Liz Halliday-Sharp (full name Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp) is a US event rider who has been chosen to make her Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games in the summer of 2021.
Liz finished 2020 as the leading US eventer on points. She also scored more international wins than any other event rider worldwide during 2020.
Liz is from Southern California and wanted to ride from an early age, although her parents Debby and Don are not horsey.
“It was all I wanted to do – I was riding the tree in the back yard with a jump [skipping] rope as reins,” she says. “I started riding when I was about eight at a little barn down the road.
“My family didn’t have loads of money and made me really work for it, which I respect – some kids get everything bought for them. I had to show I was dedicated before I got breeches and boots. I had to go to the barn and do all the work. We leased random horses.”
Does Liz Halliday-Sharp live in the US or the UK?
Liz currently lives in the US and spends winters in Ocala, Florida, and summers in Lexington, Kentucky.
After about 15 years in Britain, Liz spent time during the winter of 2014/2014 in Ocala, which led to about five years of splitting her year between the US and the UK.
“It was fun, but you can’t do that your entire life,” she says. “It’s insane going between the two and it’s not financial reality.
“We thought we had to make a decision one way or the other. From a business perspective – giving clinics, teaching and turning over sale horses – and to get me in front of the selectors to help my team aspirations, it made most sense to be in the US.”
Doesn’t Liz race cars?
Liz retired from racing cars in 2012, but for many years she combined eventing with being a professional racing car driver.
“It was crazy – for a lot of years I raced and rode together,” she explains. “It was pretty cool when I was young – I was on a plane or in a car or on a horse. I just bombed around the world doing crazy stuff.
“It was a really fun part of my life and I’ll never regret it, even though I’m sure I would have achieved better things with horses earlier in my life if I hadn’t been racing.”
Liz’s father Don raced cars and was an instructor as a hobby, which is how she started driving – she initially competed chiefly in sprint races in Don’s “funky historic car”, but she later particularly enjoyed endurance races, competing three times in the Le Mans 24-hour race where three drivers take turns in the cockpit.
Liz was a commentator and live pit reporter for Eurosport at the Le Mans 24-hour race for 10 years after she stopped driving there.