“In The Irons” With Oktoberfest’s 4/3/2* Winners
September 25th, 2021
The FEI CCI-S 4/3/2* Divisions at Stable View’s Oktoberfest have concluded. The leaders in each division held their own throughout the Dressage, Show Jumping, and Cross Country phases with incredible efforts by Phillip Dutton, Autumn Schweiss, Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and their horses. Keep reading to see how the competition went for these riders.
In the 4*, Phillip Dutton held the lead. He says getting his 16.2 Irish Sport Horse “Fernhill Singapore” to go well has been a slow process. Phillip describes the horse as being a slow maturer. Throughout the Cross Country phase in their last event at Great Meadows, Phillip wasn’t able to cruise through the course. “It’s one thing to go fast, but then you have to get him back and prepare for the jumps. Especially if it’s a bit technical.” But Phillip is happy to say this part is getting better and the horse is coming into his own. It is now a matter of improving Fernhill Singapore’s dressage and show jumping, where the pair had one rail down on Friday.
In the 3*, Autumn Schweiss and 16.2 Dutch Warmblood Global Invieto DHI shot to 1st overnight, 6 points in the lead. “I was aiming [to have results like this]. I’ve worked really hard the last year to bring his marks down,” Autumn modestly commented. Rightfully proud of their win, she stressed that the goal is to strive for brilliance. Global Invieto DHI is a horse that’s capable of the work, who loves to jump, but managing the tension will be key. Autumn delightfully takes her win, but notes that they’ll keep getting better. She has been training straight dressage recently, studying under big names like Anne Gribbons and Jeremy Beel, aiming for a Silver-Medal.
Liz Halliday-Sharp had a lot to say about her 6-year-old, 17.3 Irish Sport Horse Shanroe Cooley. She was extremely happy with their 2* win today, keeping 1st place throughout the weekend. “I’m biased, but I think he’s the best in the world,” Liz boasts, smiling. This horse has already won 3 FEI Competitions this year, and he’s only 6. Liz’s team and owners of Shanroe Cooley are looking forward to seeing what his future holds. “He is like an old soul. When he’s in the ring it’s like he’s done it all before in another lifetime or something! He’s got so much scope,” she goes on to say. Her words prove to be true based on this photo of Shanroe Cooley in his show jumping round. Liz’s horses will get a good wash, iced, bandaged, fed, and headed home to Kentucky this evening.
Also deserving of big congratulations, Leslie Law achieved four successful trips with each of his four 4* horses this weekend. All finished in the Top 10 placings, and two of these horses had never competed in a 4* prior to Oktoberfest. Lady Chatterly and Typically Fernhill moved up from Intermediate today. Leslie explains how he knows his horses are ready to move up, “I think they have to be answering all the questions at the level below and doing it really well and feel really confident.” Leslie piloted Lady Chatterly to a 5th place finish by adding a bend through the combinations and an extra stride to give her more time to process the question. Overall, Leslie is delighted and had an awesome day, earning 4th and 9th with his experienced 4* horses Voltaire de Tre and First Class.
The course, designed by Mark Phillips, was well-liked by these competitors. “He’s very thoughtful with what he prepares for riders and the horses. There’s a good balance of riding forward to the jumps, and accuracy questions. The footing at Stable View continues to improve each year,” Phillip Dutton notes. Liz Halliday-Sharp also remarked, “4* course was a great design. I always enjoy coming here and they do great. Great course design and the ground is outstanding.”