve, while Zach Brandt holds third with a score of 31.9 aboard his own 2016 Dutch Warmblood mare (Jilbert Van’t Ruytershof x Angel of Poppes), L’Angel of Poppes 24.

AdaleeLadwig_ArgentaMSF-2398Adalee Ladwig and Argenta MSF
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

Open Novice Led by Annika Weisjahn and Old Number 7

Annika Weisjahn and Old Number 7, the 2015 Thoroughbred/Trakehner gelding owned by Michele McCarty Williams, scored 26.1 to take the lead in the Open Novice Division. Bridgette Miller rode Billy Avon, the 2013 British Sport Horse mare owned by Ciara Barr, to a 27.5 to tie with Lauren Hill aboard RF Ace High, the 2015 Appaloosa Sport Horse gelding (BJC Asher Seven x Magisch), for second place.

Weisjahn-Old Number Fork22brinkman4-8dressdean-4450Annika Weisjahn and Old Number 7
©Shannon Brinkman Photography

For full Dressage results from The Fork at TIEC, click here.

Competition continues through Sunday, April 10, with competition open to the public and no live stream available. Saturday will host Cross-Country competition for levels Beginner Novice through Preliminary, 9am-4:20pm. Show Jumping for Intermediate, Advanced, and all FEI levels will take place in Tryon Stadium Saturday from 3pm-9pm. Sunday will feature Cross-Country competition for the upper levels 8am-3:40pm, with Show Jumping in Tryon Stadium taking place from 9am-3:30pm for the lower national levels.

For parking and shuttle information, XC course maps, live scoring, Orders of Go and more, visit www.Tryon.com/eventing.

Photos ©Shannon Brinkman. These photos may only be used once, in relation to this press release. With questions, contact media@tryon.com.

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