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Girls on top in US eventing for first time in nearly 40 years

A woman has been crowned the United States Eventing Association’s rider of the year for the first time in almost 40 years.

Liz Halliday-Sharp has become only the sixth female to win the award since it was founded in 1960, by amassing 590.5 leaderboard points this year. The award was won by Suzanne Cove in 1962, Lee Troup in 1964, Mary Ann Tauskey in 1978, Torrance Watkins in 1980 and Karen Stives in 1981.

Liz has enjoyed a successful season with nine international and 16 national wins, and 67 top-five placings. Her wins include The Plains CCI4*-S and the Unionville CCI4*-S on Deniro Z, the Lexington CCI3*-L on Cooley Stormwater, and the Tryon CCI2*-L on Cooley HHS Calmaria.

Originally from California, Liz has split her time between East Sussex and the USA for the past 20 years, but she has spent all this year in the States.

“Quite often I’ve done well in the winter and then left [for the UK] so I’ve never really been up there on the leaderboard,” said Liz.

“It was fun to have our first year back go right. We’ve got a lot of great horses in the barn and I’ve got an awesome team and a great group of owners. It’s nice for all of them too that we’ve come out on top after a really good season.”

Continued below…


Watch the Horse & Hound Awards 2020 virtual ceremony


Liz has facilities in both Lexington, Kentucky, and Ocala, Florida.

“We love our place in Kentucky and have just come back to Florida,” she said.

“It’s been a wild year, more than just Covid, with us being at a new farm, trying to find our feet and our way around, and managing all the travel. It’s been crazy but we’ve managed to make it work and hopefully it will just keep getting better.”

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