‘An amazing journey together’: prolific four-star event horse retires aged 19

  • US event rider Liz Halliday-Sharp has announced the retirement of her “long-term friend” and prolific four-star partner, Fernhill By Night, aged 19.

    The Irish sports horse gelding by Radolin came to Liz in 2012 when she was based in the UK. The pair completed their first advanced at Wellington Horse Trials in 2013, finishing eighth, and ended the year 12th in the Ballindenisk CIC3* (now CCI4*-S). The following year they represented the US at two Nations Cup legs, Fontainebleau and Ballindenisk, and completed the Blair Castle and Boekelo CCI3s* (now CCI4*-Ls).

    From winter 2014 Liz began splitting her time between the UK and the US, and she and “Blackie” enjoyed success both sides of the pond. In the following years the pair had top-10 placings at events including Hartpury International, Blenheim Palace, Barbury and Millstreet. In the US, they won the Ocala Jockey Club CIC3* (now CCI4*-S) in 2018, the Tryon and Carolina International CCI4*-Ss in  in 2019, and the Stable View CCI4*-S in 2020.

    Liz, who made a permanent return to the US in 2020, said as the Carolina International is taking place this week (24-27 March) she felt it fitting to announce the “official retirement” of one of its winners.

    “We have enjoyed multiple FEI wins and placings through four-star level, took on our first CCI5* together, and also competed at prix st georges level in dressage,” she said.

    “Last year, Blackie finished second at Carolina in the CCI4*-S in what would be the last big competitive appearance of his career. At 19 years old Blackie and I have had an amazing journey together and he owes me absolutely nothing.”

    Liz said Blackie is enjoying being spoiled at her farms, hacking and spending time in the field with his “miniature friend” Bubbles.

    “A thank you to Blackie for all that he has taught me and for being my friend for all of these years,” she said. “He will remain a special part of our family until the end of his days.”

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