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Little Holds the Lead and Halliday-Sharp Moves into Second Place at the 2020 Buckeye Nutrition USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Nov 13, 2020, 8:23 PM EST

Marilyn Little patting RF Scandalous on the neck after their dressage test
Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous. ©Leslie Potter/US Equestrian

Mill Spring, N.C. – Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous are on top of the leaderboard in the 2020 Buckeye Nutrition USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship at the conclusion of the dressage phase on Friday at the MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event. The pair earned a 21.5 on their test on Thursday, and no one from the field of 62 national championship contenders could top it.

Little (Frederick, Md.) is happy to be competing at the four-star this week with her longtime partner, the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare known as “Kitty” and owned by Jacqueline Mars.

“I believe Kitty and I both tend to produce our best performances in the most pressurized moments, so I really look forward to the butterflies,” said Little. “We know how to do weeks like this, and I believe we have come into this weekend prepared and ready to take on all three phases the way we would like…The fact that I have the chance to be here at all with Kitty this weekend, with all the excitement that I have is a blessing—and frankly, a miracle—produced by the many incredible people around us. Their support deserves a personal best from both of us.”

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z
Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z. ©Shannon Brinkman Photo

Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp (Lexington, Ky.) and Deniro Z, the 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Ocala Horse Properties and the Deniro Z Syndicate, posted the top score of Friday’s session, a 24.50, putting them into second place. Boyd Martin (Cochranville, Penn.) and Christine Turner’s 12-year-old Trakehner gelding, Tsetserleg, sit in third place heading into cross-country with a 26.50.

After a rainy night heading into Thursday and a Friday that began shrouded in thick fog, Saturday’s cross-country day is predicted to be cool and sunny—ideal for the horse-and-athlete pairs who will be taking on the Tryon International Equestrian Center’s White Oak cross-country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips.

Competition for the CCI4*-L is scheduled to continue with the cross-country phase beginning at 10:10 a.m. EST on Saturday morning.

Watch the 2020 Buckeye Nutrition USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship live now through November 15 on USEF Network.

Stay up to date on U.S. Eventing (USEF) by following USA Eventing on Facebook and Instagram. Use #USAEventing.