Rider alert: Pairs to watch at the Ocala Jockey Club International



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Rider alert: Pairs to watch at the Ocala Jockey Club International

This weekend, some of the top eventing pairs in North America are competing at the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event in Reddick, Florida. This is only the third year running of this event and again this year there are four FEI divisions – a CCI3*, CIC3*, a CCI2* and a CCI1*. There are 36 pairs set to compete in the CIC3*, 45 in the CCI2* and a whopping 96 in the CCI1* division. The action kicks off today with the first horse inspection for the CCI3*, CCI2* and CCI1* divisions.

Clayton Fredericks is the cross-country Course Designer this year. The show jumping courses are being designed by Chris Barnard. With so many quality pairs across all the divisions this weekend, pairs will have to deliver stellar performances in all three phases if they want to earn a top finish. These impressive duos have the potential to finish on top this weekend and will be exciting to watch progress in 2019…


Tamie Smith (USA) and Mai Baum – CCI3*: Tamie and Mai Baum, a 12-year-old DSP gelding, have proven time and time again that they are nearly impossible to beat at the three-star level. They have won four three-star events and were 3rd at their only other three-star start only because of some presumably intentional cross-country time penalties. Most notably, they won the 2015 Fair Hill CCI3* but after that win, Mai Baum has mostly been side lined until this year. They are fresh off of winning the Advanced division at Chattahoochee Hills H.T. adding only 4.4 cross-country time penalties to their 27 dressage score. This weekend they could easily add another CCI3* win to their resume and it will be fun watching this pair at the four-star level hopefully next year.

Tamie and Mai Baum at the 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*.

Waylon Roberts (CAN) and Wil Celtic Charlie – CCI1*: Wil Celtic Charlie, a 6-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, is a talented young horse that Waylon has been carefully producing since the summer of 2017. This horse has never had a cross-country jumping penalty on his record and rarely drops a rail in show jumping. This summer, Waylon and Wil Celtic Charlie won the Bromont CIC1* and were 3rd at the Foshay International CCI1*. A top three finish is well within their abilities this weekend and Wil Celtic Charlie could certainly be a team horse for Waylon in years to come.

Waylon and Wil Celtic Charlie at the 2018 Bromont CIC1*.

Liz Halliday-Sharp (USA) and Deniro Z – CIC3*: Liz and Deniro Z, a 10-year-old KWPN gelding, have had a stellar 2018 season. The highlight of their year has been their 8th place finish at the Luhmuhlen CCI4*, which was Deniro Z’s CCI4* debut. Liz has been producing this super athletic young horse through the levels since 2015. They have 19 FEI event starts on their records and have won an impressive six. This weekend, they have a strong chance of clinching the victory and could represent the USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Liz and Deniro Z at the 2018 Carolina International CIC3*.

Hallie Coon (USA) and Cooley SOS – CCI2*: Cooley SOS, a 7-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding is a very exciting horse in Hallie’s string. Hallie only began competing Cooley SOS last summer but he has effortlessly moved up the levels, never having incurred a cross-country jumping fault. Most recently, Hallie and Cooley SOS were 3rd in the Open Intermediate division at Rocking Horse Fall H.T. Hallie has been back and forth to the UK this summer campaigning her top horse, Celien who she placed 22nd with at the Pau CCI4* which was their four-star debut. But despite Hallie’s time away, she has still managed to continue to campaign her horses that stayed in the USA. Competing in the UK has only upped Hallie’s game and Cooley SOS is nothing short of a four-star prospect. This weekend a top-ten finish is within their grasp but more importantly, this will be a cool pair to watch continue to move up the levels. World Equestrian Games 2022?

Hallie and Cooley SOS at the 2018 Plantation Field CIC2*.

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