Liz Halliday and more in this week’s ‘Tops and Flops’

Credit : Liz Halliday-Sharp (Twitter and Instagram)

Wednesday 11 October - 17h05 | Lucas Tracol and Grand Prix, translated by Ian Clayton

Liz Halliday and more in this week’s ‘Tops and Flops’

This week, Grand Prix launches a new feature called 'The Tops and Flops of the Weekend.' An opportunity to take an occasional look back at some of the most striking performances — both good and not so great — of the past weekend. In our list this week: Liz Halliday, Alexis Goury, Emanuele Gaudiano, Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill, and the French Eventing team. 

The Tops

The Tops - Liz Halliday and more in this week’s ‘Tops and Flops’

Alexis Goury and Trompe l'Oeil d’Emery
Credit : L’Institut français du cheval et de l’équitation

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z
She describes herself as a “professional equestrian, racing driver, TV broadcaster and big fan of horsepower!”. And at this past weekend’s prestigious Military Boekelo CCIO3* in the Netherlands, Liz Halliday-Sharp and her 9-year-old KWPN Deniro Z definitely displayed some equestrian power, finishing as the top American pair in 16th place.

Just one year ago, Deniro was at the 1* level, and this week Halliday, who is now based in England, was justifiably proud of her mount after the competition. New Zealand’s Tim Price and Cekatinka took home top honours at the Dutch competition.

Alexis Goury and Trompe l'Oeil d’Emery
Also very impressive at Boekelo was France’s Alexis Goury. In his first time competing at the competition, and just his second CCI at the 3* level, Goury made a big mark, finishing in third place. With his partner Trompe l'Oeil d’Emery, a horse Alexis Goury bought when he was four years old and trained himself, the young rider had a fantastic competition, with exceptional performances in the Cross-Country and Show Jumping phases. Finishing alongside Price and the Netherlands’ Tim Lips on the podium, Alexis Goury experienced a moment of his young athletic career that he will likely not soon forget. 

Gaudiano, Coupe and Golvers Hill

Gaudiano, Coupe and Golvers Hill - Liz Halliday and more in this week’s ‘Tops and Flops’

Emanuele Gaudiano
Emanuele Gaudiano won everything at Tétouan, in Morocco. The first of three stages of the The Morocco Royal Tour was marked by the Italian rider's indisputable domination. Always fearsome in speed classes, Gaudiano — with his not-always textbook style — scooped up no less than four victories at different moments! After taking the opening class with Carlotta 232, Gaudiano, who has his own stables near Bonn in Germany, came out on top in the main Friday class, still with the same mare.  

Second in a second speed class at 1.35 m the following day on Einstein, he was again the fastest over two phases in yet another class with Quinn van de Heffinck, before capturing the winning round on the hard-to-beat Carlotta 232. In the Grand Prix, won by Switzerland’s Nadja Peter-Steiner on Saura de Fondcombe, Emanuele Gaudiano’s streak was stopped after he committed a fault with Quinn van de Heffinck.

Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill
In Birmingham, Great Britain, British equestrian fans had the pleasure of seeing one of their favourite combinations win the Grand Prix at the Horse of The Year Show (HOYS). And not just any couple, as we’re talking about Nigel Coupe and Golvers Hill, the duo who won the celebrated Hickstead Derby in July.

This time, they took overcame the legendary John Whitaker on his great Argento, as well as five other pairs in the jump-off. Taking into account the contrast between a small indoor ring with delicate obstacles and an immense grass ring with giant obstacles requiring a dose of bravery, there is no doubt that these two athletes have displayed an uncommon versatility. 

The Flop

The Flop - Liz Halliday and more in this week’s ‘Tops and Flops’

Military Boekelo - Enschede
Credit : Military Boekelo - Enschede (Facebook)

The French national Eventing team
It was a tough weekend for the French national Eventing team. Even though Alexis Goury and Astier Nicolas, riding individually, shone in the final stage of the FEI Nations Cup circuit, the same was not true for Team France. To build his quartet, Thierry Touzaint had selected more or less experienced combinations. But in the Netherlands, ‘les Bleus’ struggled despite a good start which had them sitting in second after Dressage.

Things got complicated in the Cross-Country phase. After Camille Lejeune and Tahina des Isles cleared all the obstacles, Matthieu Vanlandeghem suffered a refusal by Safran du Chanois*ENE-HN at the run-up to the 19th combination. Nicolas Touzaint was eliminated after Topsecret d’Églefin was disobedient three times, and Karim Laghouag also experienced a refusal by his Olympic mount Entebbe de Hus at the end of the course, after an impeccable debut. 

Laghouag and Topsecret nevertheless had a perfect jumping performance to round out the event, but in the end, the French had to content themselves with a sixth place in this Nations Cup. A disappointment tempered by the fact that Topsecret was participating in his first CCI 3*, and that real progress was made by the team in the Dressage arena.

Further reading...